Volume 41 Number 17
                 Produced: Tue Nov 11  5:38:22 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

3 Biblical prohibitions in NOT telling former abuse
         [Russell J Hendel]
Changing Biblical Texts
         [Barak Greenfield]
Children in Shul
         [Michael Kahn]
Gevinat Akum (2)
         [Joseph Rosen, Avi Feldblum]
Listening to a Rabbi
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Simchas Torah Laining (3)
         [Yehuda Landy, Art Werschulz, Avi Feldblum]
Simchat Torah
         [Meir Possenheimer]
Using water on Shabbat
         [Shimon Lebowitz]


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 17:47:05 -0500
Subject: 3 Biblical prohibitions in NOT telling former abuse

I was upset that peoples response to the Rabbi who forbade telling a
woman that a prospective date was abusive to his former wife was only
SHOCK(Discussed in mjv40n4-12)

Indeed, SHOCK is an emotional response. 

I would prefer a halachic response. Let me put it this way: How many
Torah Violations are there in NOT telling this woman about the former
behavior of her potential date.

First there is the prohibition of NOT STANDING BY THE BLOOD OF YOUR
NEIGHBOR. (Rambam Murder Chapter 1 includes in this prohibition anything
that would ward off activities of damage)

Second there is the hackneyed golden mean: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR LIKE
THYSELF (It may be hackneyed but it is still a positive Biblical
commandment). To be clichayish...if you wouldnt want your daughter going
out with a bum like this then you shouldnt allow your friends wife to go
out with him.

Finally, and this is what really surprises me, people are violating the
laws of slander by NOT telling the woman. Surely we all know that there
are 4 Jewish fast days. We also must know that the fast of Gedaliah
happened because Gedaliah, the appointed Jewish Governor, was warned
about assasination plots but refused to listen to them AT ALL(The laws
of slander require that he was obligated to be SUSPICIOUS OF
THEM--possibly take precautions--but was forbidden to TOTALLY believe
them). Because Gedaliah violated the laws of slander he was killed and
the Jewish community lost all autonomy.

We infer from this that TOTALLY IGNORING A SITUATION is a violation of
the slander laws (YOu are suppose to be suspicious).

So bottom line: If you personally know that this guy had been abusive
you SHOULD tell the woman(and you can add any caveats you want...maybe
he has changed...maybe a woman like you can change him ...).

As far as listening to the Rabbi this is governed by the tractate
RABBINIC RULINGS (HORAYOTH). A Rabbi who UPROOTED an entire Biblical law
and a congregant listened--then the congregant is responsible not the

But I am curious...did any one actually ask the Rabbi--->Rabbi I know
this guy....I am worried that so and so will be physically hurt if she
goes out with him<

More can be said....I do hope that those reading mail jewish will warn
the woman (Of course, after confronting the Rabbi and pointing out that
they are trying to prevent damaging the woman).

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/


From: Barak Greenfield <DocBJG@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 20:37:30 -0500
Subject: RE: Changing Biblical Texts

> >My understanding is that the blessing "yevarchecha" is a posuk from the
> >Torah.  As such one is not allowed to alter the wording of it.
> [Also responding to similar comment from David Cohen. Mod.]
>          In the siddur, many pesukim are altered from the singular to
> the plural, to make them more appropriate in the congregational setting.
> Altering for the feminine to make it more appropriate for the setting
> (to me at least) is no different.

"Many pesukim" were, but this one wasn't. Presumably, when they
introduced this prayer for Friday night, chazal realized that some
people might have only daughters, and yet they did not institute two
versions of the pasuk.  Although chazal are permitted to alter the
wording of pesukim to suit various prayers, individuals are not.



From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 00:01:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Children in Shul

>If, however, the arrows are beyond him, he still has unachieved goals,
>"go, for G-d has sent you", his mission is genuine and godly.

I think everyone agrees that one must always strive to keep
accomplishing. It is just that we differ in how to go about doing so.
When I said you shouldn't overtax a child with tasks he or she can't
accomplish (for some, shulle) because "don't bite off more than you can
chew" I never meant you should stop eating. Just not so much at once
that you pardon me, end up regurgitating.

As to my tragedy of not knowing of Browning, I hope to respond to that
another time.


From: Joseph Rosen <rosenjoseph1@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 23:46:43 +0000
Subject: Gevinat Akum

Fairly reliable sources report that in the 1950's the Rav thought that
Kraft cheese was OK. Does anyone know what the basis for this opinion
was and how it avoided the problem of Gevinat Akum?

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 05:34:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Gevinat Akum

As I understood it, the basis of the Rav's psak was that the issue of
gevinat akum was purely a determination as to whether the cheese was
kosher or not. There was no additional 'gezarah' that required Jewish
manufacture of the cheese or anything else. So then it comes down to the
factual question of what are the kashrut questions related to cheese. The
issues are basically 1) is the milk kosher and 2) is whatever is used to
turn the milk into cheese an issue. The Rav's opinion was that there is no
issue with domestic milk and that processed rennet did not have a din of
'ochel' / food. Therefore any domestic cheese was permitted.

By the way, it is very unlikely that the Rav's opinion on this issue
changed after the 1950's. However it is true that he was silent on this
issue in public in later years and just refered people to the major
Kashrut organizations, which were giving supervision to "Kosher" cheeses.

Avi Feldblum


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 10:07:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Listening to a Rabbi

> There are (AFAIK) two broad approaches to what is happening in this
> situation (see, for example, the early parts of R' Shimon Shkop's
> Sha'arei Yosher):
> 1- the Halacha of Bittul means that the erstwhile treif steak *becomes*
> kosher, therefore I'm eating kosher meat.
> 2- (this is the position advanced by R' Shimon Himself) nothing can
> change the halachic reality of the steak being treif, but the Halacha of
> Bittul means that I'm allowed to take the chance 

I seem to remember learning that this difference of opinion results in
at least one important halachic consequence: Can I eat ALL of the steaks
in the 'mixture' (thereby assuming all are now kosher), or must I leave
at least one, since I know one was not kosher.



From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 14:03:59 +0200
Subject: Re: Simchas Torah Laining

> This leads me to conjecture that perhaps the original practice was just
> to lain part of Ve'zos Ha'bracha on that day - probably the first five
> aliyos which encompass Moshe's blessing - but not the latter portion
> concerning Moshe's death.  This would also jibe with the fact, as
> pointed out by Immanuel, that the original haftarah for that day was
> King Shlomo's blessing, the same (but one verse) as is read on the first
> day of Shmini Atzeres.

I have arrived at a similar conclusion. Remember that the obligation is
to have 5 aliyot on any chag and according to many posskim one may not
add aliyot on a chag. At a later period the concept of Chatan torah and
Chatan Breishit were added as a separate concept. There are opinions
among the posskim to prefer an aliyah during the first round of the five
k'rium even over Chatan Torah and Chatan Breishit.

I'd like to make another point. The Gemora Megila 31a lists the order of
the readings for all the chagim. Regarding Succot it states that on the
eighth day "Kol Habchor" is read.... and the following day "V'zot
Habracha". Seemingly in Eretz Yisroel where there is no ninth day, the
reading for the eighth day should remain in place, and the kri'ah for
the ninth day be dropped, just as is done with all the other chagim. Of
course we know that this is not the case. We move up the reading of the
ninth day (V'zot Habracha) to the eighth day and skip the original
reading of the eighth day. Most probably there was no concept of Simchat
Torah in Eretz Yisroel, being that the Torah cycle lasted for three
years (Megilah 29b) and in those days Kol Habchor was read on the eighth
day. Only after the change to the annual cycle, v'sot habracha became
the reading for the eighth day.

Yehuda Landy

From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 10:56:09 -0500
Subject: Simchas Torah Laining

Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...> writes:
> Another corroborating piece of evidence was pointed out to me by my
> father years ago: Ve'zos Ha'bracha, like all other parshas, is
> marked in chumashim - even to this day - with all seven aliyos.  Yet
> if it was originally lained in totality only on the 2nd day of
> Shmini Atzeres, which can never fall on Shabbos, why would more than
> five aliyos be needed?

In Eretz Yisrael, there's only one day of Sh'mini Atzeret, which doubles
as Simchat Torah.  So when Sh'mini Atzeret falls out on Shabbat (as it
did this year), they would read seven aliyot in Eretz Yisrael.

Art Werschulz
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325

From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 05:14:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Simchas Torah Laining

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 <nzion@...> wrote:

> I have arrived at a similar conclusion. Remember that the obligation is
> to have 5 aliyot on any  chag and according to many posskim one may not
> add aliyot on a chag. At a later period the  concept of Chatan torah and
> Chatan Breishit were added as a separate concept. There are opinions
> among the posskim to prefer an aliyah during the first round of the five
> k'rium even over Chatan Torah and Chatan Breishit.

Speculation is appropriate for what the practice was during the amoraic
period, where besides for the gemara that says the reading is from Zot
Habaracha and the haftora is from V'yamod Shlomo, we have no additional
sources I am aware of. However, once we get to the Geonic period, we
have sources to look at.

Rav Amram Gaon writes: and on the second day, which is the 23rd day of
Tisreh, one takes out the sefer Torah and 10 people read in Zot
Habaracha, and the "one who finishes" [v'hagomer] takes reward equal to
all the rest together.

The R"I Ibn Gias brings R' Amram and then writes that the opinion of the
later Gaonim was that there was no difference between this day and any
other Yom Tov day (where we call 5 people), and if one wants to add
above 5 that is fine.

This opinion is what the Abudraham brings down, that one calls up 5
people, but that the fifth person reads from the beginning of Zot
Habaracha all the way to the end.

In France, by the time of Rashi, we already see customs similar to ours
today, that everyone in the congregation got an Aliyah.

By the way, in terms of the haftorah, the custom to read in the
beginning of Yehoshua is already found in the Gaonic period, and both
customs co-existed at least till Rashi's period. Sometime after that,
the custom to read the blessings of Shlomo disappeared.

Based on the existing sources, it would appear that the custom to read
till the end of Zot Habracha on Simchat Torah goes back to at least the
Gaonic period, as does customs to call up more than the standard 5

Avi Feldblum


From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 00:56:31 -0000
Subject: Re: Simchat Torah

> Since when is relaxing and reading the definition of "Yomtov?"  Zman
> simchateinu?  But reading and relaxing... not on the menu.  Not on
> Simchat Torah.

With all due respect, my original comments did not mention the word
"book", but Sefer - which quite clearly refers not to a book (not that
there is anything wrong with reading) but to a Sefer for learning, yes,
Torah. Not on Simchas Torah you say? My goodness - im lo achshav,
aimosai!! Can there be a better way to celebrate Simchas Torah!  Indeed,
we are told of the importance of learning on that day since after Mincha
it will be finally decreed what will be that year (Shulchan Shlomo

No relaxing? Not on the menu? The Mitzvah of Yomtov is "chatzi laShem
vechatzi lachem " - half for Hashem and half for you. And to quote the
same Shulchan Shlomo (529:1): "Nigunim shel Chazan lo laShem velo lachem
hu" - the singing of the Chazan is neither for Hashem, nor for you. I
can only assume that Simchas Torah in his Shul some 250 years ago was
nothing like in ours, or else he would not have restricted his comments
to the singing of the Chazan.


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 10:07:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Using water on Shabbat

> I don't think it would necessarilly be called carrying.  As I recall
> from a shiur in shul, the issur requires
> 1. Lifting the object in Reshus Hayachid/Reshus Harabim
> 2. Transporting it (four amos) into the other reshus
> 3. Putting it down in the new reshus.

I believe you are confusing two separate issues.
Here is how I understand them:

A) Moving an object from a Reshut haYachid to a Reshut haRabim - 
    (or vice versa, the directionality is not an issue)
    in this case the violation involves `akira (lifting) in the source
    domain, and hanacha (resting, putting down) in the target domain.
    The *distance* traversed by the object is irrelevant.

B) Moving an object within a Reshut haRabim -
    Here, the prohibition is the moving of the object, and the
    distance defined is four amot. As above, there must be 
    `akira and hanacha in the Reshut haRabim, in order to 
    make the action "valid".



End of Volume 41 Issue 17