Volume 39 Number 57
                 Produced: Fri May 30  6:56:39 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aver min haChai
         [Michael Kahn]
Bicycles on Shabbat
         [Seth Lebowitz]
Halakha and Vaccines (5)
         [David Waxman, Leah Aharoni, Mordechai Horowitz, Rise
Goldstein, Ben Katz]
Kosherica Cruise
         [Harry Weiss]
A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem
         [Edward Ehrlich]
Sexual Indescretions and Rabbis
         [Robert Schoenfeld]


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 14:36:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Aver min haChai

>I once also heard that this was a point of contention between Yosef (who
>considered himself a Jew, and would eat meat after shechita, during
>pirkus) and his brothers (who considered themselves still to be Bnei
>Noach, and insisted on waiting till after pirkus). This was given as the
>meaning of their claim to Ya`akov that Yosef would eat "ever min

This is written by the Prashas Drachim who wrote the Mishna Lamelech on
the Rambam


From: Seth Lebowitz <SLebowitz@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 18:08:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

Does the putative prohibition of using a baby stroller or wheel chair on
shabbat operate across the board (i.e. without regard to whether one is
in an urban area where rolling across grass might range from easily
avoidable to nearly impossible)?

Seth Lebowitz


From: David Waxman <yitz99@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 03:15:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Halakha and Vaccines

As I understand it, we are required to safeguard our health in a
reasonable manner given the best information currently available.  Thus,
the halachic issue morphes into a medical one.  What is the best thing
to do given the best medical information available?

I did a bit of research into this issue when our first child was born.
I'd rather not post my conclusions here for two reasons:

1. This in not a medical forum.
2. I'm not a medical professional.


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 14:05:17 +0200
Subject: Halakha and Vaccines

Rav Shlomo Aviner was asked this question a couple of years ago and
ruled that one SHOULD vaccinate children, since this is the standard
recommendation of medical practitioners.

Also, the probability of dangerous side effects is very low and is far
less than nezek matzui.

Leah Aharoni
English/Hebrew/Russian Translator
Telefax 972-2-9971146, Mobile 972-56-852571
Email <leah25@...>

From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 08:36:43 -0400
Subject: Halakha and Vaccines

If you believe the secular scientific evidence that vaccines are
dangerous to children then it is prohibited to vaccinate your children.
Halachically the requirement is to do what will make them healthy.  The
answer is based on science not halacha.

Because this is a religious list and not one on childrearing or health I
won't go into the details of why a growing number of people think
vaccines are dangerous.  But I suggest any parent to be seriously review
the evidence.  There is no legal requirement to give your child a
vaccine if you believe it is dangerous.  All states has laws allowing
you to opt out of them.

From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 06:24:34 -0700
Subject: Halakha and Vaccines

I'm not aware of rabbinic opinions on this subject.  However, as an
epidemiologist, albeit not a specialist in infectious diseases, I do
know that there are certain vaccines whose safety has been questioned.
NOTE: in general, the weight of the scientific evidence is
*overwhelmingly* convincing, both substantively and methodologically,
that most vaccines are safe for most children, most of the time.
However, if a particular vaccine were causally associated with a
sufficiently high number of adverse events, it would make sense to me
that a poseq might come down on the side of prohibiting it, at least for
children with known risk factors for bad outcomes.

Lehavdil, or perhaps not, careful physicians have advised caution in
administering live, attenuated polio vaccine to children with *any*
household member who has a compromised immune system, since the
vaccinated child sheds virus through his or her digestive tract.
Activities like changing diapers, or eating food that might have been
contaminated by a child whose hands were not thoroughly washed after he
or she attended to excretory functions, could yield a devastating attack
of polio for an immunocompromised household member.

As an aside, or maybe not, safety concerns are rearing their heads in
big ways now regarding mass smallpox vaccinations; the vaccine for
smallpox is the most toxic one in contemporary usage.  The toxicity was
long considered acceptable given the devastating effects, and frequency,
of smallpox epidemics before the end of the 20th century.  However, the
extent to which we might, has veshalom, be at risk from smallpox
outbreaks caused by bioterrorists is very difficult to quantify.
Therefore, the risk/benefit ratio of mass vaccination campaigns (vs.,
for example, immediate postexposure vaccination of secondary contacts of
smallpox cases--since there is time *after* exposure for vaccination
still to be protective) is a topic of heated debate in the public health
world.  I wonder if there are any teshuvot out there in response to this
particular issue?

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 13:36:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Halakha and Vaccines

         Just the opposite.  Since you are putting yourself your family
and your community in danger if you don't vaccinate it should be assur
not to vaccinate.

         BTW I also had a sefirah questiobn.  I have always wondered
(altho this never came up so I never asked): what if you miscount one
night and you realize your mistake the next night.  Can you continue
counting with a beracha?

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: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 14:49:50 -0700 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Kosherica Cruise

My wife and I took a cruise with the last year and thoroughly enjoyed
it.  They seem to select on the better ships.

They do their own catering on the ships.  (They are a part of Lako
Family Tours, for those familar with their programs.)

The food was very good.  Buffet dairy breakfast and meat lunch and
dinner.  They also had snacks in the evening, though not the fancy
midnight buffet (we were usually asleep by then anyhow).

They did have an Askenaz and Sephard minyan every morning and evening.
Shabbos eleveator and room access were taken care of it.  In addition to
the regular cruise entertainment, on our cruise they has Shlomo Simcha
who did a couple of excellent shows and was Baal Tefilah on Shabbat.

Most ships have a reputation of a Senion Citizen's group, but the kosher
group (about 20% of the ship) had a wide spectrum of ages and numerous


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 21:32:28 +0300
Subject: Re: A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem

Ben Z. Katz wrote:
>	There are halachot that only apply to groups of Jews (ie a
>minyan) - eg devarim shebikdusha, like reading Torah shabat morning or
>repeating the amidah with the kedusha.  So there are mitzvot that only
>roups of Jews but not individual Jews can perform.

I know this may sound pedantic, but all Mitzvot are performed by
individual Jews.  There are many mitzvoth which require the presence of
a Minyan for the individual Jew to perform the mitzvah.  For instance, a
minyan must be present in order for someone to recite Kaddish.  But it
is still individuals who are either reciting the Kaddish or replying to

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 16:13:31 -0400
Subject: Sexual Indescretions and Rabbis

Newsday NY <www.newsday.com> has been running stories about Rabbis who
have had charges against them for molesting children. They specifically
mention that the incidents seem to be about the same as in the general
population and not as large as the Catholic Priests.

Robert Schoenfeld


End of Volume 39 Issue 57