Volume 38 Number 12
                 Produced: Tue Dec 24 16:15:22 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Food kitchens
         [Carl Singer]
Growing your own etrog
         [Beth and David Cohen]
Mike Gerver's experience growing esrogim
         [Chaim G Steinmetz]
NOLAD = New Status, not NEW entity
Rambam and Bashert
         [Dov Teichman]
The Rambam on Kollel
         [Michael Kahn]
Reasons to consider Confiscation by consent, theft
         [Russell J Hendel]
Sons, si. Servants, no
Standing for Choson & Kallah
         [Joel Rich]
Tachanun and a Groom


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 08:12:18 EST
Subject: Re: Food kitchens

      I do not believe it is the job of the Government to care for the
      downtrodden anymore than that responsibility falls on the
      community at large.  If anything, I would argue using LBJ's "Great
      Society" as an example, the community does the job much better
      than the Government ever could!

      Chaim Shapiro

Not to get into the politics, per se.  But if government taxes me to
build & maintain the infrastructure (mechanisms) to "care for the
downtrodden" then I have expectations as to the effectiveness of the
government programs for which I am paying.  The community can do a good
job given the proper leadership, motivation and resources.  It's not

Carl Singer


From: Beth and David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 21:59:56 -0500
Subject: Growing your own etrog

For those interested in growing their own etrog check out:

David I. Cohen


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 20:19:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Mike Gerver's experience growing esrogim

> From: Yaakov Fogelman <top@...>

> 1974, I searched for some years for an apartment where I could have a
> proper sukka, i.e. with room for bedrooms, so that I could properly
> perform the major mitzva of sleeping in a sukka, as stressed by the
> Baal Tanya, but later ignored by his most of his followers; they
> followed the bad example of his son, Dov Ber and ignored the mitzva,
> even in warm climates, for strange mystical reasons.

I am moche against the proceeding statements, which have nothing to do
with the subject at hand (growing esrogim!), and seem to be there "just
to make trouble" (besides being an amazing way of referring to a godol

Chaim G. Steinmetz


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 10:01:00 -0500
Subject: re: NOLAD = New Status, not NEW entity

 Russell J Hendel  wrote:

> Anonymous (v38n1) brings up the issue of what does NOLAD really mean.
> I actually answered this a few years ago (I believe on Mj).

> I basically differentiated between creation of an ENTITY vs creation
> of a STATUS True the paper and ink already existed (eg their molecules
> existed).  But the status or attribute of IT-WAS-FAXED- did not yet
> exist. Prior to the fax the paper was paper. After the fax it was a
> FAX (or FAXED paper); This is not nit-picking. Rather it reflects
> usage of language The NOUN Fax, derived from the VERB to fax reflects
> a new status. The colloquial talmudic lingo is cool: The Briskians do
> not speak about a new STATUS but rather a NEW NAME. In other words the
> important thing is how language usage is changed.In this case we can
> now call the paper a FAX--hence the status was BORN and it is
> prohibited.

        With all due respect to Dr. Hendel, I believe it is wrong both
as to language and to halachah.

        What is "a fax" is, of course, not the paper, but the message.
The paper was written upon by a process called faxing, but it is no more
a new item than it would be if it were written upon by printing, by
writing or by sorcery, for that matter.  That people use the term "a
fax" as an abbreviation for "a message that was faxed" does not mean
that the piece of paper has become something differently named.  It is
still only a piece of paper containing a faxed message.  To illustrate:
if one reads a passage from a book to someone, one does not say, "Listen
to the book I got," but "Listen to what it says in the book I got."  If
one reads a faxed message, one says, "Listen to the fax I got."  The fax
is the counterpart of the message, not the counterpart of the book.

        Halachically, a change of name does _not_ create a status of
nolad. Meat, potatoes, beans, etc., sitting in a pot are just that --
meat, potatoes and beans in a pot.  After sitting in that pot on a flame
overnight, they are a cholent -- certainly a new status.  According to
Dr. Hendel, since that status was attained on Shabbos (a pot can be put
up right before Shabbos, to cook on Shabbos, if it is completely raw) it
should be prohibited to eat it.


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 21:00:00 EST
Subject: Rambam and Bashert

The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l has a letter (Igros Kodesh Vol. 2 p. 193)
where he discusses the different opinions about whether there is bashert
or free will by shidduchim and he has many references there. He refers
to the Rambam in Shmoneh P'rokim beginning of Chapter 8, and Tshuvos
HaRambam Siman 159, as holding that there is a Bas Kol (heavenly voice)
proclaiming who should marry whom, but there is free will. The bas kol
only causes a natural tendency and inclination to marry that
person. I've heard that the reasoning is that being that marriage is a
mitzvah (this is a machlokes in its own right), then there must be free
will in performing it.

Dov Teichman


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 16:07:36 -0500
Subject: Re: The Rambam on Kollel

>So would you agree based on the concept of eit laasot that taking money
>for learning should be viewed as bdieved (ie not the preferred

At first I would agree that if kollel is merely an ais laasos then its a
bdieved. However, I'm wondering if our writting of Torah Shebaal Peh
(Oral Law) would be considered bdieved, since it too is a ais laasos. I
probably agree with you.

Regarding what would happen if everyone sat and learned, this question
really could be posed regarding Rabbi shimon Bar Yochai's shita (in his
famous machlokes with, I think, rabbi Yishmael)who held all should learn
and "mlachtcha naasis al yday achairim", their needs would be taken care
of by others.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 23:25:35 -0500
Subject: Reasons to consider Confiscation by consent, theft

Reuven Miller in v38n6 continues the thread of >theft by consent< Two
cases are brought: (a) A teacher stipulates that staying in his class is
an AGREEMENT that he (the teacher) has the right to confiscate articles
that should not be in class (b) A mikvah stipulates that personal items
left over 30 days are AGREED TO BE CONSIDERED HEFKER and can eg be sold
by the mikveh owners.

I think the issue is very subtle -- after all it appears that people
have implicitly agreed.

But I strongly disagree. I consider both of the above outright theft (A
Biblical commandment). Let us start with the easy case (The Mikvah)

True, a general principle in Jewish commercial law is that ALL
COMMERCIAL STIPULATIONS ARE BINDING but nevertheless a broad overriding
principle in Jewish law is that PEOPLE CANNOT SELL/GIVE THINGS THAT ARE
NOT SPECIFIED. When a woman walks into the Mikvah, EVEN IF SHE VERBALLY
CONSENTED (or in writing!!!! before witnesses) to relinquish ownership
over forgotten items pass 30 days, such a GIFT would not be valid since
at the time of agreement there was no specificity of gift item.

Furthermore Jewish law is very clear that RETURNING LOST articles
involves one positive Biblical commandment and 2 negative Biblical
commandments (Rambam Theft and Lost 11:1). For example if a woman left
peculiar earings (So their peculiarity is a sign) then the Mikvah people
are obligated to return the article (Even after 30 days). They cannot
break this obligation EVEN WITH A SIGNED CONTRACT (unless the contract
explicitly states that the loser intends to lose earings(grin)).

Next let us go to the Yeshiva class. The reason the student is in the
class is NOT because of the teacher but rather because of a contractual
agreement with the school: We pay money and they teach. To raise the pay
without consent is not binding. Furthermore to state that BEING IN MY
in the classroom because their father paid money!!!

The school has the right to throw the student out (With prorated return
of tuition), or yell at the student, or else put up with the
infractions. (The school can also put IN WRITING in their original
tuition agreement that certain fines will be paid if a teacher claims
certain violations were made(But I dont think any school would dare try

I think this topic interesting and not straightforward. I would like to
hear other opinions (Perhaps some responsum)

Russell Jay Hendel; Http://www.RashiYomi.com (NEW: Translation of Job)


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 22:25:01 -0600
Subject: Re: Sons, si. Servants, no

Shalom, All:

        1.  When I said that Yaakov (Jacob) sent his sons and not
servants to buy food in Egypt, I realistically opined >>If your extended
family needed food to avoid starvation, would *you* give cash to a
servant, then send them to another country and hope they didn't take the
money and run?> 
      Sam Saal replied, >>No more, no less than I'd give them valuable
gifts to give to an angry looking Esav backed by 400 men. Obviously,
Yakov had trustworthy servants. <<

        Logic and Rashi dictate otherwise. According to Rashi, Yaakov
sent **angels,** not humans, to deliver the goods. (The Hebrew word
"malach" used in the Torah means both "angel" and "messenger.") I daresay
Yaakov's angels would be trustworthy.
        Even if they were human messengers, contrast them to Eliezer.
Eliezer's journey did not involve the chance that his destination would
be a murderous and powerful man. However, Yaakov's servants wound up
with Esav, a bad-tempered warlord with a sibling rivalry so intense he
could easily have killed them, taken the gifts and still tried to kill
Yaakov. Servants are far more expendable than sons.
        Furthermore, unlike Eliezer who had much discretion, all Yaakov's
servants did was repeat Yaakov's entreaty to his brother, hand over the
bribe and wait for the hammer to fall or not fall. To their credit, the
servants didn't run away with the loot. But if they had, all Yaakov would
have lost would have been money, and he would have been no worse off than
if he had not sent the placating servants. (BTW, those servants were only
traveling a short distance compared to Eliezer, and they knew if they
failed to deliver Yaakov and maybe even Esav would soon catch them.)
        But later, when the famine hit Yaakov, he could only send his
most trusted emissaries; his own sons, lest a servant take the money and
run so far he'd never be caught. And of course this time Yaakov had no
reason to believe there was a fratricidal Esav at the other end of the
        2.  Joel Rich asked a different question: >>So why did Chazal in
the medrash have Avraham tell him that he was bad and that his daughter
was thus no good for a son of avraham?<<
        To that I answer that a medrash in the form of expository
aggadita is not halacha ("law"), the final word; just one sage's opinion,
often at odds with other sages. (And not having seen that medrash, I can
conjecture that its meaning is that only compared to Avraham and Rivka
was Eliezer "bad," unworthy of continuing Avraham's lineage.)
        If Eliezer was really bad, he would not have received so many
verses detailing his proper conduct, at the same time getting no "bad
press" in the Torah.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 12:21:43 EST
Subject: Re: Standing for Choson & Kallah

<< The one explanation that I have heard that makes sense, is that you
 stand up for someone who is doing an important mitzva.

 Proof of this: Why do you stand up by Vaverach Dovid (part of Shachris)?
 Rav Yaakov Kamentzky TZ"L explains that there was a custom (still
 practiced) to collect tzedoka during this time because of the line
 V'hosher V'hacoved Me'lifonecha (Wealth and honor come from You). We
 stand up in honor of the Gabbai Tzedokah (collector of the charity) who
 is performing an important mitzva >>

2 questions

1. The minhag for giving tzedakah at that point IIRC is brought down by
the magen avraham based on the arizal(I'll check when I have sfarim
available) only after the primary approach of giving tzedaka before
davening.  How do we justify the interruption if we are not at that
level (and it is an interruption when someone walks around clanging the
box or peoiple push by you to get to it)

2. Why do we stay standing so long, iirc the minhag was when the kahal
said that pasuk

Joel Rich


From: <Yisyis@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 13:05:56 EST
Subject: Re: Tachanun and a Groom

          I thought in the precense of a chatan tachanun is omitted?

That is precisely my point.  A choson who attends shacharis the week
after the chupah allows the kahal to omit tachanun.  As a gabbai, I can
tell you that if the choson attends shacharis the morning before the
chupah, the kahal does not get out of saying tachanun.  The question
then stands that if Choson Domeh L'Melech only after the chupah, why do
we stand for him before but not afterwards?


End of Volume 38 Issue 12