Volume 43 Number 05
                 Produced: Wed Jun 16  6:31:34 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Courageous Call for Hesbon Nefesh Within RZ Camp (2)
         [Bernard Raab, David Eisen]
The Curse Of Eve
         [Janice Gelb]
Israeli Prospective
         [Benschar, Tal S.]
         [Evan Rock]
Mikve when husband is out of town
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Mikveh when Husband is out of Town
         [Martin Stern]
Psalms and Parshiyot
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Shidduch Dating Rules
Source for a quote
         [Joshua Meisner]
Wayward Yeshivah boys
         [Paul Shaviv]
when Yoni comes marching home again :)
         [Leah S. Gordon]


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 00:08:25 -0400
Subject: Courageous Call for Hesbon Nefesh Within RZ Camp

This piece needs to be accompanyed by a glossary. I think I am
able to decode RZ (Religious Zionist), RaM (Rav Amnon Bazak), and YHE
(Yeshivat Har Etzion), but I'm stumped by DL and RL.
Help?--Bernie R.

From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 08:19:35 +0200
Subject: RE: Courageous Call for Hesbon Nefesh Within RZ Camp

RaM = Rosh Metivta / Maggid Shiur
DL = Dati Leumi / Religious Zionist

and RL is a typo (sorry) - it should have been RZ.

KT (Kol Tuv),
DE (David Eisen)


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 09:52:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The Curse Of Eve

This message assumes that all women are the same in terms of sexuality
and their response to it, and that all men are the same in terms of
their willingness and ability to be the aggressor. I don't know if Mr
Shachter's experiences as a grad student influenced his view of women in
this area but just as all people do not have the same personalities and
interests, all women do not have the same approach to their sexuality
nor do all men.

-- Janice


From: Benschar, Tal S. <tbenschar@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 13:33:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Israeli Prospective

> I just had an interesting phone call with a "chareidi" friend in Israel,
> the gist of which was basically, "What the heck is wrong with all you
> American Jews and your rabbis?  There has been a clear psak from the
> gedolei haDor for two weeks already that sheitels are avoda zora, and
> you're all still carrying on like nothing has changed! We keep sending
> chashuve rabbonim over there to explain it and you still don't accept
> it!"

I have three responses to this:

1. The assertion is simply not true.  I understand that a number of
  prominent Israeli poskim are still saying that the matter is not
  resolved, and that while one should not wear a sheitel as of now,
  neither should one throw it out.

2. More fundamentally, the situation in America is simply different than
  Israel: while in Israel most wigs have at least some Indian hair, in
  the U.S. most do not.  It is conceivable that a poseik in the
  U.S. would permit wigs here on the basis of "kol de parish meruba
  parish" (as I heard from one very prominent poseik in Brooklyn) but
  not in Israel.

To put it differently, the shaila in the U.S. is a different shaila from
that in Israel.  As I heard from one of my rebbeim, when there is a
different factual situation from that faced by other poskim, it is a
different shaila, and accordingly their psak on a different shaila may
not be applicable.

3. Even more fundamentally, I have great difficulty with the assertion
  that "there has been a clear psak from the gedolei haDor."  I once
  heard Rav Aaron Soloveichik zt"l comment about a certain gadol in
  Israel: "He may be the gadol haDor, but he is not the Beis Din
  HaGadol."  Until such time as the Beis Din HaGadol is reestablished,
  the poskim in one country are not obligated to follow those in
  another; indeed the Rambam states that a Talmid Chacham she higiya le
  horaah (a scholar who has reached the point where he is qualified to
  pasken) is OBLIGATED to give a psak when asked.

It is for this reason that the Brisker Rav, zt"l was admantly opposed to
attempts in the early years of Medinas Yisrael to establish what was
then called a Sanhedrin.  That would encroach on the authority of every
poseik to give a psak as he sees fit until the time the true Beis Din
HaGadol is reestablished.

Even assuming that all the poskim in Israel were to rule that wigs are
forbidden as tikroves avoda zara (which is not yet the case, see #1),
the poskim in America are entitled (indeed) obligated to investigate the
matter thoroughly and come up with their own psak.


From: Evan Rock <theevanrock@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 08:48:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Kohanim

The Kohanim amongst the Jews of the Iranian diaspora duchan every day.
Following the dukhaning the Kohanim move amongst the congregation and
offer the fringers of their tallit to be touched by the fringes of their

Kohanim have been held in great awe in that diaspora, at times to the
disadvantage of the Kohanim.  Given that the Kohanim are from the tribe
of Levi and given Levi ben Yaaqov's wrath in the incident with his
sister, the Kohanim have an image of being quick to anger.  Those
outside of the tribe od Levi were until recently reluctant to allow
their daughters to marry Kohanim. The Kohanim much more so than the
Leviim, because of their duty to bless, and one would not want to risk
annoying a son-in-law who could bless one.

In the past 20 years there has been a movement to break away from this
practice, rabbis have encouraged congregations not to frown on marriages
with Kohanim.

All said, given this strong tradition, the Kohanim from the Iranian
diaspora would offer a strong pool for genetic testing.


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 18:47:25 +0200
Subject: Mikve when husband is out of town

Many years ago, when I was a smicha student at YU, I was privileged to
learn the section of Shulchan Aruch Yore Deah which deals with the laws
of family purity with the renowned Rosh Yeshiva, Rav, and professor
Rabbi Dr.  Moshe David Tendler. R. Tendler was very emphatic in his
opposition to the custom of a woman refraining from going to the mikve
when her husband is out of town. While conceding that this is the custom
in some chassidic communities, R. Tendler felt strongly that this
practice is not according to the halacha, leads to serious pitfalls (in
cases where the husband returns before the expected time) and should in
general be avoided.

He was quite heated on the subject because at the time attendants in a
mikve under chassidic auspices in his community of Monsey were refusing
to allow women whose husbands were known to be out of town to use the
mikve; he felt that this was a highly improper attempt to impose
non-halachic and even anti-halachic chassidic customs on the the general

In short, according to R. Tendler, a woman should go to the mikve even
if her husband is out of town.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 15:18:05 +0100
Subject: Re: Mikveh when Husband is out of Town

on 11/6/04 9:48 am, Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote
concerning a comment that " A woman should *not* go to the mikva if her
husband is not going to be there but should wait until the first night
he will be back."

> On the contrary.  I remember that the wife is always supposed to be
> ready for a surprise visit.  Years ago, it happened to someone I knew
> that her husband came home unexpectedly from _____, and she could have
> had been ok, but she hadn't been to mikvah or counted or anything, so
> they had to wait the minimum 12 days, possibly plus.

This illustrates the danger of people paskening for themselves rather
than asking a competent orthodox rabbi. The woman obviously should have
counted her shiva neki'im each month during her husband's absence but
not gone to the mikvah.

However as she hadn't, she should have made hefsek taharah immediately
or, if not possible, at the earliest opportunity, and then asked a
sha'alah as to how to proceed. There are good grounds to waive the five
days in such circumstances since she had been a niddah continuously for
much longer. It is possible that a rav would have paskened so in these

Thus the minimum wait could have been as little as seven days if she had
not kept track of her cycles or, if she had, she might have been allowed
to go to the mikvah that same night.

In any case all women should always keep records of the dates of onset
of their menstrual flow in order to establish whether they have a fixed
veset (halachically regular cycle) which can affect their marital life
in several ways.

None of the above is meant to be a halachic ruling and for guidance as
to how to conduct oneself in practice a competent orthodox rabbi should
be consulted.

Martin Stern


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 09:00:04 +0200
Subject: Psalms and Parshiyot

   Many years ago I saw, in one of those small plastic-covered pocket
Siddurim that are so popular in Israel, a list of Tehillim to be recited
for each of the weekly Torah portions.  Does anyone know anything about
such a tradition?  I would be very grateful for any help on this

     Yehonatan Chipman


From: <Smwise3@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 04:54:06 EDT
Subject: Re: Shidduch Dating Rules

<< I'm not questioning the rules; I/m (only) asking what the rules are
as I'm new at this and things have changed since my wife and I were at
this stage.  But the reason for anonymity is simply to protect my son's
privacy.  We're all getting inundated. >>

Do you believe that if you didn't follow the rules, your son would miss
his bashert? Following the rules is no guarantee of success or happiness
(unless that happiness is really "bragging rights."  Worse then the
shidduch horror stories are the divorce horrors, where apparently people
followed the rules, found a shidduch and then suffered the consequences
of that choice.



From: Joshua Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 23:06:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Source for a quote

Does anyone know the source for the following quote:

He'avar ayin
V'he'atid 'adayin
V'ha-hoveh k'heref 'ayin.
Da'agah minayin?

 	Some years back, I saw it attributed to a Rav Yosef Hahn
Nordlingen (sic?), but this past Shabbos I saw it quoted in a
publication in the name of the Ibn Ezra, so was wondering if anyone
could provide a source for this quote.

[The quote loses its catchiness when translated, but the gist is: "The
past is no more, the future is still to come, and the present is like
the blink of an eye - so why worry?]



From: Paul Shaviv <shaviv@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 12:11:49 -0400
Subject: Wayward Yeshivah boys

Max Landau, after directing us to a new site for dropout bochurim, asks:
"Are there any better or different ways to help these kids?".

Yes, there is a way to help these kids, and that is to deal with why
they are thrown out (or walk out) of their yeshivot in the first place.
In my day job (!) I am head of North America's largest Jewish Community
High School - CHAT (Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto) .We have 1,400
students, G9-G12 on two campuses. In that capacity I deal with
applications for admission which are problematic or unusual in one way
or another - and that includes the applications from Yeshivah
dropouts. There is no category of applicants that is more tragic, or
more sad.  Their level of general *and Jewish* education is frequently
so low that we can only take them - if at all - by putting them back a
year, or directing them to Special Ed.  I don't want to dwell on the
issue, which would take a long essay. However, almost all students in
this category have the following in common: 1) They are 'different' in
some way (and that includes many different ways) from the 'ideal
student' image projected by their institution, *which invariably has
reacted to their difference by marginalising them*.  2) They are
incredibly angry.  3) They feel totally betrayed by their rebbes and
teachers - especially when they realise (as is frequently the case) that
despite their passing marks year by year, they have in fact not been
really educated 4) frequently, their institutions seem to have dealt
with them in ways that are puzzling to anyone who deals with
teenagers. 5) Their parents show deep feelings of social embarrassment.

The overwhelming sin in today's Orthodox community seems to be
non-conformity. Some sections of the community seem to be unable to
tolerate *any* deviance from their norms in dress, behaviour, attitude,
ambitions, interests, beliefs, personality etc etc.  Their reaction is
cruel and ruthless. We pay the price, sometimes in tragic human and
family terms, day by day.  The website referred to by Mr. Landau is but
one of the many results.

Paul Shaviv
Director of Education
CHAT / Toronto


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 20:36:00 -0700
Subject: when Yoni comes marching home again :)

>On the contrary.  I remember that the wife is always supposed to be
>ready for a surprise visit.  Years ago, it happened to someone I knew
>that her husband came home unexpectedly from _____, and she could have
>had been ok, but she hadn't been to mikvah or counted or anything, so
>they had to wait the minimum 12 days, possibly plus.

Surely she would have had to wait [additionally] only seven days?  I
mean assuming it could have "been ok".  Unless of course the timing was
unfortunate so it went into another cycle.  Maybe I'm not understanding
the situation.



End of Volume 43 Issue 5