Volume 36 Number 76
                 Produced: Sun Jul 21  5:42:15 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cleaning up after seudoh shelishis
         [Barak Greenfield]
Conversation in the Torah
         [Solomon Spiro]
Fertility Drugs Mandatory?
         [Gil Student]
Gaba'ut Suggestion
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
         [Akiva Atwood]
Kosher food, but what about Shabbat in space
         [Eli Lansey]
Laundry at the close of Tisha B'Av on a Thursday
         [David Deutsch]
Mei Raglayim
         [Binyomin Segal]
Modesty by Avraham and Sara
         [Zev Sero]
         [Ben Katz]
Shomer Shabbos Web Merchants
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]


From: Barak Greenfield <DocBJG@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 23:52:11 -0400
Subject: RE: Cleaning up after seudoh shelishis

> What is maybe of greater concern and sometimes overlooked is the
> tendency I've seen to remove plates and utensils, left over food on the
> table after Seuda Shlishit/Shalosh Seudos (the 3rd Meal), just out of
> habit when **it is** considered HaChana L'Ahar Shabbos (preparation for
> after Shabbos).

Cleaning up after seudoh shelishis is prohibited only if the intention
is to get a jump on the cleaning of things that won't be needed anymore
that shabbos. Cleaning up is permitted if one simply finds it enjoyable
to have a clean table on shabbos. (See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchoso



From: Solomon Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 15:35:46 +0300
Subject: Conversation in the Torah

BSD, 2 Mehahem AV

The question of the verbal faithfulness of the dialogue in the Torah to
the original is a fascinating topic. It is true that many dialogues are
elaborated upon by rabbinical midrashim. What are we to make of it? Are
these elaborations true?  And if so why did not the Torah state them.

I would like to propose the following approach:

Theucydides wrote the history of the Peloponnesian war. 
In his history he records conversations between the generals of Athens
and Sparta.  He did not hear those conversations, but he puts into the
mouths of the principals what they would have said and he elaborates on
their words so that we get a good idea of what they really had in mind.

The dialogues of the Torah we are bound to accept word for word, as we
accept all the words of the Torah.  But in all dialogue there is much
more a person has in mind that what he actually expresses verbally. This
is a kind of interior dialogue. The rabbis in the Midrashim give us this
inner dialogue and elaborate to express what was in the mind of the
person speaking. And keviyakhol, metaphorically, they do the same to the
Rebbono shel Olam speaking to mankind.


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:51:40 -0400
Subject: Re: Fertility Drugs Mandatory?

Tzadik Vanderhoof wrote:
>This got me to wondering.... do some poskim interpret the issur of
>birth control to mean that if a couple can't conceive without fertility
>drugs, that it is mandatory that she always take them? This seems a
>bit extreme, and I'd like to know if anyone knows about this. The
>closest thing I've heard to this is a report that a certain rabbi forbids
>breast feeding longer than 6 months, because it prevents conception.
>This "mandatory" use of fertility drugs would seem an even more
>extreme view.

I am surprised that a rabbi would prohibit nursing after 6 months
because the Gemara in Kesuvos 60a allows it up to 2 years. Perhaps he
interprets that Gemara as speaking about a couple who have already
fulfilled the biblical mitzvah by having a boy and a girl.

As to an obligation for those who have not had children to try
infertility drugs, I quote the following from R. David M. Feldman's
Birth Control in Jewish Law (third edition, 1995) p. 324:

"On the other hand, today's high-technology assistance in overcoming
infertility need not, but may, be pursued when the biblical minimum has
already been attained [4].

"[4] /Be Frutiful and Multiply/, ed. Richard V. Grazi, M.D., 1994, p. 41.
See ahead, note 21.

"[21] See David M. Feldman, /Health and Medicine in Jewish Tradition/,

R. Feldman seems to imply that those who have not fulfilled the biblical
mitzvah by having both a boy and a girl are obligated to try infertility
drugs. I haven't looked up the cited references but I've e-mailed his
son to ask whether this is his opinion.

[Note that R. David M. Feldman was ordained by JTS. I quoted him because
I know him personally and hold him in high regard, he is an acknowledged
expert in Jewish medical ethics, and he seems to be machmir on this

Gil Student


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 19:13:51 +0200
Subject: Gaba'ut Suggestion

this is exactly what a former Gabbai, HaRav Yitzhak Shpatz has done with
our Koren Tanakh.  And this is an opportunity to express a Yasher Koach
to you both.  From an occasional Maftir person.  Yisrael Medad

      If your Shul has the Haftarah read from a Tanach (we use Koren),
      you may be aware of the need to be able to find the Haftarah
      easily each week. In my last stint as a Gabbai, I made a point of
      marking the start of each Haftarah with a "[" and its end with a
      "]".  Shmuel Himelstein


From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:25:10 +0300
Subject: RE: Geocentric

> around the earth.  He answered (I paraphrase) that in Quantum physics
> there is a rule that anytime we see A going aroud B we MUST accept
> that B also goes around A.  Therefore only someone who is still stuck
> in Newtonian Physics will not accept that the sun does indeed revolve
> around the earth.

It has nothing to do with Quantum Physics. Relativity theory deals with
this issue (A sees B moving towards him -- B sees A moving towards him
 -- A and B have no way of knowing WHO is moving).

But the actual mechanics of geocentric vs heliocentric were calculated
hundreds of years ago -- it was the vastly simpler mathematics of the
heliocentric model that convinced people of it's correctness.



From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 23:34:18 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Kosher food, but what about Shabbat in space

Shimon Lebowitz wrote:
> I think we really need, as difficult as it may be for techno-minded
> people, to stick with a 'subjective' more than 'objective' borderline.
> When a person gets in an airplane in place A on earth, flies for some
> period P in direction D and lands at point B, s/he feels basically the
> same as when doing the trip by foot, horse, or ship. The only real
> subjective difference is the speed, the person still feels part of the
> normal world.
> However, there is a much different "feeling" when you take off in a
> rocket propelled vehicle, vertically leaving the entire 'feeling' of
> being 'on Earth'. No, I cannot define this in terms of speed,
> trajectory, altitude, or other measurable quantities, but a person
> orbiting the globe is *not* 'on earth', while flying from Paris to NY on
> a Concorde s/he is (assuming the plane gets off the ground).

According to this logic, if one travels into space in a more gradual
manner (i.e. High-Altitude planes flights) than being rocketed into
space, he would be obligated in all zmanim, even if a day took only 90

In addition, why do you say that planes are 'on Earth'?  When you are
driving in a car you generally don't have massive acceleration and
altitude changes (ear popping, etc.) like you experience on a jetplane
takeoff.  Just because we are accustomed to it now doesn't mean that the
first plane travelers felt the same way.  In 100 years people might find
space flight as comfortable as plane flight!



From: <david.s.deutsch@...> (David Deutsch)
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:38:57 +0100
Subject: Laundry at the close of Tisha B'Av on a Thursday

Baruch J. Schwartz wrote:
>...laundry may be done on Thursday night when the fast ends and there
>is absolutely no need to wait until the morning, much less afternoon,
>of Friday the 10th of Av. For details see Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhatah,
>Volume 2, page 2 (42:5) and footnotes.

It's worth pointing out that SSK after debating the issue of whether this
applies to all laundry concludes that only laundry that is required
l'chovod Shabbos may be washed from Thurday night.

David Deutsch


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 11:16:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Mei Raglayim

My old friend Saul Mashbaum ponders the use of mei raglayim
> In the well-known passage on making the Ktoret (Kritut 6a), the Gemara says
> that Cyprian wine was used to soak the cloves of the Ktoret. The Gemara asks
> why mei-raglayim (presumably urine) which could also serve this purpose, was
> not used, and answers that this is unseemly. This is so obvious it scarcely
> need be stated (what is the "hava amina"?)

An old yerushalmi once pointed out to me that a well immeadiately
outside the old city has the name "regel" (or something similar, this is
a twenty year old memory) and hence mei raglayim would refer to water
from that well.  As a result, Saul's suggested interpretation would be

> I once heard an original interpretation of this puzzling passage (I
> regret that I cannot recall the source of this explanation). The
> mei-raglayim referred to as appropriate for use in the preparation of
> ktoret is a normal, inoffensive fluid of that name. However, since
> mei-raglayim can *also* mean urine, it is deemed unseemly to use any
> fluid of that name in the Temple.

Is my memory of that well correct?

Contact me via my NEW address


From: Zev Sero <zev.sero@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 14:37:58 -0400
Subject: re: Modesty by Avraham and Sara

Jonathan Chipman <yonarand@...> wrote:

> As the "original poster," I found it "bizarre" because it seems to
> imply, or assume, that the avot, in their original bodies, retained
> the powers of movement even after death.  That seems the clear
> implication of this aggadah as given.

It is well-established that dead tzadikim remain capable of movement.
The gemara reports matter-of-factly (*not* as metaphor or midrash) that
Rebbi used to come home every Friday night to make kiddush for his
family, and that R Eliezer b"r Shimon remained in his attic for many
years after his death, answering questions that were shouted up at him
from the ground level.  In both cases, this continued until it drew
unwarranted attention.

It seems that the reason that tzadikim, when they experience death, stop
moving and remain lying in their graves is not because they have no
other choice, but because that is Hashem's command; but sometimes they
are allowed to quietly break this rule, so long as the breach does not
become public knowledge (`so long as you don't get caught').  Note that
when Rebbi visited his family, he was able to fulfil the mitzvah of
kiddush on their behalf, which means that his legal status at those
times was `alive', rather than `dead'; dead people are not obligated in
mitzvot, and so had he been legally dead his kiddush would not have
released them from their obligation to say it themselves.

The gemara also tells us that when a sage's words are quoted, 'his lips
move in the grave', and that `tzadikim in their deaths are called
alive'; in isolation, these two references could be understood as
metaphoric, but given the explicit proofs above, there is no reason to
do so.

Zev Sero


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:00:58 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Pinhas

>From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
>The medrash elsewhere mentions nitalma by moshe but always as a result
>of his own actions(kaas[anger] or gaavah[pride] at some level). Here it
>seems he forgot only so pinchas could get schaar[reward]?(In fact at
>least one commentary questions why didn't moshe act when pinchas
>reminded him of the halacha and answrs that Moshe assumed his
>forgetfullness was Hashem's way of telling him that Pinchas should do
>it. Given Moshe's ongoing communication with Hashem, is this a
>reasonable answer?

   There is a Rashi near the end of the torah which speaks of Moshe
forgetting halacha at the end of his life.  There is also a comment by
either the Sforno or Hizkuni at the end of Bamidbar where he understands
Moshe as having MISUNDERSTOOD the Almighty in a direct conversation with Him.

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: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Re: Shomer Shabbos Web Merchants

The suggestion to maintain a list of "Shomer Shabbos Web Merchants"
reminds me of a recent incident with a kosher restaurant.  The
restaurant is owned by a non-Jew.  Since a large portion of the
clientele of the restaurant is of the frum community, the owner takes it
upon himself to give substantial amounts of charity to Orthodox
institutions (primarily schools) in order to "give back" to the
community which provides his livelihood.  This is why he was
particularly hurt to hear that a certain rav had advised a congregant
that it was better to patronize Jewish-owned restaurants, if possible.
I was wondering what the halachic basis of this was, and if it was wise
for the Rav to give this advise, considering that it was likely to get
back to the restaurant owner.


End of Volume 36 Issue 76