Volume 41 Number 34
                 Produced: Tue Dec  2 22:53:10 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

HONOR and RESPECTING Abusive Parents--The Laws
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Oral Torah
         [Andy Goldfinger]
         [Benschar, Tal S.]
Shabbat elevators (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Marilyn Tomsky]
Shabbat Elevators
         [Michael Lipkin]
Sheva Berachot for Avel
         [Gil Student]
Standing for bride and groom (2)
         [Elazar M Teitz, Gershon Dubin]
Standing for the bride and groom
         [Larry Jassen]
Top coats over kittels under the chuppah (3)
         [Bernard Raab, Immanuel Burton, Tony Fiorino]


From: <rjhendel@...> (Russell Jay Hendel)
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 23:32:04 GMT
Subject: HONOR and RESPECTING Abusive Parents--The Laws

Bernard Raab (v41n29) continues the thread of HOW an abused child has to
honor ones parents (this thread started by Alana's story and continued
by Shoshana (v41n25) and Heshy Zaback(v41n26))

Recall there are two child-parent commandments (HONOR and RESPECT)

Bernard CORRECTLY answers the HONOR part of the question. Namely a child
MUST see to it that his father is fed and clothed (Albeit, according to
jewish law the child is NOT OBLIGATED TO SPEND MONEY--he may charge the
parent but must provide the servide)

However no one has answered the RESPECT component.

The answer is simple: No child (a) need OBEY his parents nor (b) subject
him/herself to dangerous abuse from the parents. But

 ...if someone abused me I would have the right to ridicule them,
embarass them and make fun of them.  By contrast if one of my parents
would God forbid abuse me (even in public) I am still obligated to
RESPECT THEM. (e.g. I could say "What you are saying about me is false;
I am leaving as I dont care to sit here and be abused").

A famous Talmudic story relates how a parent beat his child in public (a
non-jew) and the child did not hit back and returned the parents shoe
(or some similar act) when it fell.

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


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 12:57:51 -0500 
Subject: Oral Torah

> I've always been under the impression that it is prohibited to mix any
> animal-based fiber with any plant-based fiber, and that wool/linen is
> only a common example used for illustration when teaching the halacha.
> -- David
> [As far as I know, since always. Shatnez is wool and linen in a technical
> mixture, nothing else. Mod.]

I have used this fact as evidence (albeit, not proof) of the existence
of Torah She B'al Peh (the Oral Torah).

When it comes to the prohibition of eating milk and meat together, we
start from a rather particular case (a kid in it's mother's milk) and
generalize this to all meat with all milk.

In the case of Shaatnez, we start with a particular case (wool and
linen) and we don't generalize this at all (such as to mixing any animal
fiber with any vegetable fiber).

Why do we generalize in one case, and not the other?  If the Rabbis were
just making all this up (as some people argue), why didn't they
generalize in both cases?

The answer is that the Rabbis were not making this up.  Rather, they
were relying on Torah She B'al Peh to determines the correct


From: Benschar, Tal S. <tbenschar@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 15:36:38 -0500
Subject: Sha'atnez

It's interesting that this topic has been discussed in recent weeks.  I
just last week received word from our local Sha'atnez tester in Passaic,
NJ that a suit I had purchased contained Sha'atnez in the filing of the
collar.  This was purchased at a well-known NY men's store.  This is
only the second time this has happened to me in many years of purchasing
and testing suits.

I think that a prior submission on chazakah got it correctly.  A
"chazakah" requires more than a simple majority -- it means that there
is no significant minority of cases going against the "chazakah."  In
classical terminology, there is no "miut hamatzui."  I think that is the
case for many clothing items (e.g. cotton shirts) but not suits,
etc. where there is a significant minority which have a problem.

A few years ago, my mother acquired a beautiful wool rug made in China.
We all enjoyed walking on it with bare feet.  It then occurred to me
that this might be Sha'tnez.  I called the Sha'atnez laboratory in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (whose founder introduced sha'atnez testing in
America).  He told me that he had never seen a sha'atnez problem with
wool rugs, and that meikar hadin it was permitted, but whoever wished to
be stringent should be blessed.  ("Hamachmir tavoh alav berachah.")

Another poster raised the issue of bittul berov -- nullification of the
minority in a mixture.  That principle does NOT apply to sha'atnez
because by definition sha'atnez is only prohibited as a mixture of two
otherwise permitted items, wool and linen.  Bittul generally occurs
where a prohibited item is mixed with permitted items (e.g. a piece of
nonkosher meat is mixed in with several pieces of kosher meat).

One might raise the prohibition of milk and meat as a counterexample.
However, the Gemara derives from the fact that the Torah stated this
prohibition in terms of cooking (Lo sevashel gedi bachalev imo -- Don't
cook a kid in its mother's milk) that the Torah only prohibited the
mixture "derech bishul" -- in the way of cooking.  Among other things,
this means that milk and meat are only prohibitted when one can taste
both.  (I understand this to mean that when one is cooking, things are
added to add or enhance the taste.)  Thus where the amount of one item
is very minute -- less than one in 60 -- it is nullified, meaning that
it cannot be tasted.  (This is not precisely the same thing as classical
"bittul" since there never was a prohibition to begin with.)

The point is, where it not for the principle of "derech bishul asra
Torah" ANY mixture of milk and meat, no matter how minute one of them
is, would have been prohibited.  That is precisely the case with
mixtures of wool and linen, i.e. sha'atnez.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 07:45:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbat elevators

Batya Medad asked <<< After decades of considering the "Shabbat elevator"
rather "wimpy," we are getting older, and I'm curious if it's a psak for
a hetter to be used by those incapable of walking.  Or is it a psak for
even the fittest? >>>

Having read some of the material on the subject, I think it is fair to
say that there are many varied problems with using an elevator on
Shabbos, and there are a comparably wide variety of approaches used in
developing a "Shabbos elevator". This means that whatever one might say
about *this* Shabbos elevator would quite likely not apply to *that*
Shabbos elevator, and each must be judged on its own merits. Some might
be acceptable even for the healthiest of people, and others might be
unacceptable even for the ill. Gotta ask on each one.

Akiva Miller

From: Marilyn Tomsky <jtomsky@...>
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 09:24:59 -0800
Subject: Re: Shabbat elevators

The stress on the body from the nine flights up and down is not a good
thing.  We are taught that to save a life is the highest quality.  As
you age you need to save that body higher unneeded stress.  I think that
would be a good thing to do.  It isn't easy to accept the truth that you
are aging but the pain of your body is the 'cry' of reality.

Marilyn Tomsky

From: Michael Lipkin <msl@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 09:57:54 -0500
Subject: Shabbat Elevators

There's an thorough treatment of the subject in the book "Shabbat and
Electricity" by Rabbi Halperin of the Institute of Science and Halacha.



From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 12:13:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot for Avel

Martin Stern wrote:
>Surely a chatan cannot be mochel since "chatan domeh lemelekh, a
>bridegroom is compared to a king" and "melekh shemachal al kevodo, ein
>kevodo machul, if a king wishes to forego his honour nevertheless his
>honour is not forgone (San. 19b)"

If this were a matter of kavod and the equation of a groom to a king
were complete then you would be correct.  However, I do not believe that
either of these statements are true.

Gil Student


From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 10:41:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Standing for bride and groom

> (2) At what point does one stand from the Chusen / Kallah -- when they
> first are seen at the back of the hall (about to march in) when they
> are nearby, when they pull even with your row?  This may seem trivial,
> but nonetheless a question.

        Since the "minhag" of standing for the bride and groom is only
about 30 years old, having no source whatever in halachah, I would
imagine the answer would be "whatever."

        I've heard two ex post facto explanations for standing, neither
of which seem logical. (1) Choson domeh l'melech (a groom is compared to
a king).  However, this is not true until after the chuppah, not on the
way to it, when he is halachically not yet a choson.  (2) The Mishnah
relates that the craftsmen of Yerushalayim stood for those who came
bearing bikkurim (first-fruit offering), because of the mitzvah they
were about to perform.  This reason would only apply to the choson,
since only he has the obligation to marry; but has anyone seen people in
shul stand for those who come in after them, because they are about to
fulfill the mitzvos of tallis and t'fillin? Obviously, the standing for
bikkurim bringers was not extended to mitzvos in general.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 17:09:51 GMT
Subject: Standing for bride and groom

Concerning standing for bride and groom at the wedding, this is a fairly
new phenomenon.

One observation from Rabbi Reisman is that while it may or not be a
minhag worth doing, the obligation to stand when elderly people enter
(e.g. grandparents of either bride or groom) is an undisputed
requirement mid'Oraisa, much neglected.



From: Larry Jassen <ljhomes@...>
Date: 1 Dec 2003 07:50:13 -0000
Subject: Standing for the bride and groom

Now I suppose I attended the same wedding as <chips@...>  This was
the first time I or many other long-time members of this particular
synagogue have ever heard such a pronouncement prior to the chupah, so
one should surmise that the "minhag" was the request of the families
and, out of respect to them, such a request should have been honored.
Those who did stand - those east coasters who "knew better" - did
nothing to ingratiate themselves to the bride and groom or to the
parents...especially since the father of the bride is the rabbi of the


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Dec 2003 18:54:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Top coats over kittels under the chuppah

I too was at a wedding a few months ago where the groom wore a winter coat 
over the kittel. My thought at the time was that he was ready to make a 
quick getaway!

From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 11:58:09 +0000
Subject: RE: Top coats over kittels under the chuppah

An explanation once offered to me for why a groom who wears a kittel
also wears an overcoat to cover it is that since the bride dresses in
white and a kittel is also white, he covers his kittel so as not to
detract from the bride's glory.

No doubt like all customs there are umpteen different reasons.

Immanuel Burton.

From: Tony Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 08:52:40 -0500
Subject: RE: Top coats over kittels under the chuppah

> The one explanation that I heard is that one wears the kittel as a 
> sign of one's pure status on the wedding day ... and one wears a 
> top coat over it so as not to be a "show-off" of one's status.

I have heard from that one must also wear an overcoat over the top coat
because, chas v'shalom, wedding guests might think that one is a baal
gaiva for making a show of one's anivut by wearing a top coat over one's
kittel.  However, the guests might G-d forbid think that one is not
wearing a kittel at all, so a baal nefesh is careful to insure that the
bottom of the kittel is visible under the top coat and suit jacket.  It
goes without saying that a baal nefesh who insures that the kittel is
showing must be doubly certain to insure the top coat shows as well.



End of Volume 41 Issue 34