Volume 40 Number 16
                 Produced: Mon Jul 21  5:16:50 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Aretz vs Adama (2)
         [Yaakov Fogelman, Jeanette Friedman]
Carrying on Yom Tov (was: Little Red Wagon and Shabbat)
         [Akiva Miller]
Dina Dmalchuta
         [Joel Rich]
Dina D'Malchuta Dina
         [Ira Bauman]
Halacha and Danger
         [Jeanette Friedman]
How to Name
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Levi-in-doubt pidyon
         [Raphi Cohen]
Levites washing hands of kohanim
         [Raphi Cohen]
What to do with the nest
         [Robert Israel]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 05:03:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

One member has email me that recently it appears that he has been missing
getting several of the issues. To understand if this is a individual issue
or a system-wide issue, if there are other people who have been missing
issues or having other problems with the delivery of mail-jewish issues,
please send me email with a description.

Thanks in advance,

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Yaakov Fogelman <top@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 18:29:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Aretz vs Adama

Re: Inquiry of Chas. Levi, as to why we thank God for bringing forth bread 
from "haaretz", rather than "mhaadama"- I heard, in the name of the Vilna 
Gaon, that the choice of "haaretz" is to teach an additional language, 
that all bread, i.e. all food, is given to the world only in response to 
how the Jews live in Israel; if they treat the model holy land as such, in 
their merit the whole world is well-fed and c.c. Avot (5:10-12 in 
Artscrolls siddur) discusses this regarding observance of shmitta laws. I 
have lots of such interesting items in my weekly e-mail free parasha 
studies, English and Hebrew; send me your e-mail address to get on the list(s).

From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 11:51:42 EDT
Subject: Re: Aretz vs Adama

                  No doubt there's a simple answer to this that I just
      don't know, but:

                  Why does the bracha (blessing) for vegetables use the
      word "adama" - "ground" but the bracha for bread thanks/praises
      God for bringing it out of the "aretz" - "land"?

my grandchildren inform me, confirmed by my daughter, that there is a
frum rabbi who says that if veggies and fruits are hydroponic, you make
a shehakol. Interesting, indeed. He has a tape on that and on what you
need to feed your pets and other animals.

jeanette friedman


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 15:47:19 GMT
Subject: Carrying on Yom Tov (was: Little Red Wagon and Shabbat)

Chaim Tatel correctly pointed out <<< There most certainly is an issur
of hotzaa on Yom Tov.  The only items we are allowed to transfer (carry)
are those needed for Yom Tov.  If you don't need it, you must leave
it. ... The only possible change to this would be the existence of an
eruv ... you will find that many cities which have an eruv will require
the inspection before each Yom Tov. >>>

Unfortunately, many people do not understand this, and (like the
original poster) they think that carrying outside IS okay on a regular
Yom Tov, and the only times it is forbidden is on Shabbos and Yom

In fact, it seems to me that there is at least one city in which the
Eruv is *NOT* operational on a regular Yom Tov, so that residents must
be careful to carry only things which are needed, as Chaim explained.

I strongly recommend that everyone who lives in a place which has an
eruv, to check with their rabbi to find out whether it is operational on
a regular Yom Tov or not.

Regarding the city where I understand it to be *not* operational on Yom
Tov, that is based on these quotes from their website:

http://tinyurl.com/hhld <<< All these conditions have been met in order
to create the [name of city] Eruv, and it will therefore be permissible,
within the area described below and according to the conditions herein
detailed, to carry on Shabbat and Yom Kippur. >>>

http://tinyurl.com/hhle <<< You need to get permission from every
organization or entity whose property you use as part of the border of
your Eruv. ... We created a certificate-sized document attesting to the
fact that ... the area within the Eruv would belong to the [Eruv
Corporation] for only the purpose of carrying on Shabbat and Yom Tov
that falls on Shabbat and Yom Kippur. >>>

I have hidden the name of the city, so that if someone wants to remain
unaware of which city I'm referring to, they can easily choose to remain
unaware. But they should still check with their rabbi to find out their
personal situation. Anyone who *does* want to know which city I'm
talking about can easily click on those links.

BTW, that website does give an email address for people with additional
questions, and I contacted that person about a year ago. We exchanged
several emails, and I was unable to explain my point of view
sufficiently well to him. IIRC, he seemed to think that the possibility
that of someone carrying something on Yom Tov that he doesn't need was
pretty far-fetched and not worth worrying about.

Akiva Miller


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 13:23:13 EDT
Subject: Dina Dmalchuta

<< On that note, let's jump to the second, and much more likely case: DMD
 only applies to specific cases of dinei mamonot. Some sources: >>

FWIW there are at least 6 theories brought down as to the source of Shmuel's 
seemingly universally accepted statement "DMD". You can consider the reach of 
DMD based on each theory:

1. Popular acceptance of the King's laws
2. Royal ownership of all the country's land
3. Ownership by conquest
4. Popular acceptance of King's sovereignty
5.Bnai Noach must set up courts(dinim)
6. Hefker Bet din Hefker(court's ability to expropriate property)

Joel Rich


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 12:33:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Dina D'Malchuta Dina

The discussion of Dina D'Malchuta Dina allows me an opening into a
question that I have long pondered.  We always assume that Judaism
demands of us a higher ethical standard than does the surrounding
culture.  While this may be true on the whole, there are examples where
the reverse is true.  An example of this is insider trading.  The SEC
sees this as an ethical failing.  In a question to Rav Tamari, who has
authored books on business ethics, he told me that having more
information than your competitors never was a reason for not acting on
that information.  This was part of doing business.  Therefore, insider
trading was not seen as a problem in halacha.

Granted, we are prohibited from insider trading because of DD'MD.  Is
that the only reason?  Do we incorporate the American ethical standard
as part of our Jewish standard or begrudgingly comply because of DD'MD
and the fear of exposure and the subsequent chilul hashem?

Ira Bauman


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 12:01:19 EDT
Subject: Re: Halacha and Danger

      So going into space as the first man or trying any new invention
      that involves some danger might not be permitted.

Except that there is research being done in space for medical research
to make our lives better, to find cures, etc.

jeanette friedman


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 22:23:46 +0300
Subject: Re: How to Name

In MJ v40n13, Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...> wrote:

<<As a gabbai, I was told to call someone using his maternal
grandfather's name.  I know someone, whose maternal grandfather also was
not Jewish and did not remember the maternal great grandfather's name,
so he asked we use his mother's name.>>

      It's interesting that in the Tanakh, the mother's name is
sometimes used in polygamous families, so as to indicate to which branch
of the family a particular child belonged,  e.g., the sons of King
David.  We thus have.....  "Adoniyahu ben Hagit," and so forth.
     I also know of one case where a matronym is used on the gravestone
of a person whose father was non-Jewish.
      Yehonatan Chipman


From: Raphi Cohen <raphi@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 06:59:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Levi-in-doubt pidyon

<gasher@...> (A. M. Goldstein) asked:
> If there is a safek (doubt) about one's being of Levi lineage, should
> a first-born boy (bachor) in this family line have a pidyon ha-ben
> [redemption of first-born-male ceremony]

<gershon.dubin@...> answers:
>> [...] The halacha is, hamotzi mechavero alav haraya: the burden of
>> proof is on the kohen, and since he is obviously no more capable of
>> knowing than us, there's no pidyon haben.

I would like to respectfully point out that there is a machloket poskim
with regard to this problem, around the question whether we judge the
doubts by the majority: most Jews (and most first-borns) being not Cohen
nor Levi, a pidyon is required for them. Should we go by that when in
doubt? This is called "Holchim acharei harov" i.e. we follow the
majority of cases.

Your very nice answer is in line with the psak of the Tzemach Tzedek
(Shu"t 125). The reasoning behind this psak is that in Monetary Laws we
do NOT go after the majority of cases, i.e. even though the majority of
first-borns requires a pidyon, we do not require one for a boy we are
not 100% certain that he is not a Levi and not a Cohen. Many acharonim
agree with the Tz"Tz (see Shu"t Shoel Umeshiv 6,9; Shu"t Kol Arieh 82;
Ot Brit 125; Shu"t Helkat Yoav Yo"D 26; Shu"t Sheilat Yaakov 32).

Several poskim disagree with the above, and ruled that pidyon should be
done. The nature of the disagreement is around the fact that we DO
ALREADY follow the majority for EVERY pidyon. This for 2 reasons:

1) We generally assume the official father of the boy is really the
father of the boy. But what if he is not? We still assume he is and make
a pidyon. We do this every day. This proves that we already follow the
majority of cases (as the official father of the boy is almost always
the real father of the boy) for all pidyonim (Shu"t Tuv Tam Vadaat 3rd
ed. p.B 130)

2) How do we know that the boy will live until he is 12 months and he
therefore requires a pidyon? If he does not live until 12 month (G-d
forbid) he is a treifah and is therefore exempted. But how do we know
after only 30 days? The fact that regardless the above doubt we perform
pidyon after 30 days proves that we already follow the majority of cases
for all pidyonim (Shu"t Bnei Tzion 104-105).

Some poskim explain their disagreement with the Tz"Tz's ruling with the
reasoning that we do not go after the majority of cases only when
Monetary Laws are judged alone (with no other laws involved). BTW, we
can also find exemples of Matanot Aniim where we do follow the majority
of cases for Monetary Laws.

Some poskim (Migdal Oz A-28; Ot Brit 121 in the name of the Chatam
Sofer) allow the father to give the pidion money under the condition
that it is returned, which IIRC in regular pidionim would disqualify the
whole mitzvah. Others (Elgazi Bechorot 8-67) allow the father to be
"Yafrish Veyizkeh", i.e. put aside the money for the pidyon and take it
back. I assume that in both these situations no blessing would be said.
Others require the full pidyon, where the money is really given and the
full blessing is said.

When in doubt, a posek should be asked to judge. Some cases have a
safek, some have only a safek sfeka (double doubt) and therefore might
require a full pidyon.

May we only hear of smachot.

Raphi Cohen


From: Raphi Cohen <raphi@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 07:09:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Levites washing hands of kohanim

Shlomo &Syma Spiro <spiro@...> write:
>> [...] Now who opened the spigots?  Very likely the Levites who were
>> there to assist the kohanim.  (Unless, of course, the kohanim opened
>> the spigots and then grasped their feet while the water was
>> running--a waste of precious sanctified water)

<DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman) adds:
>> It was most likely the latter.  I don't think the Gemara would leave
>> out such a significant detail of the daily routine in the Bais
>> Hamikdash. [...]

The Gemara does not leave that completely out. The Cohen who performed
the Trumat Hadeshen went alone to the Mizbeach area and washed
alone. This is clearly stated in the last Mishnah of the first chapter
of Tamid.

If I remember correctly, the Cohen who won the lotery for Trumat
Hadeshen, the first Avoda of the day, went alone to the Mizbeach, but
was commanded to wash before he performed his Avoda. Cohanim were not
allowed to accompany him, so they used to recommend he does not forget
to wash before he touches the shovel (that would disqualify the
Avoda). Their view being covered by the ramp, they only learned that
things went OK when they heard the cover of the Kior being lifted by the

May we soon see this and all other Avodot with our own eyes.

Raphi Cohen


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 13:32:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: What to do with the nest

Sam Saal wrote:

| This may be the worst of all possible worlds. As someone else pointed
| out, once a human touches the eggs or young, the mother will reject them
| and they will surely die.

That widely accepted bubbe-mayse is quite wrong.  See for example
<http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/babybird.htm> or
<http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/guideto.htm> for a full

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2


End of Volume 40 Issue 16