Volume 41 Number 18
                 Produced: Fri Nov 14  5:05:42 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Biblical prohibitions in NOT telling on former abuser
         [Frank Silbermann]
Cottage cheese
         [Joseph Rosen]
Gevinat Akum
         [Steven Oppenheimer]
Listening to a rabbi/Steaks
         [Bill Bernstein]
Met Opera La Juive/Question
         [Jeff Friedman]
Reading on eighth day Succot
         [Meir Possenheimer]
Simchat Torah
         [Martin D Stern]
Spousal Abuse (2)
         [<Smwise3@...>, yossiea@yossie.ws]
Wearing Pants (3)
         [Batya Medad, Janet Rosenbaum, Martin D Stern]
Women seeing Men in Pants
         [Leah S. Gordon]


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 12:19:08 +0200
Subject: Ach

It seems to me that the best translation of ach is <but>. It is
restrictive enough to follow the simple peshat and sufficiently
ambiguous to accommodate the derash.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 07:05:57 -0600 (CST)
Subject:  Biblical prohibitions in NOT telling on former abuser

If the date was unaware to the man's past as an abuser and your silence
allows her to enter a relationship with him unwarned, would this be a
case of putting a stumbling block before the blind?

Frank Silbermann, New Orleans, Louisiana  <fs@...>


From: Joseph Rosen <rosenjoseph1@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 00:19:35 +0000
Subject: Cottage cheese

Does anyone know the halakhic justification for treating cottage cheese
different from regular cheese when it comes to gevinat akum? Someone
told me that the heter is very weak. If so, that is surprising since the
OU gives hashgachot to cream cheese and they are very stringent, e. g.,
they don't even recognize the category of DE.


From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 20:57:32 -0500
Subject: Gevinat Akum

In his Sefer MiPeninei HaRav (page 153), Rav Hershel Schachter, shlit"a
writes that indeed the Rav, zt"l, privately permitted Gevinat Akum even
though Sh. Aruch, Y. D. 115:2 states that Gevinat Akum is prohibited
because it is produced using "ohr keivat neveilah" .  And even if it
were produced "BeAssabim" with vegetable products, it would still be
prohibited.  The Ramo writes that this is the prevalent custom and it
should not be violated unless that particular locale had a custom to be
lenient.  The Rav permitted eating cheese that was produced using
vegetable products.  However, whenever the Rav was asked by a regular
Ba'al HaBayit if this type of cheese was permitted, he would answer that
it is prohibited.  He felt that even though it might be permissible, it
fell into the category of "Halacha Ve'ain Morin Kain LeRabim," this
permissive view should not be publicized.  Only people who could
appreciate the intricacies of the law were informed of the lenient view
if they asked.  This line of reasoning has its basis in the Gemara
(Ta'anit 13a), where Rashi, d.h. KeShe'amru Assur, reports that
something is permitted but concludes "Aval Ein Mefrasimin HaDavar" - the
lenient ruling should not be publicized.

Clearly, today, the accepted practice is to only eat cheese that is
produced under reliable rabbinic supervision.


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 08:48:17 -0600
Subject: Listening to a rabbi/Steaks

I am confused by the basis of this discussion.  My understanding is that
if you have 4 steaks and one is definitely not kosher then you have a
sofeik d'Oraysa (Torah-level prohibition) and they are all forbidden.
If you have one steak that might be non kosher then you have a sfeik
sfeika (possibility of a possibility) and they are all permitted.  Can
someone point me in the right direction?

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN.


From: Jeff Friedman <jff@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:01:47 -0500
Subject: Met Opera La Juive/Question

I have a lot of issues with the portrayal of Jews in the current Met
Opera revival of Halevy's La Juive, most of these stem from the early
19th Century libretto by Scribe, but one is clearly just a staging
decision by the production team, which did this work a few years ago
in Vienna.  The second act is the famous Passover scene, which is
followed by Act III which is supposed to occur the next morning.
That act closes with Rachel ("La Juive") accusing Prince Leopold
of seducing her, bringing down curses from Cardinal Brogni on her,
her father Eleazar, and Leopold.  As this singing finale is going
on, Neil Shicoff, singing Eleazar, angrily goes to his room and
puts on tefillin as the curtain falls.  My guess is that the "story
time" passed in Act III is a morning and perhaps early afternoon,
so it would seem it is still Pesach; if longer, it is after dark.
Is there any circumstance where putting on tefillin on Pesach or
after dark following the holiday would be done??

Jeff Friedman


From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 00:17:34 -0000
Subject: Re: Reading on eighth day Succot

> Regarding Succot it states that on the eighth day "Kol Habchor" is
> read
> Yehuda Landy

Not quite correct - see the Masores Hashass who brings the nusach of the
R"n with which the comment of Rashi concurs that the reading commences
with Aser TeAser.


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D Stern)
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:09:00 EST
Subject: Re: Simchat Torah

<< 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.>>

    if he were to consult A. Ya'ari's book "Toldot Chag Simchat Torah",
published by Mossad Harav Kook, which deals with all aspects of the
problem, he would find that his assumption is absolutely correct and
that there was considerable opposition to the introduction of what was a
new custom of hakkafot in the eighteenth century by many West European
communities, in particular Frankfort and Amsterdam.

    Martin D Stern

[By the way, the quote from the book of minhagim from the chazan of
Frankfort regarding this new fangled custom of hakafot is one of my
favorite passages in the sefer. Avi]


From: <Smwise3@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 05:47:21 EST
Subject: Re: Spousal Abuse

<< 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 ...). >>

I know this is well meaning, but would you want your daughter going out
with someone who has been abusive?  I hate to be cynical but what are
the odds that an abuser is so reformed that one can be certain he will
not return to his bad ways. Perhaps we are required to give him the
benefit of the doubt, but if we are personally involved would we take
the same advice we offer others. As far as a woman changing him--are
there any counselors out there who believe this is even a consideration?
I certainly wouldn't count on it.

On this entire issue, I have heard many unfortunate beis din/rav stories
where they side with the husband willy-nilly to the disadvantage of the
woman involved.  It is sad we deprive people of redemption but because
marriage is such a serious matter, one should not go gently into
situations with bad history attached.

S. Wise

From: <yossiea@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 10:41:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Spousal Abuse

>From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
>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.

I know for a fact one case. I know the person involved and I know which
Rabbi they asked. I also know that after the person listened to the
rabbi and didn't tell, the guy's wife was abused. I also know that the
person involved will no longer ask halacha questions regarding


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 22:53:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Wearing Pants

      Several male writers responded to the question I asked about
      whether, from a woman's point of view, pants are a more modest
      type of clothing then the old fashioned robe (which was the
      original attire for men).  They quoted what they thought women
      think or what others had written about what women would think.
      But no women wrote in to express their thoughts.  So we are still
      left with men speaking for women.

You wanted to hear from a woman?

Ok, there definitely are times when pants/slacks are more tzniusdik than
skirts.  The classic case is hiking, and my daughters heard of females
endangering themselves while trying to hold down a skirt.  If you're
going to ski, dress accordingly.  Also on fitness machines.

It has become quite acceptable in our circles to wear what we once
called "coullots" (spelling?) and "harem pants."  When I was a gym
teacher I wore "sweat pants" under a skirt and required my students to
do the same.  There were men and boys about.  If you're curious, I don't
have any occasions to wear slacks.


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 20:36:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Wearing Pants

Israel Caspi <icaspi@...> writes:
> "Our rabbinical leaders agree that, in practice, this fashion [women
> wearing slacks] should be discouraged.  But they disagree as to whether
> or not there is a formal violation of the halachah.  

Do note the footnote later on the chapter (R Ellinson's book HaTznia
Lechet, The Modest Way) in which he says that his daughter says that
even if it were okay to wear pants, she would still wear skirts in order
to be distinctive and look outwardly religious since skirts have become
the women's kipah; that is the shita of most women that I have spoken
with who explain their decision of whether and/or how much to wear pants
in terms of how skirts remind them to "act frum."

Personally, I would prefer if the "women's kipah" were a garment that
was less cold in the winter and allowed more mobility.


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D Stern)
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:26:17 EST
Subject: Re: Wearing Pants

In a message dated 10/11/03, Israel Caspi  wrote:
<< In any event, some of our rabbinic leaders take exception to the
phenomenon of Jewish women wearing slacks and have called on them to
stop this practice.  Their opinion is based on considerations of
modesty.  In particular, they focus on the physical aspect - slacks
accentuate the legs and other areas of the body.  But this evaluation
seems to be overly subjective and dependant upon the cut of the
slacks. Moreover, the same objections can validly be leveled at other
articles of women's clothing, not just slacks. >>

    They also object to women wearing any kind of tight clothes for
precisely this reason. The same would apply to any that are markedly
unusual and draw attention to the person so attired.

    This is not a modern phenomenon, the Gemara mentions an incident
where a prominent amora saw a woman wearing a bright red cloak in the
street and tore it off her. It turned out that she was not in fact
Jewish and he was fined for his act but he said that it was worth
incurring a fine in this case if it prevented such immodest behaviour
among Jewish women in future.

    However their objection to women's slacks may be based more on an
aversion for modern Western attitudes to sexual behaviour in general,
women's slacks being perceived as a dangerous first stage in a move
toward its adoption.

    Martin D Stern


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 11:57:28 -0800
Subject: Women seeing Men in Pants

>Several male writers responded to the question I asked about whether,
>from a woman's point of view, pants are a more modest type of clothing
>then the old fashioned robe (which was the original attire for men).
>They quoted what they thought women think or what others had written
>about what women would think.  But no women wrote in to express their
>thoughts.  So we are still left with men speaking for women.

Since we're being asked....  I think that it is definitely a suggestive
sight to see men in pants, because you can see their bodies more
outlined than you could if they were wearing robes.  Heterosexual women
definitely can get sexually interested by seeing such a sight.  Anyone
who doubts this can look at advertsing campaigns for e.g. the GAP, or
for those new-fashioned "boxer brief" underpants for men.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


End of Volume 41 Issue 18