Volume 37 Number 58
                 Produced: Mon Oct 28 22:52:42 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll Israeli version
         [Michael Rogovin]
Becoming a minister
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.]
         [David Waxman]
Business Ethics (2)
         [Carl Singer, Ari Trachtenberg]
Legal fictions
         [Perry Zamek]
Marat Eiyen (2)
         [Bernard Raab, Michael Kahn]
Marat Eiyen  and Hilchos Shabos
         [David Waxman]
Techum (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Mike Gerver]
Travel on (or close to) Shabbat & Yom Tov
         [Shalom Ozarowski]


From: <rogovin@...> (Michael Rogovin)
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 12:32:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Artscroll Israeli version

The Koren Siddur Shalem can be used for both Israel and Chutz and is
relatively compact. Of course it is Hebrew only, but even with doubling
pages to include English it would be smaller than Artscroll (some pages
use very small print and the paper is very lightweight). But I have
never found it confusing to usee here in the US despite its primary
audience being Israel

Michael Rogovin


From: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq. <khresq@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 13:21:03 -0400
Subject: Becoming a minister

 > From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
 > Working in the field I do, I could save a substantial amount of money if
 > I were able to declare parsonage. I am not a Rabbi, and I don't think I
 > would ever have the time to attain semicha. I have heard from others
 > that there are Christian Ministries which will declare a person a
 > Reverend for a small fee, without any religious requirements. Is it
 > Halchaikally permissible to pay for, receive and use the title of
 > Reverend from a Christian Ministry if I in no way believe in any of the
 > tenets of their faith?

In 1978, the Internal Revenue Service, reconsidering and reversing its
prior position, ruled that a Jewish cantor " employed by a congregation
on a full-time basis to perform substantially all the religious worship,
sacerdotal, training, and educational functions of the Jewish
denomination's religious tenets and practices" may benefit from the
parsonage allowance of Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Revenue Ruling 78-301, 1978-2 C.B. 103.

-- Ken Ryesky [former IRS attorney]
P.O. Box 926, East Northport, NY 11731, USA
631/266-5854 (vox), 631/266-3198 (fax)
E-Mail:  <khresq@...>


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 17:41:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Boundries

> >>Russell Hendel quoting R. Manus Friedman (Lubavitch Chasid) says that
>the reason for restrictions is that it establishes boundaries.
>This is absolutely correct and the main reason for opposition. <<

Reb Simcha,

This statement puzzles me. How is it possible for one to take a carte
blanche opposition to the idea of setting boundaries, without also
rejecting the ideas halacha and am kedusha?

>It is an attempt to set boundaries by people who fear modernity and
>secular society and wish to separate them selves from it. They wish to
>send messages that we do not value society as it has evolved. It sends
>this message to Jews and non-Jews alike. Oh yes, they wish the benefits
>of modern technology, and even to benefit from the wealth of people who
>subscribe to modernity, but not the underlying western secular values
>that made the discovery of those technologies possible and the creation
>of that wealth possible. It is in many ways spitting into the well from
>which they themselves drink.

Which western secular values must one subscribe to in order to use a fax
machine with a clear conscience?  Henry Ford was an unrepentant Jew
hater.  Must one hate Jews in order to benefit from his innovations in
industrialization? Hemingway was a drunk.  Must one endorse alcoholism
in order to read his books?

To state the case in a more positive way.... Is it not better to affirm
our own values while the rest of the world is carried away with its own


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 09:17:43 EDT
Subject: Re: Business Ethics

      In certain circumstances, a merchant is not allowed (by the credit
      card agreement) to give a "discount for cash" (charge a lower
      price).  As a result, some merchants will offer to pay the state
      sales tax themselves whaen an item is purchased for cash.  Thus,
      you are not abetting a tax fraud, the merchant is stating that he
      will not charge you the extra fee that would go to cover the sales
      tax.  Technically, you as the customer never owe the sales tax,
      the merchant does.  I do not think that you as the customer can
      assume that the merchant will use your cash purchase to avoid the
      sales tax.

This may be a legal fiction -- more accurately a lie.  
I am aware of the restrictions on cash discounts that credit card
vendors have in their contracts.  Not charging sales tax is in effect
such a discount.  More than that, it likely is also used to avoid paying
sales tax.  You are right that it is the merchant's responsibility to
accurately report sales and pay taxes accordingly.  Thus any sale logged
without sales tax is likely not in compliance.

On what basis do you make the statement that the customer cannot assume
that the merchant (who has not charged him / her sales tax as part of a
cash transaction) will not avoid paying sales tax (related to that

Carl Singer

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 16:55:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Business Ethics

>The reason that many merchants refuse to charge small transactions is
>that the credit card company charges would wipe out any profit they
>might make on the transaction...Since some stores work on very
>thin margins, this might be below their actual cost to stock and sell
>the item.

This would seem to imply that agreements can be nullified due to poor
planning alone.  If a store makes a business agreement with a credit
card company, it must adjust its charges accordingly to make the
necessary profits.  On the other hand, the argument might be made that
one really has no leverage with a big credit card company, in which case
the agreement might be invalid...it's not clear to me what the Jewish
perspective on this is.

>This brings up another issue: Is it halachically permissible to charge
>small amounts when you know that the store will lose money as a result?

Certainly it must be permissible to charge these amounts.  As a simple
example, consider stores that heavily discount some items (below cost)
to attract purchases of other profit items...it would be absurd to
suggest that one has to make sure to give the store a profit.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 14:09:42 +0200
Subject: Legal fictions

I thought I'd share this with everyone:

The Rambam, in Hilchot Shechenim, chap 12, deals with the law of Bar
Metzra (the owner of a field abutting a field that is sold), where the
abutter has the right to pay out the purchaser, and take the field for

The question is asked -- why does the abutter not have to make another
kinyan in order to acquire the field? The answer, according to the
Rambam, is that the original "purchaser" is deemed to have been a
shaliach (agent) for the abutter, and his acquisition of the field is
actually on behalf of the abutter.

Obviously, this is a legal fiction, since the abutter did not appoint
the purchaser as his agent.

Are there any other examples of this type of legal fiction?

Perry Zamek


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 13:52:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Marat Eiyen

>>From: David Waxman  Subject: Marat Eiyen
>>Iggeret Moshe OC/a ch. 96, p. 147 states (my translation):
"The prohibition  of marat eiyen applies only to an action that, while one 
does it in a permissible manner, is done in a forbidden manner in the 
majority of cases..."<<

Not all cases are so easily characterized. I once needed to speak to a
storekeeper on Shabbat but was concerned lest someone seeing me emerge
assume that I was conducting some business in the store. I consulted
with the Rabbi who led the Gemarah shiur I regularly attended. His
somewhat surprising response: "Nobody would ever think that you were
being mechalel Shabbos in that store..." (And I don't think he meant to
imply that this would be because I am noted for extreme religiosity!)

Some years earlier I had asked our highly respected LOR whether I could
use an automatic lawn sprinkler system which by its nature would operate
on Shabbat every 2 or 3 weeks, or whether I would have to replace the
timer with one which could be programmed never to operate on
Shabbat. His response: "What's the problem?" I said: "What about Maarat
Eiyen?" He poo-pooed and again said something like: "Everybody(!) would
understand that you are using a timer..."

If we can count on the observer's informed reasoning power, then the
power of Maarat Eiyen is considerably reduced!

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 21:23:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Marat Eiyen

>The humble Rav Moshe praised the writer for his admonishment and agreed to 
>cease riding in cars after candle lighting as the writer felt that it 
>might lead some misinformed observers to a kilkul Shabbat.

This story is brought in the Artscroll biography of Reb moshe. I never
knew, until now, who it involved.


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Subject: Re: Marat Eiyen  and Hilchos Shabos

>Iggeret Moshe OC/a ch. 96, p. 147 states (my translation):
>"The prohibition  of marat eiyen applies only to an action that, while
>one does it in a permissible manner, is done in a forbidden manner in the
>majority of cases..."
>I don't understand. According to the (above), how do any of the hilchos of
>Eruv - both for carrying among private and extending beyond 2000amos -
>apply? They should be all Marat Eiyen examples.
>Why are baby carriages with collapsable covers allowed? Should be Marat
>Eiyen for melacha Ohel.
>Why is one allowed to take things out of a hot oven?

Let's look at your questions one by one.

1. If you observe someone carrying within an Eruv chatzerot, why would
you judge that act unfavorably?  Keep in mind, we are not concerned
about people who are ignorant or misinformed about halacha.  Likewise
(my assumption), we would not be concerned about people that are
ignorant about the fact that an eruv exists.

2. Eruv Tchumim - All you would observe is a person taking a walk -
what's the problem?

3. >>Why are baby carriages with collapsable covers allowed? << Shmirath
Shabbath 24:13:b:1 says that it is permissible.  Marat eiyen only
applies if there is a probable issur.  In this case, there is no issur
at all.

4. >>Why is one allowed to take things out of a hot oven?<< Shomer
shabbat Jews heat their food in a permissible manner.

The way I understand it, marat eiyen doesn't apply unless you make it
appear as if you were baking something.  Example: say you displayed some
bread dough to your guests, then brought out some hot bread 30 minutes
later.  In truth, you put the dough back in the fridge and heated up the
bread on a blech.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 21:25:15 GMT
Subject: Techum

From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)

<<someone can point me towards a recent sefer which explains how these
halachos are applied to modern urban areas.>>

May I suggest "Eruvin in Modern Metropolitan Areas".  It's written by a
rabbi by the name of Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <g>.  Very highly
recommended; if you can't get it contact me off list and I'll lend you

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)

<<Is this the right thing to do? Or are the Hudson and East/Harlem Rivers
definitely enough to make Manhattan a separate techum?>>

Years ago I was advised by a rav to always say tefilas haderech when
entering a bridge or tunnel over a substantial body of water, since
there are no houses and you can be fairly sure of being out of the
techum of the city.

I'm not sure what you accomplish by not saying the Shem, since tefilas
haderech is a tefila, not a beracha (which is why each traveler should
say it individually rather than one for all), and one can certainly
invoke the name of Hashem to ask for protection; there is no beracha
levatala issue on a tefila. But, CYLOR.


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 19:07:36 EDT
Subject: Techum

>From Gershon Dubin:
> I'm not sure what you accomplish by not saying the Shem, since tefilas
> haderech is a tefila, not a beracha (which is why each traveler should
> say it individually rather than one for all), and one can certainly
> invoke the name of Hashem to ask for protection; there is no beracha
> levatala issue on a tefila. But, CYLOR.

I guess I didn't make myself clear. I was just talking about the bracha
"shomea tefillah" at the end of tefillat ha-derech. I assume there would
be a bracha levatala issue there, if you were already inside the techum
of your final destination.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: <Shalomoz@...> (Shalom Ozarowski)
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 00:53:32 EDT
Subject: Re: Travel on (or close to) Shabbat & Yom Tov

Ira L. Jacobson wrote:
>*Two* rabbis?  Hmmmm.
>And what would you have done if each gave a different answer?

good question, sorry i didnt make it clear: there were 2 separate buses,
& an advisor on each one called his posek for that bus. [the whole
situation was a little chaotic, i gave the watered down version :).]
thanks for pointing it out.

kol tuv
shalom ozarowski


End of Volume 37 Issue 58