Volume 40 Number 20
                 Produced: Thu Jul 24  6:58:00 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carrying on Yom Tov (2)
         [Yehuda Landy, Gershon Dubin]
Danger and Driving (2)
         [Yitzchak Moran, <chips@...>]
Mar Zutra's Rebellion
         [Aryeh Levine]
"The Rebbe"
         [Rabbi Yisroel Finman]
Zemirot Friday Night during Summer
         [Yehonatan Chipman]


From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 13:00:42 +0300
Subject: Carrying on Yom Tov

> The rule is really quite simple: although halacha does not require the
> melacha to be for the purpose of food, it does have to be for *a*
> purpose of Yom Tov.  This means, for example, that one may not carry a
> ring of keys that includes car or office keys if all one needs for Yom
> Tov is the house key.
> If one stays at one's parents for the first day and then walks to one's
> inlaws for the second, for instance, one may not take along clothes for
> the next day because although they're needed for the next day, they are
> not a tzorech Yom Tov for today.

Hi there.

	The first case (key chain) you mentioned is correct. In the
second case it would be prohibited even in the case of an eruv, becuse
it involves hachanah for the next day.
													Yehuda Landy

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 15:52:43 GMT
Subject: re: Carrying on Yom Tov

I know; I was going to put in a disclaimer to that effect. But all it
takes is a little imagination to come up with scenarios; not tzorech Yom
Tov is anything but unusual.



From: Yitzchak Moran <dougom@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 11:01:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Danger and Driving

On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 19:39:17 -0400, Russell J Hendel wrote:

>The Rav (Rabbi Dr Joseph B Soloveitchick) once personally confirmed to
>me (in response to a question that I asked him individually after shiur)
>that accidental killing in a speeding car is classified as NEAR-WILLFUL
>murder (2nd degree murder--in Jewish law there are 5 degrees)
>There are legal consequences to this - If I kill someone in a speeding
>car and their relative kills me (in revenge) then there is no death
>penalty. I also do not go to the refuge cities.
>It IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS from this that violating the speed limit is a
>direct violation of THOU SHALL NOT KILL (and this is true whether you
>kill someone or not).

With due respect to Russell, it seems to me that this only follows *if*
the posted speed limit *is actually* the maximum safe speed.  This is in
fact often not the case.  Consider the following:

*) For years, the national maximum speed was set by federal fiat, and
based on automobile fuel efficiency needs, not safety.  Would it have
been a direct halachic violation of Thou Shall Not Murder to violate the
speed limit in, say, Montana on a clear, summer day on an empty highway
(where the posted speed limit is now 75)?  I submit it would not.  In a
similar vein, maximum posted speeds on particular roads are sometimes
below (even well below) the actual safe speed for various reasons that
may have little or nothing to do with vehicular safety (noise abatement,
for example).  I've noticed that in Texas, posted speed limits tend to
be higher than they are in what appear to me to be exactly the same
conditions as on a very similar road in California.  I suspect that this
has more to do with the politics in each state than with road safety.

*) Maximum posted speeds are not necessarily the maximum safe speed for
your particular vehicle.  A safe speed for, say, a cement truck is going
to be far below that of, say, a small sports car.

*) Road conditions can also effect maximum safe speed (usually
downward).  A road that is safe at 55 MPH in dry conditions will
obviously not be safe in icy and dark conditions.

My point here is that we should be very careful when trying to draw
halachic conclusions from something so frangible and subject to
political manipulation as posted speed limits, particularly in an area
as important as Thou Shalt Not Murder.  Indeed, while Law and Halacha
often intersect, they don't always, and we should be careful as Jews
about that.  The classic example for me has always been the case of
Kitty Genovese, who was murdered in full view of dozens of people in
nearby apartments, none of whom called the police.  Their silence is
legal, but it is not halachic.



From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 06:37:40 -0700
Subject: Re: Danger and Driving

> The Rav (Rabbi Dr Joseph B Soloveitchick) once personally confirmed to
> me (in response to a question that I asked him individually after shiur)
> that accidental killing in a speeding car is classified as NEAR-WILLFUL
> murder (2nd degree murder--in Jewish law there are 5 degrees)

This was/is not a unique position of Rav J.B. Soloveitchick. I learned
this way in Yeshiva and I recall R. Moshe Tendler giving an unofficial
"psak" that way as well.



From: Aryeh Levine <aryehdl@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 10:34:10 -0400
Subject: Mar Zutra's Rebellion

I just learned about a small rebellion led by Mar Zutra (the Reish
Galuta) against the Persians.  The story goes something like this: a
radical sect of the Zorastrians forced through laws which were very bad
for the Jews.  They were forced to close yeshivot and stop studying
torah, and there was a law against saying Shema (since the Zoroastrians
beleived in two rival gods, not one).  Rabbis were killed.  In response,
Mar Zutra gathered a small army of Jews, and established a small but
independent kingdom for a period of seven years, until the king of
persia defeates his army and killed him.  (see pg. 221 in Grayzel's
History of the Jews, or around 290 in Rabbi Wein's Echoes of Glory) My
question is this: what do the people who treat the 3 shvuot at the end
of ketuvot (110b) as halachikly binding do with this event?  It would
seem to be in direct opposition to shvua number two, "shelo yimridu
b'umot ha'olam," not to rebel against the nations.  Although it was a
time of hardship, there were plenty such times in Jewish history; if the
3 shvu'ot were binding, how could Mar Zutra do this?

    I don't want to get into a discussion about the 3 shvu'ot, I assume
it has been discussed in this forum before, and I am aware of the
various opinions in the matter, including those who say "it is only
aggad'ta, it only describes the reality, it is not a command" or "even
if it is meant to be halachik, we don't paskin that way."  I just want
to know how those who hold that the shvuot are or were once binding
halachikly deal with this issue.

[Added submission - Mod.]

As an addendum to my post about Mar Zutra's rebellion, I would like to
pre-empively respond to the following response:

"Why do you have a problem with Mar Zutra's rebellion?  Why not Bar
Kokhba's?  Or the Great Rebellion?  Or Ezra's mass aliyah? (Violating
the first shvu'a, Shelo Ya'alu B'Choma)"

The reason Mar Zutra's rebellion in particular is challenging to the 3
shvu'ot is because it happened after the discussion recorded in the
gemara.  The shvu'ot are said in the name of Rabbi Yosi Bar Chanina, an
Amora who was born about a century before Mar Zutra.  Presumably, those
who hold that the shvu'ot are halachikly binding must make exceptions
for all of the rebellions and independence and aliyah that took place in
the Second Commonwealth, since otherwise it would not make sense why
Rabbi Akiva supported Bar Kokhba's rebellion, or why Reish Lakish
critisizes the bavlim for not making aliyah en masse in the time of Ezra
(Yoma 9b).  There are plenty other examples where the second shivat
tzion is looked upon favorably, and there were many other small
rebellions besides the Great Rebellion and Bar Kokhba's, such as the
Diaspora Rebellion around 115 C.E.

Therefore, those who hold of the 3 Shvuot must say that they did not
apply until the galut, the most likely cutoff period being the time when
they were said by Rabbi Yosi Bar Chanina.  That is why the rebellion of
Mar Zutra, and no other event (to my knowledge) might be a challenge to
those opinions.  I look forward to hearing possible answers,

Kol Tuv,
Aryeh Levine


From: <NISHMAT@...> (Rabbi Yisroel Finman)
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 09:17:36 EDT
Subject: Re: "The Rebbe"

Both Yonaton Chipman and Robert Tolchin both make valid points as to the
use of the phrase "the Rebbe" as referring to the last Lubavitcher
Rebbe.  I believe that Robert's semantic points need to be examined
beyond their semantic applications.

True, the use of the phrase the rebbe or the city or the president are
only relevant in their own context.

While if I am in the Hamptons and I say that I am going to the city, the
reference can be understood to mean Manhattan becasue most Hamptons
visitors have a connection to Manhattan. If I were in the Hamptons and
speaking solely with a group from another city, the clearly understood
city would not be Manhattan.  If I were outside of San Francisco and
talked about returning to the city, no one would think that I was
referring to Manhattan.

The same with the use of the phrase the president.If I were to be
talking with my congregants about the President's involvement with
terrorism, the clearly understood reference would be toward the
President of the country. But if I were to say that the president is
looking for ways of getting more of our congregants involved in
synagogue activities, the obvious reference would be to the shul's
president, not to the President of the United States.

Likewise with the use of the phrase "The Rebbe". when Lubavitchers are
using the phrase, the obvious reference is to THEIR rebbe, the late Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Schneerson, ztl. When using the phrase "The Rebbe" in
the Satmar or Bobov batei medrashim, the very obvious reference would be
to their respective rebbes.

Either by virtue of my connection to my own rebbe, who was a ben bayis
of the Freidike Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rabbi Menachem Mendel's original
shliach, to Rabbi Sholom Gordon, the rabbi at my grandmother's shul in
New Jersey, who was one of the early shlichim or by my own presence as a
very regular visitor to Crown Heights, I have been interacting with the
Lubavitch community for over thirty years. There was a time when a
Lubavitcher chosid would refer to his rebbe as the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
not as The Rebbe. The use of the phrase "The Rebbe" as refering
exclusively to the last Lubavitcher Rebbe began about twenty years ago,
when Lubavitch began reaching well beyond their small enclave in Crown

Robert's assumption that many people are set on edge by the Lubavitch
approach and are therefore critical is definately the real isue. But the
being set on edge is not unwarrented. The assumption that most people
who are tuned into Jewish issues know that the intention of the use of
the phrase "The Rebbe" refers the most recent Lubavitcher Rebbe is only
because of the arrogance of the Lubavitch community in believing and
asserting that only their rebbe is the only Prince of the world/the King
of the world/the Rebbe of the world/the Moshiach of the world.

To assert that "The Rebbe" automatically refers to the last Lubavitcher
Rebbe is analogous to referring to a facial tissue as a Kleenex.  They
initially captured a sizable portion of the market and people often use
one word when referring to another. While in the scheme of all things,
it is fairly irrelevant whether a facial tissue is a Kleenex or another
brand, referring to one's personal rebbe as if he were the only relevant
rebbe is dishonest, arrogant and offensive to many devout Jews who are
purposefully shunted as irrelevant by all together too many Chabadnik
Chassidim in their own desire to revere their own rebbe.

The use of the acrynom Chabad by their group is valid, in as much as the
approach developed by The Alter Rebbe, at the behest of his rebbe, The
Mezritcher Magid, was to develope a highly intellectual approach to
Chassidus that could be accepted in the highly intellectual world of

The use of the city, Lubavitch, as referring to one specific group of
chassidim is also valid, since chassidim have always been called by the
name of the city/town in which their rebbe lived.There has never been
any assumption that all residents of a city are followers of the
chassidic rebbe who resided there.

The same just cannot be said in reference to Lubavitcher Chassidim's
utilization of the phrase the rebbe. There is no exclusivity in either
the phrase nor the position.

Rabbi Yisroel Finman


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 14:13:23 +0300
Subject: Re: Zemirot Friday Night during Summer

Martin Stern asked:

    <<Many Jews from Germany do not to sing zemirot on Friday night in
the summer (from Shabbat Hagadol till Shabbat Bereishit). The obvious
reason is the late onset of Shabbat in the northern hemisphere at that
time of the year but does anyone know of any written reference to this

       I've seen this custom mentioned in writing in a collection
entitled "Yalkut Minhagim; Minhagei Shivtei Yisrael," published by the
Religious Education Department of the Israel Ministry of Education and
Culture. (Jerusalem, 1977; but it's since been reissued and expanded)
The book includes a section on "Minhagei Yahadut Ashkenaz" (in the
narrow sense of Southern and Western Germany), by Avigdur Unna, a
well-known Israeli religious educator who grew up in Germany.

      On p. 12 (under the heading of Shabbat, sect 2.9), he writes: "On
the long winter nights, beginning with Shabbat Bereshit and through
Shabbat Hagadol, one sings zemirot during the course of the meal, and
also at the noon meal one sings zemirot during this period...."  He goes
on to talk about "Shir Hama'alot."  The restriction of zemirot to the
winter months for the midday meal as well is most surprising.

   Yehonatan Chipman


End of Volume 40 Issue 20