Volume 43 Number 17
                 Produced: Tue Jun 22 20:16:14 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels
         [Ken Bloom]
Avot keeping the mitzvot (2)
         [Michael J. Savitz, Joel Rich]
Erev 17 Tammuz
         [Joseph Kaplan]
Mizmor Shir L'yoim Hashabos
         [Perets Mett]
Nondisclosure of HIV=Shefichat Damim (Murder)?
         [Rise Goldstein]
Reactions to Rav Bazak's Article (2)
         [<Yisyis@...>, Michael Poppers]
Stripes on Tallit
         [Nathan G. Lamm]


From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 13:44:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels

On Wed, Jun 16, 2004 at 01:36:56PM -0400, Carl Singer wrote:
> Yes -- I was worried about that aspect, because of the hanoh associated 
> with doing a mitzvah.  Was anyone able to devise an halachic work around?
> But then again there was hanoh from the PUBLIC burning -- the resultant 
> publicity was no accident and it (a) served to further certain political 
> (?) anti-sheitel views for those who would ban all sheitels, stam,  (b) 
> it served to communicate the need to burn one's sheitel, and (c) it 
> served as a demonstration by certain communities (or individuals) that 
> they're especially machmir.

That's probably supposed to happen. The result of burning these items
associated with Avodah Zarah is probably supposed to communicate how
greatly Judaism abhors idolatry. Although the messages communicated in
this case are probably a bit different than in general - particularly
(c) which should instead ordinarily communicate that *all* Jews abhor
idolatry that much, not just the machmir ones.


From: Michael J. Savitz <michael.savitz@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 12:50:30 -0400
Subject: Avot keeping the mitzvot

Brandon Raff <Brandon@...> wrote:
<<Does anyone know the source for the the concept that the Avot, the
Patriarchs, kept all the mitzvot in the Torah. Could you also include
textual examples for this concept.>>

Re Avraham, see Bereishit 26:5 ("... Vayishmor mishmarti mitzvotai
chukotai vetorotai") and Rashi thereon.  Re Yaakov, see Bereishit 32:5
("... Im Lavan garti ...") and Rashi thereon.  I don't know a source for
this re Yitzchak.

From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 12:48:30 EDT
Subject: Re: Avot keeping the mitzvot

If you(or anyone else)want a shiur on this, email me a fax #. I did an
extensive Tikkun leil shavuot on this 2 years ago.Including sources and

Joel Rich


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 14:14:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Erev 17 Tammuz

I once attended a lechaim on the erev of a fast day (I don't remember
which one othre than it wasn't Yom Kippur or Tisha Be'av.)  One of the
relative of the young couple was a rebbe at YU and was asked to speak.
His theme was whether the commemoration of the day, as opposed to the
fast itself, starts the night before.  He said that Rav Moshe and the
Rav differed; the Rav held it started the night before and therefore a
lechaim should not be held, and Rav Moshe allowed such a celebration.
(Of course, many of us wondered about the wisdom of using this as a
theme since not only the speaker but the aprents of both the young man
and young woman and the vast majority of the guests were graduates of YU
and followers of teh Rav.)

Joseph Kaplan


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 18:04:56 +0100
Subject: Mizmor Shir L'yoim Hashabos

Carl Singer wrote:

> One of my sons pointed out to me and to a "tardy" z'man minyan that on
> Friday night it is, according to (as I recall) the Shlaw in the Aruch
> HaShulchan a sakuneh (danger) to say "Mizmor Shir L'yom HaShabbat"
> after Shkiyah.  This would, of course, imply davening Mincha BEFORE
> shkiyah.

I was unable to locate this in the Orukh Hashulchon.
Can we please have  a reference?

Perets Mett


From: Rise Goldstein <rbgoldstein@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 10:46:37 -0700
Subject: Nondisclosure of HIV=Shefichat Damim (Murder)?

As I understand it, there is a clear halachic obligation for people
"getting serious" about one another as potential mates, and for people
who are currently married and for whom these things come up during the
course of the marriage, to disclose any "significant" personal and
family issues in domains like health, legal/criminal justice situations,
and financial concerns.  It seems self-evident that HIV infection
qualifies as a significant issue.  Moreover, despite the huge successes
of highly active antiretroviral medication "cocktails" in prolonging the
lives of patients in developed countries where the medications are
available and accessible, HIV disease remains ultimately fatal, albeit
not as rapidly fatal as it used to be.  Thus, by infecting someone, an
HIV-positive person is likely, though not certainly, going to end up
killing the "infectee."

However, advocates for the populations most heavily impacted by the
epidemic argue that disclosure of HIV infection should not, and cannot,
be mandated across the board, based on, among others, the possibilities

	(a) The disclosing party may suffer devastating rejection,
stigma, and discrimination, especially if the (potential) partner to
whom he or she discloses then chooses to spread the information around.

	(b) The disclosing party may suffer accusations, valid or
otherwise, of infidelity or other severely disvalued behavior, and may
be beaten up by the party to whom he or she discloses for these or other

	(c) If the party receiving the disclosure decides not to hold
the information confidential, the discloser may end up losing job,
insurance, and/or housing.  Relatedly, if the disclosing party is
dependent on the other for financial support, then he or she may end up
unable to meet basic survival needs if rejected following disclosure.
(Points a-c are cited most often in connection with HIV-positive women,
but may apply to men as well.)

	(d) The disclosing party may end up permanently unable to find a
life partner.

	(e) HIV disease is no longer uniformly, rapidly fatal, though it
*may* still be *eventually* fatal if the patient doesn't die of
something else first.  Now infected people live long enough for there to
be "competing risks" of mortality--that is, they could be run over by a
truck, or die of heart disease (either as part of the "background rate"
of cardiovascular mortality in the general population, or as a
consequence of the metabolic complications of their HIV medications) or
other natural or unnatural causes.

Obviously, many of the points cited by the advocates don't carry
halachic weight regarding obligations of disclosure.  Others, however,
conceivably might.

Would nondisclosure to a potential (or current, if the HIV-positive
party was diagnosed during the relationship) mate constitute shefichat
damim (murder), especially now that HIV disease is no longer always
rapidly fatal?

Conversely, are there any circumstances under which nondisclosure
*might* be halachically permissible, including fear of the discloser for
his or her safety as a consequence of disclosure?

How do these halachic considerations converge with, or diverge from, for
example, state laws on the books in the U.S. that criminalize
nondisclosure to people with whom an HIV-positive person engages in
behaviors that could transmit the virus?

What are the implications for health care providers working with
HIV-positive patients as far as (a) maintaining confidentiality, (b)
pressing patients to divulge their status to people they might be at
risk of infecting, and/or (c) disclosing to identifiable third parties
at risk if patients refuse?

Rise Goldstein (<rbgoldstein@...>)
Los Angeles, CA


From: <Yisyis@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 18:11:52 EDT
Subject: Re: Reactions to Rav Bazak's Article

Upon reading Rav Bezek's essay and the responses to it, it seems that
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz is not an inappropriate time to ponder the issue.
At the time of Churban Sheni the Romans sought to hold on to Eretz
Yisrael as part of their empire.  I've heard it said that the Romans, as
opposed to the Hellenists, merely sought to extend their sovereignty and
economic authority over the lands they conquered.  Religious and
cultural coercion was not part of their plan.  Perhaps an agreement
could have been reached to spare the Temple and it's service.
Unfortunately the actions of the Zealots forced the Romans to take a
harder approach.  Of course,one might say that if Hashem decided on the
Churban this controversy might be no more than a moot point.  On the
other hand Rav Yochanan ben Zaccai left Yerushalayim and eventually
bargained with Titus to spare Yavneh and it's sages.  I think that RYBZ
was probably seen by the zealots as a traitor.  Yet, we have him to
thank for the continuity of Judaism past the Churban.  In retrospect,
RYBZ is seen as the hero and we are his spiritual heirs, while the names
of the zealots are forgotten or reviled.  Might we be reliving a
somewhat similar machloket?

From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 10:06:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Reactions to Rav Bazak's Article

In M-J V43#10, GDubin used the phrase
> thinking through the issues and hashkafa <

Precisely what each Torah-true Jew should be doing in general, but
especially when faced with the ma'asim in the Torah that are currently
being read comunally; when the period of "bain haMtzorim" (the "three
weeks") is approaching; and when, AIUI, Jews will be prevented from
entering Gaza, according to PM Sharon's plans, beginning on the 9th of
Av 5764.

Both RaM Bazaq and SSpiro noted that we no longer have n'vi'im on whom
to rely (or whom [not] to listen to).  Aside from Bazaq's other point,
again AIUI with my cachah-cachah grasp of Ivrit (that we should take
into consideration how we RZs are perceived and how our policies are
supported or not supported), no n'vi'im means to me that we need to at
least seriously consider the measured words of, if not rely on, our
Torah leaders, whether or not their political views coincide with our
own views.  I would very much like to see someone like RaM Bazaq
address, in the manner of Torah, the words of thoughtful leaders like
Rav Eliahu and others as they were issued ahead of the Likud-party
referendum, for just as he noted conflicting themes in the sedra which
quotes both the words of Calaiv and the subsequent words of Moshe
Rabbainu, one could note the Mishna re last week's sedra and hope that
our Torah leaders can engage in a machloqes l'shaim Shomayim and thereby
enlighten us.

All the best from

 Michael Poppers via RIM pager


From: Nathan G. Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 14:33:29 -0400
Subject: Stripes on Tallit

There are a number of reasons given:

-In his volumes on tefillah, Rabbi Steinsaltz points out that in
classical times, stripes and similar designs (very similar to what
appears on tallitot today) were commonly placed on the edges of
garments, for design purposes. Look at many pictures of ancient Rome or
Greece, and you'll see this. Whether influenced by these empires or
arising from a similar but independent impulse, this seems to me to be
the most logical explanation.

-There seem to be halakhic suggestions (or even requirements) that the
garment match the tzitzit and/or vice versa. If the tzitzit are white
threads with some (or half) blue, then a white tallit with stripes would
match this. (For black, see below.)

-It has also been suggested that the stripes were added after people
stopped using tekhelet, as a zikaron.

According to the last two answers (and even the first), why would it be
black on many tallitot? (Blue is obvious, as the color of tekhelet, and,
incidentally, well predates the modern Zionist/Israeli flag which is
based on the tallit. Of course, some may wear it nowadays for the
Israeli connection. In turn, blue may have been chosen for the flag as
it's more aesthetically pleasing than black, or for the reasons given
here.) There are several possibilities:

-When describing the color of tekhelet, the Rambam uses the word
"shachor." He clearly means "dark," as in "dark blue," but some may have
translated it literally as "black" and used that color for the stripes.
(Tekhelet is defined in any number of shades of blue, from dark reddish-
I've seen tallitot with stripes of this color- to purple to green, but
not black.)

-Black may simply have been the cheapest dye.

-Some have suggested that black is a color of mourning for the churban,
although black is more a somber color in Jewish tradition than a
mourning one. Perhaps this is a European influence, and is why Sephardim
don't use it.

The stripes, of course, have no halakhic ramifications, and any
differences in width, number, and even color are a matter of taste.

The above is taken from comments, mostly mine, at 

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 43 Issue 17