Volume 40 Number 89
                 Produced: Thu Oct 16  5:59:53 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Clothing (2)
         [Carl Singer, Martin D Stern]
Damo berosho
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Getting a leg up
         [c. halevi]
Hebrew copies
         [Joseph Rosen]
Ribis and Inflation in Halacha
         [Levy Lieberman]
Shidduch alternatives
         [Tzadik Vanderhoof]
Unsupervised Bars
         [Gil Student]
Women's Clothing over Time
         [Leah S. Gordon]
"Yarden" a place name or geographic term? (4)
         [Mike Gerver, Simon Wanderer, Robert Israel, Arnie Kuzmack]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 16:20:34 -0400
Subject: Clothing

We may be a bit off topic -- As a mere male / husband -- I think there
is a wide variety of appropriate (modest) clothing that is temperature /
climate appropriate.  Hopefully, women dress to please themselves and to
convey whatever image it is that they wish to.  I imagine that there are
those (both male and female) who dress "for others" -- that's certainly
their prerogative.

Carl Singer

From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D Stern)
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 12:29:54 EDT
Subject: Re: Clothing

In a message dated 24 Sep 2003, Rachel Swirsky <swirskyr@...> wrote 
regarding the tendency of young women to expose themselves in public:

<< Of course there are physiological differences.  Women run hot or cold 
depending on hormone levels at different points in their lives.  Have you never 
hear of hot flashes?  Women run hotter when they are carrying another person 
inside of them.  Sweat in places men do not. Try holding a solid backpack against 
your chest for a whole day in the heat and then ask your question again.>>

    Her comments are interesting but hardly relevant since the main
problem is not women in general but young single ones. Hot flashes are a
menopausal symptom hardly likely to affect the latter and, hopefully,
pregnancy would also not be a factor. As far as I am aware, the
distribution of sweat glands is much the same in both sexes so, apart
from those points of anatomical distinction to which she alludes, there
should not be any such places as she asserts.  Possibly, wearing tight
and constrictive clothing might inhibit the evaporation of sweat and
cause discomfort but such clothes are in any case halachically
objectionable. There is no real reason, apart from the dictates of
fashion and the yetser hara, for women not to wear loose fitting clothes
which cover all the halachically mandated areas of their bodies and feel
reasonably comfortable.

    In reply to Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>, I have "not been to
the Upper West Side, where plenty of attention-grabbing on both sides
[of the gender divide] is apparent" but I very much doubt if things are
significantly different to what happens in Europe. However, the
wrongdoings of some men does not justify those of some women, as he
would seem to suggest.

    Martin D Stern


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 10:22:14 EDT
Subject: Damo berosho

Raphael Davidovich (MJv40n83) asks for a reference for:
> According to the Gemara, anyone eating peeled garlic or onions, or
> shelled eggs that have remained overnight is endangering himself. The
> Gemara's language is "damo berosho", literally "his blood is upon his
> head".

This is indeed in Bavli, Nidda 17a.

There is a long list of acts that can cause a person to endanger himself
which were labeled as "damo berosho" such as:

1. If one sleeps in the east side of his barn (Kallah 1:13; Berachot 40a)
2. If one eat ox's meat with "lefet" (some kind of turnip) on the night
of the 14th or 15th day of the moon (i.e., full moon), and who sleeps
outside on these moonfull nights, even in Tekufat Tamuz (Kallah Rabbati
3. He who comes from a journey, let's his blood, drinks and becomes
intoxicated and have an intercourse (all in the same night). (Derech
Eretz, Perek Hayotze 2) 
4. He who kills a louse on the bed, stands naked in front of a mirror to
the light of a candle and to light of the moon (Derech Eretz, Perek
Hayotze 3) 
5. He who drinks water which stayed uncovered overnight. (Derech Eretz,
Perek Hayotze 4; Yer. Berachot 7:11) 
6. He who drinks from rivers and springs and from midbarot? directly with
his mouth or while using [for it] only one hand. (Derech Eretz, Perek
Hayotze 5; Avoda-Zara 12b)
7. He who let his blood and was fasting (in the same time). (Derech
Eretz, Perek Hayotze 6) 
8. He who drinks double (over-drinking) (Pesachim 110a)
9. Four items cause someone to risk his own life (Damo Berosho): he who
relieves himself between the date tree and the wall,  he who passes
between two date trees, he who drinks borrowed water, he who passes over
spoiled water. (Pesachim 111a)
10. He who sleeps alone under the shade of the date tree in the court
yard, and he who sleep under the moon.( Pesachim 111a)
11. A man should not drink water on Wednesday nights of Friday nights, or
damo berosho (Pesachim 112a)
12. A man should not drink water from rivers and lakes at night or damo
berosho (Pesachim 112a)
13. A man should not go out to a journey before the rooster called or
damo berosho (Yoma 21a)
14. A person should not drink water at night or damo berosho (Avoda Zara
15. He who eats peeled garlic, he who eats peeled onion, he who eats
peeled egg, he who drink water which stayed uncovered overnight, he who
slept in a cemetery (Nidda 17a)

One can understand some of excesses as dangerous, and one can understand
that they experience a lot of problems from contaminated water (which
were associated with such water being left uncovered overnight).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: c. halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 09:46:06 -0500
Subject: Getting a leg up

Shalom, All:

Replying to the one who asked >>For the person looking at himself (or
touching those parts, even with his/her foot; see Rambam, Keriat Shema
3.16-19), it is only the genitalia themselves that are sexualized; the
rest are just parts of one's own body.<<, Tzadik Vanderhoof said >>It
always amazes me that people, and even seforim, continue to blindly
translate the word "regel" as "foot" all the time, even in cases where
it clearly means "leg". Just think about it... is it possible to touch
one's own genetalia with one's foot?  No, unless you are a
contortionist. <<

I'm not super limber, but I merely sat down on the ground just now in a
semi-tailor's squat and noted that my shoe-clad foot did indeed brush
that area.

However, as one who has written here on the subject of "may raglayeem"
(urine: literally, "leg/foot water") I do agree that it is possible the
word "regel" can have more than one meaning.

On a related note, we're about to enter -- literally and figuratively --
Sukot, one of the Shalosh Rigaleem (the three foot/leg/pilgrimage

Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Joseph Rosen <rosenjoseph1@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 16:06:23 +0000
Subject: Hebrew copies

Does anyone know of a service that will make copies of pages of books found 
in the Jewish National and University Library?



From: Levy Lieberman <kushint@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 10:58:41 -0400
Subject: Ribis and Inflation in Halacha

I recently engaged a fellow who had majored in economics in discussion.
He raised a very interesting question, and I promised that I would
mention it on this list.

If one were to add the inflation rate to the sum he lent to someone,
would that be considered Ribis?

For example, a loan of a $100 is worth $101 a year down the line, due to
inflation. So in essence the loaner isn't charging interest, he's only
requesting the VALUE he lent a year earlier.

I don't recall ever covering this topic, correct me if I'm wrong.


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Shidduch alternatives

When reading the anonymous email from the "older" single woman who felt
pain when childern make noise in shul, I was moved much more by the
woman's tragic situation than by the shul issues she raised.  I was most
concerned about the attitude of "yiush" (abandonment of hope) that she
seemed to express.  I think that for a single woman to be giving up all
hope of getting married and having children of her own is big problem
and I'd like to see the topic of dating and marriage revisited here.

I have no idea of the exact circumstances of the anonymous poster or
what "hishtadlus" (effort) she's putting forth, so nothing I say here
should be construed as concerning her personally... she was just the
catalyst for my bringing this up.

But I'd like to hear people's thoughts on why alternatives to the
traditional "shidduch system" are often avoided by people for whom it
has quite clearly failed.  There are people who have been looking for 5,
10, or more years and who still insist that they have to stay within the
very system that offers them nothing more than a handful of dates a
year, with most of these being inappropriate for them, even "on paper".

I have never seen a halacha that outlines a "shidduch system" that one
is obligated to use.  In fact, I think it would be safe to say that if
no frum person ever got married outside the traditional "shidduch
system" as it is known today, very few, if any, of the people reading
this email would have ever been born.

Let's start the discussion with the various frum dating web sites, which
I think have an amazing potential if used properly.  Some examples are
orthodate, frumster, and frumdate.  Many people have had great success
with these and similar sites.  Why are so many people reluctant to use
them?  What halacha do they think they would violate?  What risk are
they so afraid of that they percieve is so grave that they choose the
alternative of near-certain lifelong singlehood?  Why are people willing
to put one of the most important issues of their life in the exclusive
hands of others and think they cannot take "direct action" on behalf of
themselves?  Of course it goes without saying that Hashem is really in
charge, but it is clear that Hashem expects hishtadlus from the person
involved.  If you are not for yourself, who will be?"

I'd be interested to hear thoughts on both sides of this vital issue.


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 11:52:21 -0400
Subject: Re: Unsupervised Bars

Regarding a non-observant touching (non-mevushal) wine and forbidding
it, I recently came across the following interesting pesak from R'
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, although I am sure that I have seen or heard it
elsewhere before.  In Shulchan Shlomo on Yom Tov, regarding the
prohibition of cooking for non-Jews and non-observant Jews on Yom Tov
(this is a serious halachic issue), a footnote quotes RSZA as saying
that if a Jew has even one person in front of whom he will not violate
Shabbat or Yom Tov, such as a parent, teacher or rabbi, then the Jew is
not considered a public violator of Shabbat and does not forbid wine by
touching it.  This seems to be a fairly wide-reaching leniency.

Gil Student


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 18:35:28 -0700
Subject: Women's Clothing over Time

I am puzzled by the spate of recent posts claiming that the only reason
frum women used to wear "miniskirts" or go without a headcovering was
due to inability to get the appropriate garments.  Can anyone seriously
believe this to be true?  Would anyone on this list go and buy the
latest fashion just because that's what you can find in the GAP, so oh

Surely, in a society where many, many women made their own clothes (true
well into the 70's for middle-class America, at least), there would have
been longer skirts made if anyone really wanted to wear them.

Is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room, i.e. that perhaps these
women were less stringent on the halakha?  Or that maybe it would still
be ok to wear those clothes?

Leah S. R. Gordon


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 05:56:25 EDT
Subject: "Yarden" a place name or geographic term?

Josh Hosseinof writes, in v40n83,

      If we look at the root of "Yarden" the root is Yud, Resh, Dalet -
      "Yarad" for going down.  The Jordan river goes downhill from the
      Kinneret, to the lowest place on Earth, the Dead Sea.  So a Yarden
      could be a type of river that flows from a high place to a low

That's true of all rivers! But your etymology is quite plausible. Brown,
Driver and Briggs, "Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament" suggest
two possible etymologies for "Yarden." One is that it indeed comes from
"yarad," and originally just meant "river" and then came to mean that
particular river. The other possibility is that it is borrowed from
another language (I suppose a non-Semitic language spoken by people who
lived there or ruled there earlier, such as Hittite or Egyptian). They
give references to scholarly articles or books advocating each of these

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 14:27:01 +0100
Subject: "Yarden" a place name or geographic term?

Is it not the case that all rivers flow from a high place to a low place?


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 13:53:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: "Yarden" a place name or geographic term?

And which rivers flow uphill?

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

From: Arnie Kuzmack <Arnie@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 16:55:27 -0400
Subject: "Yarden" a place name or geographic term?

As one who is professionally involved with water issues, I can assert
that ALL rivers flow from a high place to a low place.  Even in the
ancient Near East, people would have noticed that water flows downhill!

Gut shabbes to all,


End of Volume 40 Issue 89