Volume 39 Number 02
                 Produced: Sat Apr  5 21:34:59 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beit Hilel and Beit Shammai
         [Zev Sero]
         [Binyomin Segal]
Dati Leumi
         [Mark Symons]
Dried milk on Pesach?
         [Joel Wiesen]
Kitbag Questions - ties in to MO/Charedi discussion
         [Sam Saal]
Kosher Austria
         [Stefan Sommberbichler]
         [Eli Turkel]
Open Orthodoxy
         [Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
Questioning the motivation of women who want to learn
         [Binyomin Segal]
Ulchaparat Pasha
         [Daniel Werlin]


From: Zev Sero <Zev.Sero@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 13:00:34 -0700 
Subject: Beit Hilel and Beit Shammai

Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:

> I believe that proof to this view is that even though Beis Hillel and
> Beis Shammai disagreed about questions of marriage, each accepted the
> other's marriages as valid. This was because on the deeper level, each
> decision was a valid halachic one.

No, they didn't.  This is one of the memes that are out there, spread by
people, often for political reasons, but just aren't true.  BH and BS
did *NOT* accept as kosher the offspring of those marriages which,
according to them, were forbidden.  If the brother of a follower of BS
died, leaving two wives, one of which was a relative of the BS follower,
and that BS follower married the other widow, the offspring of that
marriage were mamzerim; how can anyone imagine that anyone from BH would
marry a mamzer, chas veshalom, simply because the parents acted in good
faith, on Rabbinic advice?  And if this widow got chalitza from her BS
brother-in-law, and subsequently married a Cohen from BH, how can anyone
imagine that a Cohen from BS would marry their daughter, who, according
to BS is a chalalah (albeit only miderabanan)?

This myth, that BH and BS were prepared to waive the laws of mamzerut
and chalalut in the name of Jewish unity, or out of an idea that other
views are also correct, is spread by those who deny the authority of the
halacha, in order to attack those who are faithful to the Torah for not
emulating BH and BS in this fashion.  But it is a myth, and the message
of the mishna in Yevamot that they misrepresent is in fact the exact

Because both BH and BS sincerely cared about divining the Divine will,
and because they each recognised that the other side was equally sincere
in this quest, there were two consequences, one greater than the other.
First, parents from BH, knowing that their child was a mamzer according
to BS, would not take offense, let alone deliberately try to trick a BS
follower into marrying their child, but rather would respect BS's wish
to follow halacha as they understood it, and would not suggest such a
shidduch, no matter how much they loved their child, and how great the
child's middot, etc, and how good they thought the shidduch would be for
their child.  But, as great a demonstration of true ahavat yisrael as
this respect was, the second consequence was even greater: BS trusted BH
to respect their position, and not to propose a shidduch that they knew
BS would regard as forbidden, even though BS knew that BH truly believed
that there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, and that it was in all
other respects a good shidduch.

But certainly nobody in BH would dream of offering to BS a shidduch that
BH thought was forbidden, merely because they knew BS would have no
problem with it!  Believing, as BH did, that the shidduch was forbidden,
they had an obligation to do all they could to protect BS from stumbling
in this regard, and would never lead them into such a serious violation
of halacha, *especially* knowing that BS would have no reason to
refrain, since they believed it to be permitted.  Nor could BS offer a
Cohen from BH someone whom BS regarded as forbidden to Cohanim,
especially since they knew that the BH follower would be willing to
marry her even if he knew the facts.

Imagine having a friend who eats swordfish, believing that it is kosher,
and not only does he respect your opinion that he is a treif-eater, but
you trust him to have this respect, so much that you have no problem
eating at his home, confident that he will not give you something that
he knows you cannot eat, even though he disagrees.  That is the respect
and trust that BH and BS had for each other.  Not a willingness to
compromise halacha, but a respect for the other's integrity and
sincerity, and a trust that the other feels the same way.

Zev Sero


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 13:51:08 -0600
Subject: Re: Chumra

Freda B Birnbaum asked:
> The issue of an eruv might be equally related to whether the mothers can
> take the children to the park on Shabbos afternoon, of equal interest to
> mothers all across the spectrum.  Why all these other hidden agendas
> for/against women in shul, etc.?

I concede. My point was not really to fully evaluate the eruv question
as to give an example of how the evaluation might be different. I agree
that the park on shabbos afternoon is a valid part of the equation (oneg



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: Dati Leumi

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> Has anyone noticed that while its name is the "National Religious Party"
> (NRP), it's Hebrew name is MaFDal, "Miflagah Datit Le'umit" - literally,
> "the Religious National Party"?

I think that the way to say National Religious Party IS Miflagah Datit
Le'umit, just as, say Big Religious Party would be Miflagah Datit
Gedolah, ie the order of the words in English is the reverse of the
Hebrew in an expression like this.

Mark Symons
Melbourne, Australia


From: Joel Wiesen <Wiesen@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2003 06:24:55 -0500
Subject: Dried milk on Pesach?

What can you tell me concerning dried milk on Pesach?  Is it similar to
fresh milk?  Can kosher dried milk bought before Pesach be used on
Pesach without a special hechsher for Pesach?

Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director, Applied Personnel Research
27 Judith Road, Newton, Massachusetts 02459-1715
(617) 244-8859


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 10:00:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: re: Kitbag Questions - ties in to MO/Charedi discussion

Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:

>Without answering his question, I'd like to throw in a famous Yiddish
>saying which has relevance:

>"Az men fregt, is es treif" - which, translated, states, "If you ask,
>it's treif," which I suppose would be equivalent to letting sleeping
>dogs lie.

In a practical sense, this has always been true, but a friend once
pointed out to me that the Talmud states (I don't know where) that it's
easy to say 'no' (but it takes some scholarship to say yes).  Isn't this
what we should be striving for?

Sam Saal


From: Stefan Sommberbichler <stefan@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 13:31:37 +0200
Subject: Kosher Austria

Austria is no longer difficult to visit for religious jews because
finally a Kosher Hotel in Austria is open

We are glad to inform you, that our hotel Knappenhof in
Saalbach-Hinterglemm ( Salzburg; AUSTRIA ) is kosher run.  Our Hotel
Knappenhof is under the supervision of the kashrus Committee Khal
Yisroel Rabbi A. Y. Schwartz, Vienna.

Please visit : www.kosherhotel.at

Kind regards
Stefan Sommerbichler
Kosher Hotel Knappenhof
5754 Hinterglemm


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 08:30:57 GMT
Subject: Motivation

> Does anyone *ever* question the motivations of men who want to learn
> become observant ??  Is it ever said of any man that his reasons for
> wanting to learn are *suspect* ?

Just to be fair there are cases where man is required to do a motzvah
and a woman is not.

As a simple example we usually limit the time that a man wears tefillin
since it requires a clean body that one is wearing the tefillin. Hence,
ideally we would completely overr-de the mitzvah of tefillin in modern
days at least for the average man. Since, it is a mitzvah to wear the
tefillin this was not done and instead in was restricted to prayer time
in the morning. In olden days it was worn for longer and even today
there are a few individuals who wear tefillin all day long. Except for
one who does indeed wear it all day long the question of his motivation
is immaterial. He is required to wear tefillin for at least part of the

If a woman would decide to wear tefillin (leaving aside the individual
shittah of begged ish) the question of motivation and sincereity becomes
a major issue. Since, wearing tefillin presents a problem of not having
the right physical and mental conditions the woman would need to justify
why her specific case overrides these concerns.

 Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 04/01/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 21:17:55 +0300
Subject: Re:  Open Orthodoxy

       Re the most appropriate term for that community of thought that
is committed to halakhah, but open to modernity, secular studies,
pluralism of ideas within halakhah, etc.: I once suggested to Rabbi
Mickey Rosen of Yakar in Jerusalem use of the term "non-conformist
Orthodoxy."  He liked it.

    The term was used historically within English Protestantism,
originally in the 17th century, to denote those, including a large group
of clergy, who dissented from the doctrine of the Church of England and,
according to "The Reader's Encyclopedia," refused to submit to "the
conditions of the Act of Uniformity--i.e, 'unfeigned assent to all and
everything contained in the Book of Common Prayer.'"

    Those of us who are loyal to Torah and mitzvot, but dissent from the
doctrine of "da'as Toirah" and obedience to the so-called "gedolim," are
in an analogous situation.

    Yehonatan Chipman


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 15:07:49 -0600
Subject: Re: Questioning the motivation of women who want to learn

Paul Shaviv asks:
> Does anyone *ever* question the motivations of men who want to learn /
> become observant ??  Is it ever said of any man that his reasons for
> wanting to learn are *suspect* ?

In fact, my point was that we ALWAYS question a person's motives when
they seek to act more piously than the accepted custom. Not only is
yuhara (conceit motivated piety) forbidden, but often even "mechzi
c'yuhara" (something that appears to be, but is in fact not, yuhara) is
sufficient to forbid a practice.

> The quest for learning among contemporary women is a huge blessing for
> the Jewish people; it will bring us the spiritual insights (and, who
> knows, leadership, even) of the 50% of our people who until recently
> were our very own 'Jews of Silence'.
> We should stop this absurd, chauvinist posturing. 

Frankly, and you'll forgive the posturing please, but I think we should
stop the absurd feminist posturing as well. Certainly you are allowed
your opinion that learning for contemporary women is a huge blessing.
Many Torah scholars seem to agree. Just as clearly, many Torah scholars
see it as, at best, a mixed bag - a needed compromise with the current
world that comes with perhaps unforeseen consequences.

To suggest that these scholars are just trying to keep the women quiet
questions their integrity no less then when we question a woman's choice
to learn gemara. I have suggested a non-sexist reason for why we
question a woman's motivation. Can you similarly justify your attack on
Jewish scholars?

There are ways beside gemara to gain spiritual insight - nonacademic
ways like (you'll pardon the expression) baking cookies for a sick
person in the community. Are you SO sure that gemara learning is better
for that individual and for the community as a whole?

I can hear some say - yes, but should the person not be free to choose
which way to serve G-d? Think about that, do we really believe that we
have the right to choose how we serve G-d? What are mitzvot after all if
not G-d telling us how we MUST serve Him.

I do not mean that there are no choices - clearly there are. I am saying
however that halacha - and that includes the rabbis - have the right to
mandate things for the betterment of the individual or community. We
need to stop posturing and look to see if indeed that is what they did.

Are women allowed to learn gemara? Should women learn gemara? Is it best
for them? for the community? Good questions all - with much to be said
on both sides.



From: Daniel Werlin <Daniel.Werlin@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 14:59:06 -0500 
Subject: Ulchaparat Pasha

What minhagim do people have for the addition of "ulchaparat pasha" to
the Rosh Chodesh musaf amidah?  I've come across the following four:

1.	Said during the entire [leap] year.
So Siddur Avodat Yisrael, page 335, Siddur Eizor Eliyahu, page 306 and the
Elya Rabbah, siman 423:6 (along with a useful discussion of the  topic).

2.	Said only through Adar II of a leap year.
So the Otzar Hatefillot, II, page 6-57.

3.	Said only through Nisan of a leap year.
Although I might be misunderstanding it, it says "ad chodesh Nisan" in Sidur
Amudei Shamayim [R. Yaakov Emden], page 885-886. However, the book Ishei
Yisrael is more specific and cites a practice of "ad achar Rosh Chodesh
Nisan."  The Ishei Yisrael gives minhag #1 as the normative practice,

4.  Said only on Adar II.
This is apparently recorded in the Shu"t of the Maharam Shik (I, Siman 184)
and in Yosef Ometz (Seif 691), but I have not been able to check them

It is not always clear, though, from these sources whether the year begins
with Tishrei of the leap year, or with Nisan of the year *preceding* the
leap year and that is what I am particularly interested in...
[The whole practice seems to be a later development as neither the early
siddurim (like Saadia) or the early siddur commentaries (like Abudarham)
mention "ulchaparat pasha."]
Shabbat Shalom,
Dan Werlin


End of Volume 39 Issue 2