Volume 41 Number 19
                 Produced: Sat Nov 15 23:31:01 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Halakhic implications of not reporting abuse
         [Rahel Jaskow]
Ketonet Passim
         [Stan Tenen]
Listening to a rabbi/Steaks (4)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, Rose Landowne, Stephen Phillips, Michael
Met Opera La Juive/Question (2)
         [Yisrael Medad, Roger Kingsley]
Pesak, Was Listening to a Rabbi
         [Allen Gerstl]
Spousal Abuse
         [Rise Goldstein]
Wearing Pants
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Women Wearing Pants


From: Rahel Jaskow <rjaskow@...>
Subject: Halakhic implications of not reporting abuse

There seems to me to be another halakhic dictum involved in reporting
abuse (and not being silent about its presence in the community for fear
of damaging the community's image): "U-vi'arta ha-ra mikirbekha" (And
you shall eradicate evil from among you). Not reporting abuse, and
denying its presence, allows evil to remain in place and grow.

Rahel Jaskow, Jerusalem


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 08:00:22 -0500
Subject: Ketonet Passim

As most readers of mail-jewish must have realized by now, I'm involved
in a 30-year research project investigating the letter-text of B'reshit
and its relationship to our alphabet and rituals.

As most readers of mail-jewish must also have realized by now, I don't
have a yeshiva education, and while I'm very good at "deciphering"
word-meanings from basic principles, my decipherments are sometimes
controversial, which is why they must always be subject to traditional
use and traditional understanding.  As a researcher, I like to use the
models I already have tentatively validated in order to try to
understand issues that I have not yet tested -- before testing them.
This is the scientific method, and it prevents the natural bias that
exists when one knows the answer ahead of time, and thus tailors one's
theories to get there.

I have developed a measure of understanding of the Ketonet Passim
(Jacob's "striped coat") and would now like to know more of what
tradition teaches on this subject.  While I sometimes disagree, and
sometimes strongly disagree, with the many qualified scholars who
comment on mail-jewish, I also greatly respect their scholarship and
breadth of knowledge. So I need and appreciate what our academic and
religious scholars know that I don't know.

I've read most of the standard footnotes in the various chumashim, so I
don't need the outline of these discussions.  What I need is some of the

What are the various theories on the construction of the ketonet passim,
and on its meaning, purpose, and proper usage?  Are there reference
works in English on this?

For example, my decipherment of "passim" suggests a particular kind of
"striping" or "banding".  I'd like to know what our sages say about
this.  Does any source provide more information with regard to the
pattern of the striping?  What is the significance?

And what sort of a "coat" is a "ketonet"?  Among the footnotes in
Kaplan's "Living Torah", there is mention of the "coat" extending to the
palms of the hands.  I'd like to know more about this -- because as many
here know, my work proposes that our (rabbinic script form of) Meruba
Ashuris letters come from 2-D views of a specially shaped (not like
current tefillin) "tefillin strap" bound on the arm and hand.

I'd appreciate any and all responses, either here on m-j or privately.

Many thanks.  Good Shabbos.



From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 14:57:10 +0200
Subject: Re: 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?

As far as I understand the situation, this is not a case of a "safek
d'oraysa", we know for sure that the *mixture* has a minority part from
nonkosher meat, but the mixture as a whole has the rule of bitul.

If you have 4 steaks, and one was definitely not kosher *before* it
became confused in the "mixture" with the kosher steaks, then it follows
the d'Oraysa rule of Bitul (negation?). According to Torah law, a
mixture of x permitted, with y forbidden food, is permitted as long as x
> y. Miderabbanan there are more stringent requirements for many
mixtures - 1:60, etc.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 07:16:40 EST
Subject: Re: Listening to a rabbi/Steaks

D'oraita, min b'mino ( things of the same type) are mevatel b'rov (are
nullified by being less than the majority), and it is rabinnical that we
require 60 to one, rather than a simple majority.  The treif steak is
nullified, and the safek (doubt) is that you don't know whether any
particular steak in the bunch is the treif one.  For this reason they
can all be eaten, but to maintain the safek, we say that one person
can't eat them all at once, because then that person is definitely
eating a treif one.  

Rose Landowne

From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 12:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: Listening to a rabbi/Steaks

My understanding is (a) a sofeik only applies to a 50/50 situation and
(b) in the first case you describe Botel B'rov [nullification in the
majority] applies and they are all kosher, although whether they may all
be eaten, rather than just any three of them.

Stephen Phillips.

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 10:58:03 -0500
Subject: Listening to a rabbi/Steaks

The rule is that we follow rov, or majority, in this case 3 against one.
Sofeik d'Oraysa is when there are two peices of meat, one non kosher.
That is known as a safek hashakal, or equal safek, since both
possibilities are equally probable.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 13:25:28 +0200
Subject: Re: Met Opera La Juive/Question

Regarding Jeff Friedman <jff@...> and putting on tefillin
during a Chag or Chol HaMoed at the opera (Le?) La Juive, it reminds me
that the Ha'Aretz weekly Book Magazine of Oct. 16 carried a caricature
portraying a synagogue scene with the congregants holding lulavim &
ethrogim but wearing tefillin.  The context of it was political,
anti-settler, but be that as it may, I wrote in noting that the custom
in Israel is not to wear the tefillin and in the next week's issue they
corrected themselves.  Funny thing is that the cartoonist, in his youth,
came from a religious kibbutz.

Conclusion?  Don't depend on customs drawn from operas, Broadway plays
or liberal newspapers.

Yisrael Medad

From: Roger Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 14:06:53 +0200
Subject: Met Opera La Juive/Question

On the point of laying tefillin on Pesach night in la Juive, it seems to
me that this would be well in keeping with the rest of the opera which
always seems to me to owe much more to Christian traditions than Jewish
ones - the byplay where the Christian dressed as a Jew gives himself
away by not eating the matzo (and the Jewess understands this) has more
to do with the wafer in the mass than Pesach matzo.

The composer Halevy, seems to have had little influence or interest in
the libretto.  I don't think that the librettist, Scribe, was Jewish.  I
have always thought that there was rather more obvious "Jewish" input in
Carmen, where one of the librettists was Halevy's son, who was Bizet's
brother-in-law, and the additions to Merimee's much starker story
(particularly Micaela and Don Jose's mother) can change the whole spirit
of the opera.

Roger Kingsley


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 14:13:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Pesak, Was Listening to a Rabbi

Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>
>Various postings have responded to the position put forward several days
>ago as to the ramifications of following a P'sak that was (subsequently
>shown to be ) incorrect. I would suggest that this is in fact part of a
>wider discussion about the nature of Halacha and distinguishing between
>*spiritual reality* and *practical conduct*. A good example of this is
>the topic of Bittul. In a simple case were one 'Treif' steak is mixed up
>with two Kosher steaks, where (without getting into Halachic minutiae)
>one may pick a steak from this mixture and eat it (it may be advisable
>to cook it first, but hey).

>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 (likaneis el beis
>hasafek). However, I may end up eating treif (albeit with a limited
>degree of culpability for my action, as it was sanctioned by Halacha).

>A similar question may be raised with regard to following legitimate
>P'sak. In short we could phrase the Chakira as follows: is the effect of
>my actions determined by:

>1- some objective ('spiritual') reality.
>2- whether in taking that course of action I worked within the rules of
>the Halachic system.
                        .  .  .
>There are, I would imagine, many arguments either way, and various
>opinions on the subject (like the R' Shimon above and the Shev Shmeitsa
>(world's most dubious transliteration?), with whom he strongly takes
>issue). I am also sure the two options could be further fine-tuned. We
>should not easily dismiss either possibility as this is clearly a subtle
>issue that has taxed the minds of some of our greatest thinkers.

My comments:

Simon presents us with a description of pesak when based upon the rules
as to safek [doubt].

AIUI, however, the posek must first attempt hachrah (making a clear
decision, not one based upon the rules as to safek and safek sefeika-
doubt and doubt upon doubt).  Only if hachrah is not possible may he
then fall back upon such klalim [general principles] as those of the
Shach as to safek, safeik sefeika [doubtful and doubly doubtful cases]
in YD 110.

See a Y.Y. Brunstein, Avnei Gavit - Chebur Be-Inyanei Horaat
Ha-Senhedrin U-Batei Dinim Ha-Baim Achareihem (Yershalayim:5758) (an
anthology ) in the chapter entitled Be-Issur Letamei Ha-Tahor Uletaheir
Ha-Tamei [that it is forebiddent to rule that something that is pure is
impure or that something that is impure is pure] citing TY Terumot end
of c. 5, p. 30b (standard editions) and the end of TY Chaggigah c.1 and
AZ end of c. 2). Which I understand to mean that a posek must attempt to
reach a definitive decision if possible.



From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 06:35:54 -0800
Subject: RE:  Spousal Abuse

S. Wise wrote:  

> << 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?  [...]  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.

Having taught graduate coursework for several years in the late 1990s on
the epidemiology of violence, including wife beating, and having earned
a master's degree in clinical social work before earning my Ph.D. in
epidemiology and biostatistics, I know the scientific evidence
addressing this issue all too well.  Cutting to the chase, I will say
that the recidivism (recurrence) rate among wife beaters is so high that
IMHPO (in my humble professional opinion) it would be homicidal, or
femicidal, for anyone to try to make a shidduch between a woman and a
man with any such history.  Similarly, IMHPO, it would be suicidal for a
woman to go out, let alone get more "seriously involved," with one like
that.  No woman can reasonably hope to change such a man; to assert
otherwise paves the way for her to get blamed when (usually it's not a
case of "if"), G-d forbid, she gets victimized.

Shabbat shalom--

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 05:34:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Re: Wearing Pants

On Friday, November 14, 2003, at 05:05  AM, Batya Medad 
<ybmedad@...> wrote:

> 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.

But surely on fitness machines chances are you'd be surrounded by all
women and you'd wear whatever you want?  When I go to the woman's gym
across the street I change into very non tsnius workout gear because its
all women there.

-Shoshana Ziskind


From: Anonymous
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 05:41:53
Subject: Women Wearing Pants

I was recently at the JCC in Deal, NJ -- entering the building were many
women who were obviously heading for the gym.  I noticed several wore
what I would consider "designer" (logo) sports outfits that included a
matching long (ankle length?) skirt OVER what appeared to be a pair of
jogging pants.

My wife wears a similar (non-designer) combination of jeans (her only
pair) and long skirt when horseback riding or gardening.


End of Volume 41 Issue 19