Volume 41 Number 36
                 Produced: Thu Dec 11  5:40:31 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Implied Mechilah
         [Ira Bauman]
         [Stan Tenen]
Prayer when Time is Short
         [Aliza Berger]
         [Binyomin Segal]
         [Chaim Tatel]
Shabbas Elevator
         [Joseph Tabory]
Standing at Weddings (2)
         [Batya Medad, <LennyLevy@...>]
When a Body is a Body
         [Shalom Carmy]


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 23:07:52 EST
Subject: Re: Implied Mechilah

<<Question: in what other circumstances (not necessarily connected with
avelut/mourning) do we invoke an implied mechilah?>>

I'm not sure how this fits into the category but my own experience might
be an example of this mechila.  After paying for my dental education and
kvelling at my graduation many years ago, my parents couldn't wait for
me to be their dentist.  Since drilling tooth structure, extractions and
other treatment could be termed Chavalah (physical assault) which is
severely prohibited against one' parent, I asked a question to my rabbi.
His answer and the answer that I have heard several times since is that
if they feel strongly, and the treatment is primarily to advance their
health status rather than detract from it, it is no longer chavalah.
Might this be a case where my parents feelings are a mechilah that may
redefine an action that would otherwise be seen as forbidden?  

Ira Bauman


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 08:21:25 -0500
Subject: Population

I'm looking for information on the history of Jewish world population.
I'd like to find references to how the total number of Jews in the world
has increased and decreased over the past 3000 years.  I think it might
be possible to draw inferences from this that might help us in the world

I seem to remember that there are some claims that there were as many as
3 million Jews in Alexandria at one point.  (Some say this is one reason
why Ptolemy Philadelphus ordered the Greek Septuagint translation for
the Alexandrian library -- and because most of the Jews in Alexandria at
the time knew Greek better than Hebrew.)

What was the Jewish population before and after the Babylonian Exile?
Before and after Chanukah?

In Rome at the time of Constantine?

In Spain and Portugal during the Islamic period?

What was the Jewish population in Israel and in surrounding areas before
and after 535 CE?  (And what was the North African and European general
population at the same times?)

Etc., etc.

I'm looking for a 3000-year "timeline" of Jewish population vs. general

I'd like to see if there's a correlation with other population groups,
and/or with historical events.

Please respond on-list and/or personally.  Thanks.

Be well.


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 09:56:24 +0200
Subject: Prayer when Time is Short

I found an interesting article by Rabbi David Sperling on the Nishmat
web site regarding how women should pray shacharit when time is short.


He concludes with the following order:

While when time allows, it is proper for women to pray the complete
service, the order of preference would be as follows (see Ashei Israel
Chapter 7, 18):-

1.A small prayer that includes praise, request and thanks.
2.The Shmonah-Esrei
3.The blessing of "emet v'yatziv" (which is found after the shema)
4.The morning blessings
5.The blessings over the Torah
6.Pesukay d'zimra ("baruch she'amar", "ashrei", "yishtabach")
7.The first verse of the shema and "baruch shem kevod"
8.The rest of pesukei d'zimra
9.The complete three paragraphs of shema.

Each item on this list that is added to the morning prayers must, of
course, be added at the correct place in the service. Therefore, a women
needs to estimate before she begins praying how much time she will
have. If she only has a few minutes she will say only items number 1 or
2. If she knows that she will have five minutes or so, she will first
say item 3, then the Shmonah-Esrei (item 2). A woman who knows she has
about 15 minutes or so, should be able to recite the complete list, in
the correct order that it appears in the siddur (items 5,4,6 +
8,7,9,3,2). Those women with more time could say the complete service as
found in the siddur, just leaving out those parts that require a minyan
(if she is not praying with one). This should normally take about 30
minutes or so.

[end of R. Sperling's material]

My question: How would this list appear for a man, and why? After all,
men are also sometimes short of time.

If anyone is very interested, R. Sperling also has an article on how
women should catch up if we come to shul late (mostly referring to
shabbat morning). http://www.nishmat.net/article.php/id/1 Again, how if
at all would this differ for men, and why?


Aliza Berger, PhD
English Editing: editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: statistics-help.com


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 13:06:04 -0600
Subject: Re: Sha'atnez

David -

It has been a long time since we learned chullin together, so my memory
of some of this is quite rusty (and my attempts to find sources were
unsuccessful). However, perhaps my recollections will inspire you (or
someone else).

>   To pick an example I heard from our Moderator, the Mishna lists a huge
> number of potential treifos.  Shochtim check animals for only one of those,
> relying on a presumption that the others are uncommon.  Yet, if the others
> never happened, why would the Mishna have to list them?
>   One can, on the other hand, rebut a presumption with a statistic.  My
> questions here are: is someone familiar enough with the garment industry to
> tell us whether such a presumption is realistic for certain types of
> clothes? Has someone who checks sha'atnez kept statistics on what proportion
> of clothes have sha'atnez? Are there identifiable sub-populations (e.g.
> clothes made in America) with unusual percentages?

My recollection is that in general any safek which can be clarified
(efsher l'varer) can not be decided on the strength of a
chazaka/presumption. In the case of treifos, the gemara determines that
since one can not check for every possible treifa (eg there may have
been a treifa in the area of the shchita) and it is really only one
safek (ie is the animal kosher or treif) therefore one need not check
the treifos.

I am not an expert, and as I said my memory is very rusty, but it would 
seem to me that shatnez is not similar to treifos in this regard, and 
one can not rely on chazaka - unless there is some other reason to 
allow it.

> 2.  Several people have reported stories about prominent Rabbis who didn't
> sit on train seats fearing that the cushion may have been covered with
> sha'atnez.  Isn't sitting on sha'atnez a rabbinic prohibition? Wouldn't that
> be classified as safeik d'rabanan [only possibly a violation of rabbinic
> law] and be permitted?

It may well have been (although see above). My sense of these stories 
has always been that the person is doing something they understand to 
be a chumra. (Of course now we can start that whole discussion about 
when chumras are appropriate. Yey!)

> 3.  The laws of bittul with respect to sha'atnez are odd.  For example if a
> garment is 60% camel hair and 40% sheep hair it's considered non-wool (camel
> hair is not wool) and you may sew it with linen thread.  But if it's 60%
> sheep hair one linen thread is enough to render it sha'atnez.
>   Naively, I would have imagined that this indicates a physical difference.
> I would imagine that one cannot see a wool thread mixed in camel hair, but
> that one can see a linen thread mixed in wool.
>   The Shulhan Aruch, however, recommends that one dye cloth to find
> suspected linen, since linen and wool absorb dye differently.  To me that
> implies that, without the dye, one cannot see the linen thread.
>   Which is true? Can one see linen thread with the naked eye? If not, why
> doesn't bittul [the whole aquiring the status of the majority] apply? If so,
> shouldn't one be permitted to wear clothing whose linen can be detected only
> with chemical or microscopic tests?

Again relying on rusty memory in the hopes of inspiring some other 
scholar to help fill in the details. It seems to me that shatnez is 
very similar to meat/milk. 

My recollection (faulty perhaps - it doesn't come up often) is that 
milk is batul bmeeno brov. That is, cow milk mixed with pig milk is no 
longer considered milk if the majority is pig milk (and then cooking it 
with meat would be allowed). (Additionally, my recollection is that one 
can even do this on purpose. Since there is no "issur" this does not 
violate the prohibition of "eyn mevatlin issur lchatchilah")

Further, a small amount of meat cooked in milk is sufficient to produce 
this new think halacha calls "meat in milk". And while there is bitul, 
it does not rely on the "naked eye test". In fact anything that can be 
seen with the eye must be removed beyond the rule of "bitul" (that is, 
if a small piece falls in, that piece that is identifiable must be 
removed, and it is only with the remaining taam and unidentifiable 
parts that bitul is considered.

Don't know if this helps exactly, but perhaps it sheds some light. I 
look forward to your comments.


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 08:47:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Shaatnez

RE chazakah [presumption] that certain clothes don't contain sha'atnez:
I have over 30 years experience testing garments for Shaatnez. During
that time, I have found that manufacturers will purchase stiffening
materials from many sources. Two lots of stiffeners can end up in suits
made by one company in two plants (often two different countries) or
possibly even in the same manufacturing plant. In this case, chazakah
can't apply.

RE The laws of bittul with respect to sha'atnez.  Here is a portion of the
article written in the Star-K online kashrus newsletter: 

Bitul - Nullification	
A question that is often asked is "Are small amounts of linen botul, nullified,
in a wool garment?" The answer depends whether the linen at the time of
question is in the fibrous stage or was it already formed into threads. Fibers,
which are the thin delicate strands that can be easily observed when a thread
is untwisted, can become botul to other types of fibers as long as it is still
in the fibrous stage combined with materials other than wool. Threads of
completed linen cannot become botul to other threads. The ramifications of this
are important in considering whether an item is or is not shatnes. For example,
in threads with a 25% linen and 75% cotton composition, the linen becomes botul
to the cotton and these threads are treated for halachic purposes as though
they were 100% cotton threads and may be woven together with woolen threads to
form a non-shatnes fabric. If, however, a single linen thread is woven together
with wool, although the total content of linen is only a fraction of 1%, the
fabric would be considered shatnes since the single linen thread creates
shatnes problems.	

A similar example, actually quite common, is the situation where the wool is
botul, such as in a linen jacket containing interfacing made up of polyester,
animal hairs and wool. As long as every individual thread in the interfacing
contains less wool than polyester, the threads are halachically treated as
though they contain no wool at all. Obviously, only well trained shatnes
checkers who are experienced in the use of a microscope and in making fiber
counts should attempt to make this determination.


From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 15:38:31 +0200
Subject: RE: Shabbas Elevator

When we installed the shabbas elevator in our building, some of the
residents went to consult with Rav Elyashiv about it. They presented the
question and explained that they were only asking about it for people
who were infirm while healthy people would use the stairs. One of the
people who consulted with Rav Elyashiv told me that the rabbi's response
was something like this: "If I say that it is permissible to use the
elevator, who says that it is permissible to use the stairs?"

Joseph Tabory
13 Zerach Barnet St.; Jerusalem 95404 ; Israel
tel: 02-6519575


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 14:15:19 +0200
Subject: Re: Standing at Weddings

      I've heard two ex post facto explanations for standing, neither of
      which seem logical. (1) Choson domeh l'melech (a groom is compared

In Israel, until very recently, it has been the custom to stand, because
the chupot were generally in places(requently outdoors) too small or
uneven for chairs.  With affluence, catering halls are beginning to
prepare extra floor space and extra chairs for the attendees to sit.
The changes are more economic than halachik.


From: <LennyLevy@...>
Subject: Standing at Weddings

The poster who cited that people stood for the meviai bikurim (those
bringing the 1st fruits) stood to honor those doing a mitzvah

Similarly we stand during Vayevarech david in the morning prayer since
that is the usual time when someone walks around collecting tzedaka. He
is doing a mitzva, so we stand.

We stand up when the Chevra kaddisha or pall bearers carry out a coffin,
again, in honor of those doing a mitzva.

It is possible, therefore, that the standing at the chuppa is in honor
of the shoshvinan, those escorting the chassan and kallah, who are also
doing a mitzvah. It is interesting to note that until the ceremony takes
place the bride and grrom technically do not have the halachic status of
"Chassan and Kallah" .


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 10:57:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: When a Body is a Body

> "left/right side" are not descriptors appropriate to an electron,
> nevertheless - and with apologies to the traditional metaphysical
> viewpoint you cite - it is still no composite.  perhaps TMV should
> consider this as a counterexample to their current paradigm but i leave
> such ruminations to those more metaphysically ept than myself.
> Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 845-2357

As far as I know, "corporeal" means occupying space. A corporeal body is
mathematically divisible. If G-d is a unity, then G-d is indivisible,
and G-d is not a corporeal body.

You can talk about physical entities that are not corporeal bodies, you
can talk about "matter." If it does not occupy space it isn't a
corporeal body.

This leaves two questions:

1) How does one define "matter" or the "physical" to account for
entities that are not corporeal but that one still wishes to call
material or physical?

2) What beliefs about G-d do Rambam (and everybody else) want to exclude
when we say that G-d has no body or image of a body?

I can propose answers to both questions, but am not sufficiently in the
sugya to go on the record.


End of Volume 41 Issue 36