Volume 41 Number 21
                 Produced: Tue Nov 18  5:17:45 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazaka that clothes do not have sha'atnez (2)
         [Chaim Tatel, Martin D Stern]
Gevinat Akum
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Incurability of Abusive men vs Repentance
         [Russell Hendel]
OT - language, spelling, reading and Cambridge
         [Shayna Kravetz]
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Pesak, Was Listening to a Rabbi
         [Simon Wanderer]


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 20:11:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Chazaka that clothes do not have sha'atnez

My remarks are in between David's comments (CT):

David Ziants wrote: 

> The issue of lab testing clothes for sha'atnez (Torah prohibition of
> wearing clothes made of both with wool and linen) seems to be very
> much the domain of the chareidi (ultra orthodox) community.

It's a shame that the mitzvah of Shaatnez doesn't get the PR that it
should.  It's certainly no less required than kashrus.

I have been checking clothing for Shaatnez since 1972. My comments here
will address my hometown only. In my current location (Seattle, WA), I
get all kinds of folks bringing clothes for checking. The number is,
however, not as high as I would expect. This leads me to believe one of
these three possibilities: 1) people are relying on chazaka (a MAJOR
mistake), 2) they are buying their clothes in another city and having it
checked there, or 3) they are ignorant of the mitzvah.

Basically, if there is wool or wool blend in the ingredient list, I
check it.  This includes, suits, pants, ladies skirts, kids
clothes. Some things take just a few minutes, others require extensive
testing. Sometimes, the problem lies in the country of origin. For
instance a single manufacturer with plants in two countries could have
Shaatnez in one and not the other. Some companies have a history of
Shaatnez problems. The whole issue is quite complicated and really does
require professional inspection.

> Many years ago, when I was at a (non chareidi) yeshiva in Israel, I
> asked one of the rabbannim whether I had to check a shirt for
> sha'atnez. This shirt happened to be linen, and this prompted me to
> want to ask. Obviously, there was no wool mentioned on the label,
> otherwise it would obviously be not allowed.  The Rav said that I did
> not have to check it, and when I asked why, he said that because we
> can rely on the chazaka that there is no shaatnez. Many a time, I have
> had clothes with wool in its composition, and have assumed that the
> chazaka also applies, especially as there is no social indication that
> the (non chareidi frum) people around me do these tests.

> I would be grateful if anyone can throw light for me on the issue of
> chazaka here, and how accepted it is in different religious circles.

I cannot vouch very favorably for chazaka in this instance. I have
checked two suits from the same manufacturer (different countries of
origin or different years of production) and found problems with one and
not the other.

I can offer two websites for you to review:
1) Shatnez Testers of America - "STAM"
Look at the section marked "What needs checking."

And my website:
Rabbi Chaim Tatel 
Shaatnez Inspection Service of Seattle

From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D Stern)
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 02:00:12 EST
Subject: Re: Chazaka that clothes do not have sha'atnez

The main problem of sha'atnez is in jackets which can have linen
stiffening in the lapel and wool lining under the collar which are sewn
together through the material. This can occur even in garments described
as 100% synthetic on the label since this refers only to the main
material and possibly the lining.  This has happened to me.

    Martin D Stern


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 20:46:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Gevinat Akum

Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...> writes:
> 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.  

Many issues have an aspect of 'ein morin kein', and I'd always taken it
for granted, but how could this ever be the policy while avoiding the
appearance of hypocrisy?  Some areas are fairly private, but food is
relatively public --- either one is seen buying cheese that people think
is treif, or one goes to the out-of-the-way grocery to buy the cheese.



From: <rjhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 13:56:49 GMT
Subject: RE: Incurability of Abusive men vs Repentance

Rise Goldstein in v41n19 reacted to my passing comment
>the prospective date should definitely be told about the former abuse
>and then she (the woman, not the informers) should decide whether she
>doesnt want to take such risks or maybe she thinks all the guy needs is
>someone respectful and he will stop.

Rise reacts by pointing out (from her clinical experience) that
>abusers do not change. The women should be told that he was abusive and
>that he cant change; she will definitely be abused if she goes out with

Woe there. I have to disagree philosophically, halachikally and professionally.

PHILOSOPHICALLY: Repentance **is** a basic tenant of Judaism. According
to our traditions repentance was the second item created. Repentance
takes priority over everything. Judaism does not know a person who cant
change. Only death and total irreversible evil (as happened with Pharoh)
can prevent repentance.

True..there is the category of the rebellious son...the person who when
be become 13, steals from his parents and eats with gangs...and this
person is executed at 13 for theft because >we all know what he will
grow up to and that there is no hope<. But as the Talmud wryly points
out >There never was and never will be a rebellious son
conviction<..that is, there is no such case as someone who cant be
helped. Rav Hirsch explains (in a beautiful essay...the rebellious
son...translated in Feldheims 9 volume series) that somewhere in his
upbringing there is a problem...remove the problem and the son might
repent. (Rav Hirsch gives details in his essay)

But if the above is true you dont have the right to state without
modification that there is no hope for this person.

HALACHIKALLY: We have laws governing slander. As I have already pointed
out one is obligated (not permitted) to talk about an abusive past to a
prospective date. But the Chafetz Chaim in his book lists 7 criteria
when telling bad things about a person--and chief among these 7 criteria
is the NO-EXAGGERATION requirement.

It is one thing to state that a person was abusive. It is quite another
was abusive (verbal, physical, to what degree) Here are some examples
(A) Abe is very abusive--he has a terrible boss and Abe takes it out on
everyone...he uses the foul language he hears in the office all the
time; I wouldnt go out with him if I were you. or (B) Abe beats his wife
all the time though she has never been to the doctor. You can see him in
shule -- always looking at the well dressed women-- his wife refuses to
dress up for him saying that is not her job. He will probably treat you
the same way.

In Case (A) the prospective date may feel that Abe will change if his
job changes. Maybe she knows someone who can help him get a job. Or
maybe she feels Abe was never told that people understand that his
condition is due to how he was treated. In Case (B) a prospective date
may feel that Abe simply needs someone who will cater to his needs...she
may feel that the abuse will go away.

Needless to say it is the gravest sin possible--if a person who was
abusive but who has changed and eg has not been abusive since his
divorce 10 years ago--is slandered as incurable. In my opinion if there
has been a 10 year lapse one should not even tell prospective dates
about his past. He has repented. He is a new person.


I am of course not a social clinician. But I am a member for life of
Amit women. EVERY DAY we hear of stories of rude, abusive, teenagers who
get cured in the AMIT schools. The Bait Hayeled orphanage in Gilo

Finally let me cite a well known story. The Chafetz Chaiim once walked
into a bar. One person was cursing heavily. Some people came over to the
Chafetz Chaiim and told him to have nothing to do with the person
cursing since after leaving the Russian army he descecrates the Sabbath
and continually curses and drinks.

The   Chafetz Chaiim did go over to the person and said
> You were in the Russian army for 25 years?
> And all you now do is descerate the shabbath and utter curse words?
> You must be a saint.
The conversation continued for a while; the person repented and became a
religious person. 

More could be said....bottom line...do tell prospective dates about
RECENT abusive pasts...however you MUST include details and
degrees...you must leave a way out for repentance. It is our faith and

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


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 23:38:46 -0400
Subject: OT - language, spelling, reading and Cambridge

In support of his interpretation of ACH in an unconventional way, Stan
Tenen refers to a supposed study concerning the irrelevance of letter
order and gives us:

> an example of what technical people call a "look-see proof." All
>you have to do to see that this is so, is to have a look at it, and then
>play with it yourself a bit. Please ask yourself what the implications
>of this finding are for our understanding of Torah Hebrew roots, which
>also carry a similar meaning, even when the letter order is scrambled or
>>Typo? What Typo?
>>Accoridng to renect rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer
>>in waht oredr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
>>the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a ttoal
>>mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the
>>huamn mnid denos't raed ervey lteter, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig!

This piece of alleged science has been floating around the 'net for
several months.  However, no one ever seems to provide an actual journal
or even a researcher's credentials or e-mail address in support of this
alleged study.  The Snopes site, a usually conservative and reliable
source on the urban legends of the net, considers this one "unproven".
See http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/cambridge.asp

So, I'd hesitate before attributing much weight to the demonstration or
infering anything from this example to another language.  And, by the
way, "rscheearch" and "iprmoetnt" contain typos <g>.

Kol tuv.


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 22:55:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Pants

On Monday, November 17, 2003, at 10:25  PM, Batya Medad 
<ybmedad@...> wrote:

>       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.
> If someone needs it for physical therapy or whatever and lives in a 
> place that doesn't have all-women facilities.

Ah. See, I thought women only gyms were pretty common at least in the
U.S. I know that my sister used to go to one in northern California and
she wasn't concerned about tsnius issues at all.  Not sure about the
situation in Israel with gyms I'll be honest as I used to walk around
outside for exercise when I lived briefly in Israel.



From: Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 14:20:59 -0000
Subject: RE: Pesak, Was Listening to a Rabbi

>From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
>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

Just to clarify, I was not suggesting that the P'sak was based on the
principles of Safek. I was suggesting a parallel between Safek and
P'sak. In both cases we are unsure how to act and a halachic mechanism
tells us what we may/should do, clearly the operation of the halachic
mechanism differs. However, in both cases the "answer" may be wrong.

I believe the title of the sefer in question is Avnei Gazit.



End of Volume 41 Issue 21