Volume 43 Number 08
                 Produced: Thu Jun 17  6:39:17 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Better use of sources
Deliberately Invalid Marriages (6)
         [Eitan Fiorino, Akiva Miller, Eliyahu Gerstl, David Charlap,
Michael, Ben Katz]
One-handle water faucets on Shabbat
         [Stephen Phillips]
Shiddach rules
Y'kum Purkan
         [Ben Katz]


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 12:30:35
Subject: RE: Better use of sources

"Even though I can't verify this I was told that the Lubavitcher Rebbe
counciled the owners of Freeda's wigs against using Indian hair when
this issue first came up."

I realize that the rules of discussion groups are quite lax, but I
wonder why bother posting something if "I can't verify it"? So many
times people post on Mail-Jewish things like "I don't remember exactly,
but" or "I think it was in some gemara somewhere (I am not exactly sure
which gemara or daf, but I am positive that it was either on Amud Aleph
or Bet)."

The reason I mention this is because someone might tell someone about
something that someone else told her is on Mail-Jewish, and down the line
it will become "the fact is that {} and I know it because it was on
Mail Jewish."


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:22:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

> From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
> I have no idea if it is true, but if it is, the practice is 
> outrageous, disgusting, and useless.
> Why useless?
> [Quoted material removed]
> If these rabbis are invalidating the marriage ceremony, it 
> doesn't matter.  The first time the newlywed couple sleeps 
> together as man and wife, they will have officially gone 
> through kidushin and a get will be required in the event of divorce.

I don't believe this is accurate - my understanding is that we hold
today sexual relations cannot effect a halachic marriage.  Otherwise Rav
Moshe's psak regarding non-halachic marriages would not work.

There is real issue here, however, in that in contrast to Rav Moshe's
psak, there have been rulings from Israeli rabbaim that a man and woman
who were never married but were living together in a way that was
publicly known require a get when they break up - recognizing in effect
a common-law marriage (I recall this being in Techumim some time back).

Thus, even if the kiddushin were to have been intentionally invalidated,
there remains the problem that at least according to some Israeli
poskim, a get is needed anyway.  So the whole venture is levatalah


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:07:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

David Charlap wrote <<< If these rabbis are invalidating the marriage
ceremony, it doesn't matter.  The first time the newlywed couple sleeps
together as man and wife, they will have officially gone through kidushin
and a get will be required in the event of divorce. >>>

My understanding is that this is indeed the view of Rav Yosef Eliyahu
Henkin z"l.

However, Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l disagreed, holding that in such a case,
"the first time the newlywed couple sleeps together", they will do so
under the mistaken impression that they are already married. Therefore,
this "sleeping together" will be done without any deliberate intention
of *becoming* married. Therefore, this (and all subsequent acts) will
fail to meet the definition of "kidushin", and they will remain
unmarried, and will not need a get in the case of divorce.

Akiva Miller

From: Eliyahu Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:38:03 -0400
Subject: RE: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

My comments:

I share your attitude to the problem and for many of the same reasons.

In perusing the issues I found that there is much disagreement among
Rishonim and among Achronim as to the issue of the disqualification of
non-observant witnesses and the types of non-observance that may
disqualify them. So the rabbi who thought he was performing an invalid
marriage may have been mistaken; and thus some future rabbi who believes
that no get is required may also be mistaken (Yes, I realize that there
is a famous teshuvah of Rav Moshe, ztzl, that invalidates marriages in
certain situations of invalid witnesses, but each case is different and
requires serious study by a major posek, not a formulaic approach
relying on one teshuvah albeit of a precious Gadol.)

Then there is the issue raised by David that was discussed indirectly in
Mishnat Avraham by the late Rav A.A. Price, z"l of Toronto in the course
of his discussion as to whether a get is halachically required to
dissolve a civil marriage between jews.  He extensively analyzes that
question.  I have not done more than read parts of his two lenghthy
analyses (one in each of his two volumes which are found on
www.hebrewbooks.org).  Rav Price comes to the conclusion that a get is
generally required.

A major thrust of Rav Price's discussion is the fact that extra-marital
relations are forebidden and that there is a chazakah (general maxim)
that "ein adam oseh beilato beilat zenut" (a person prefers that his
relations should not be immoral). IIUC, this intention by both the
couple and the public knowing of this intention when observing the fact
of the couple living together as husband and wife may make members of
the public witnesses to the fact of their marriage and create a
recognized marriage.

So there are several complex issues that lead to a complex amalgam of
fact and halacha with the added complexity of differing halachic
opinions - multiple complexities upon complexities- and involving the
most serious of halachic problems.

Given such complexity and gravity, it is most distressing to sometimes
learn that such serious matters are at times dealt with formulaically,
without the analysis and the consultation with major poskim that such
cases demand.


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 11:02:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

Warren Burstein wrote:
> Somehow the instructions not to look at a wedding haven't reached me.
> As far as I know, I'm a kosher witness.
> In cases where I have been a designated witness, if it eventually turns
> out to be necessary to disqualify me as a witness to end one marriage,
> would other couples whose wedding I've witnessed need to remarry?

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding
that witnesses are not required for a marriage to take place.  Witnesses
are required for their to be proof of the marriage that will stand up in
court, should its validity be contested.

This is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, you want witnesses.  Suppose a stranger shows up and
says "you can't be married to her, she married me first", and he has
some kind of document (which may or may not be forged.)  In a Jewish
court, those kosher witnesses are the required proof to either support
or invalidate his claim.

On the other hand, the absence of witnesses allows a court to more
easily declare "we have no proof, so we can declare that you never were
married", which is one way out of the aguna problem.

But if a couple is living together faithfully and is not getting
divorced, then there is usually no need for legally-binding proof.  If
the witnesses were found to not be kosher, it doesn't matter.  Nobody is
challenging the validity of their marriage.

In the case of the stranger showing up, at least today, there are
avenues through the civil court system that can settle the issue.  If
the parties involved are willing to be subject to the decision of the
civil court, then kosher witnesses will not be required - instead,
documents and witnesses considered valid by the civil court system (not
necessarily the same thing) would be required.

> If a couple with a deliberately invalidatable wedding later becomes
> observant, will they be advised to redo the marriage?

They may want to sign a new ketuba in front of two kosher witnesses, in
order to add proof to their existing marriage, but I doubt it would be
necessary for them to actually remain married.

Of course, those witnesses could only testify to the marriage as of the
date of the "second" marriage, which they witnessed.  They couldn't
testify at all regarding the "first" marriage.

-- David

From: Michael <b1ethh94@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 14:12:37 -0400
Subject: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

It's my understanding that any one of the three you quote is sufficient.
Today we use two of them in practice, the ring and the ketuba.

The third method is clearly not advised (I believe even at the time of
the Gemara), but, as you note, is still technically possible.  But as
you say, the couple has to have the proper intention when having
relations of this act being done specifically for kiddushin.  Having
gone through the marriage ceremony, they certainly will not have this in
mind, since they will think they are already married.  So this does
provide an out - not that I agree with this if these deliberately faulty
marriages are being performed.

I think that this concept has been used in cases of possible mamzerut
where a non Orthodox marriage was originally performed, the wife
divorces without a get, and has a child through a second civil marriage.
The bet din might be able to nullify retroactively the original
marriage, so that the couple were never halachically married, just in
effect "living together". Although this is deplorable, it would not
result in problems for children of second marriages.

Michael  <mirskym@...>

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 09:42:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

         I believe that imposing halacha is never a good idea and is
certainly not the way to be mekarev people.  I have known Israeli
couples who leave the country to get a civil wedding.


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 11:57:21 +0100
Subject: Re: One-handle water faucets on Shabbat

> From: <Engineered@...> (Shmuel Norin)
> I follow my Rebbi, Rabbi Shlomo Singer on Passaic NJ.  He turns down the
> hot water temperature setting before Shabbot starts.  The temperature
> should be less than that which would feel hot (~40C or 104F). Than you
> can use hot or cold water on Shabbot. 

I don't know how hot water is produced in the United States, but here in
the UK water is stored in a tank (an immersion heater) and remains hot
(way above 40c) for many hours, possibly into the next day. So turning
off the heat won't help because new cold water entering the tank will be
heated up and that is Bishul. The only way around this is to actually
turn off the tap to prevent cold water entering the tank, but I don't
know how practical this is.

Stephen Phillips


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 07:10:41
Subject: Shiddach rules

> 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.

The rules are norms of social conduct that a given community has
accepted.  Like (not) blowing your horn at 7:00 AM or (not) double
parking with impunity because your wear a black hat.

Simple social courtesy requires a mutual understanding of the rules and
some agreement as to how social matters are conducted.  The question as
phrased above is ridiculous.  Following rules has nothing to do with
finding one's bashert -- it's, again, simply a matter of not
discomforting people by doing things outside the boundaries of what they
have grown to expect.


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 09:52:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Y'kum Purkan

>From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
>Another thread maybe - should we say "asher beBavel " nowadays when
>there are no talmidei chachamim there? How about Baer ( Avodat Yisrael)
>reccomendation to say "ve-di bechol ar'ah galvatana" - we should pray
>for the chachamim in Erets Yisrael and in the whole diaspora.

         This is obviously an important point, and despite the fact that
this was one of the first changes Reformers sought to make in the
davening, they were correct.  We are now in the lamentable situation
that we pray for things that are no longer relevant while perhaps not
acknowledging other things that are more relevant, and if we do make a
change it is ALWAYS an additon.  One can't keep adding to the davening
ad infinitum.  I am only half-serious, but I doubt that Sadia Gaon could
sit thru shabat morning services in most shuls today.


End of Volume 43 Issue 8