Volume 44 Number 17
                    Produced: Fri Aug 13  5:49:27 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abuse (2)
         [Yossie Abramson, Ira L. Jacobson]
Cryptic Torah
         [Stan Tenen]
Dina d'Malchuta Dina
         [Carl Singer]
Fake Marriage
         [Daniel Gross]
Lubavitch (2)
         [David Neuman, Peretz Davidson]
Mixed marriage problem
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Mixed Weddings
         [Janice Gelb]
Rabbinical positions, again
         [David Riceman]
Three Kohen Points
         [Gershon Rothstein]
Who are these rabbis?
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Yossie Abramson <yossiea@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 12:05:59 -0400
Subject: Abuse

Just a quick note regarding an issue of reporting abuse that may come
into play. Most states in the US have required reporting for certain

(This is all for New York State, most states should be the same) As an
EMT, I am by law required to report cases of child abuse and even
suspected cases. I can lose my license if I fail to report. The same is
true with doctors, etc. I am not sure if clergy has the same
requirements, but school officials do have the requirement to report
abuse, failure to report is punishable by fines and possible jail times.

-Yossie Abramson

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 19:59:39 +0300
Subject: Re: Abuse

      Al taamod b'dam rayacha.

Pardon my precision, but the middle of Leviticus 19 verse 16 is "lo
ta`amod `al dam reyekha." One ought to be careful quoting pesuqim and
parts thereof.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:05:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Cryptic Torah

>From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
>From: Mike Gerver
> >...there would have been no need for the Torah to explain that
> >"an eye for an eye" did not mean literally taking someone's eye out if
> >he caused someone else to lose his eyesight. The Jews who were receiving
> >the Torah would already have understood that this phrase was legal
> >terminology specifying that someone who damages someone else's eye has
> >to pay just compensation.
>Unfortunately, this does not explain why the Torah chose to retain the
>cryptic designations of Hammurabi rather than saying directly what was
>intended. Inevitably, the unschooled would assume that eye-for-an-eye
>meant exactly that, as they do to this very day!

A good question. There are several possibilities.

1) The designations are not cryptic. They only seem that way to us
today, because of a loss of Torah learning, which when regained, will
make the language completely clear.

2) Before the revelation at Sinai, we are told that our patriarchs (and
matriarchs) kept Torah mitzvot. Avraham Avinu, for example, is said to
have "figured it all out" for himself, by logical deduction, based on
his discovery of the Unity of God.

If this is so, and if we also know that there are accomplished
scientists and even prophets among the gentiles, then it would be
possible for Hammurabi, et al., to have derived similar understandings
to ours, from glimpses of the concept of the One God that have occurred
sporadically throughout history -- even if they have not resulted in a
living tradition as from Avraham Avinu.

Regardless of their philosophies or theologies, whether pagan,
no-theist, or monotheist, all peoples make use of the same observations
of nature, and the same accounting schemes (called mathematics and
science) to keep track of and to predict. All farmers must know the
seasons and their crops, whether they are Jewish or not. Thus, while
Hammurabi was not Jewish and did not keep mitzvot, people in his time
and place could have deduced some of the same laws of living as we find
in Torah.

When we regain knowledge of Torah that has been hidden, we'll probably
find that this includes explanations for questions regarding "cryptic
language" and the presence of various ideas in Torah.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:13:10 -0400
Subject: Dina d'Malchuta Dina

From: Abbi Adest <abbishapiro@...>
>Just out of curiosity, does anybody know of specific responsa regarding
>this issue and mesira in general? Carl brought up that dina d'malchuta
>dina applies only to monetary issues, but I can't believe it would be
>halachically sanctioned to not follow other basic laws of the land.

I may be getting out of my depth and / or too technical -- I am not in
any way sanctioning ignoring the laws of the land.

What I'm trying to clarify (apparently unsuccessfully) is that dina
d'malchuta dina has a limited "range of applicability" and that the
basis for the broader adherence to the "laws of the land" is found
elsewhere or as extensions.

Carl Singer


From: Daniel Gross <gross@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:21:27 -0400
Subject: Fake Marriage


In today's JPost there was an article about a druse woman who eloped 
during her honeymoon. She was married to a druse husband, and during her 
honeymoon in Turkey apparently diappeared with her syrian/british lover, 
with whom she was in contact online for a longer period of time. Perhaps 
marrying was the ony way for that woman to leave her druse town in 
israel, and get to turkey -- to meet up with the person she fell in love 

 From a jewish point of view i am wondering.

What if a jewish woman takes the ring when getting married but does not 
intend to get married. Would she in principle stay single?



From: David Neuman <daveselectric@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 12:27:10 -0400
Subject: Lubavitch

>...you will see how many Roshei Yeshivos.. and representatives of
>Chassidic Rebbes are present and speak at Chabad functions
>(farbrengens), ..

I am not a Lubavitcher nor a Chabadnik.  Although I have family who are
members of the chassidishe communities from Satmar to Lubavitch.

I always thought that a " farbrengen " was at 770 with the Rebbe was
still with us physically and held a community gathering.  Has the
Lubavitcher Rebbe ever had a Tish per se' as the other chassidim have?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe held farbrengin's several times a year.

Members of the Chabad and Lubavitch communities have gatherings to
commemorate dates of important events which happened to previous
Lubavitch Rebbe's.

[While the most know of the "farbrengen" was at 770 with the Rebbe, the
term is used by at Chabad in much more broad sense of a community
gathering. The details of what makes a gathering a "farbrengen", I will
leave to those more involved in the community to explain.

I'm not sure how exactly a "Tish" is defined, so I cannot comment on
that part of the question, but I do know that prior to some of the major
farbrengen's at Chabad, the Rebbi held a Seudah with various divrei
torah etc with a select group of the chassidim and people close to the
Rebbe, and then went down from there to the general farbrengen. I
accompanied my grandfather tz"l to that at least once as a young
child. Mod.]

From: Peretz Davidson <perzvi@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 18:55:11 GMT
Subject: Lubavitch

Ruv Moshe Wolfson, Mashgiach Emeritus of Torah VaDaas did and still goes
and speaks at Heichal Menachem farbrengens -- most of the speakers at
the annual Rambam siyum are not Lubavitchers nor are they necessarily
Chassidim.  Many non-Lubavitchers also speak at the Agudas Chassidei
Chabad farbrengens at Beis Rivka.

Peretz Davidson  


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 19:12:04 -0400
Subject: Mixed marriage problem

Here is an issue a friend of mine is dealing with

He is a Get Tzedek (convert) his non Jewish brother is marrying a girl
who considers herself a Reform Jew, whose mother is a reform convert.
The ceremony will be by a reform Rabbi and a Minister

Can he go to the wedding?

The basic pro is even though they think it is an intermarriage, in
halachic reality two non Jews are getting married.  Neither the reform
Rabbi or minister have any status in halachic Judaism.  The negative as
I see it is that people might think he is accepting an intermarriage
because they think the girl is Jewish.


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 09:22:15 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Mixed Weddings

Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
> I'd like to see sources about how many intermarriages involving a Jew
> end up with more Jewish observance because everything I've seen points
> to the opposite; that they choose the other religion to raise their
> children (G-d forbid if the mother's Jewish) or try to do both and just
> confuse the children or do neither. 

According to the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey, 33% of
intermarried couples raise their children as Jews.

> I'd also like to know about which publications are discussing
> blessings of mixed unions.  I can't imagine any Orthodox ones doing
> that although yes there have been people who have intermarried and
> have become frum. I knew a woman who converted and became more
> religious than her Jewish husband.

Not that I support intermarriage but just on a person note, a close
friend married a non-Jewish man with the understanding that their
children would be raised Jewish.  They were. Not only that, but 14 years
after they married, the husband converted.

> IMO, there IS no "best of all possible" intermarrying worlds.  They're
> all horrible but for different reasons. So in this scenario where you
> have a Jewish father and a non Jewish mother let's say the child is
> raised as a Jew.  Then he looks into Judaism more and discovers that
> he's not considered a Jew unless he converts! What a blow to the child!
> I can't even imagine how confused he would be and what an identity
> crisis that would provoke.  We end up in a situation that when a Jewish
> man marries a non Jewish woman we hope that if they have children he
> doesn't raise them as Jews.

This problem can actually be laid at the feet of the Reform movement,
which accepts patrilineal descent.  Couples are being told by "Jewish
authorities" that their children are Jewish if they are being raised as
Jews when no halacha supports this position.

-- Janice


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:02:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Rabbinical positions, again

> "many individuals preferred to show off their acumen in Torah
> dialectics rather than waste their time on devotional prayer". The
> plain reading of this certainly seems to indicate that the writer felt
> that many Polish Rabbis who were obviously learned Talmedei Chachomim
> (since they were able in dialectics) had little interest in prayer,
> and considered it a "waste".  To say this of the contemporaries of the
> Gr'a is nervy.

  It is accurate, though, and I can't understand why you find it
objectionable.  R. Haim Volozhin is quoted (Horaoth V'Hanhagoth, the
version printed in the back of Maaseh Rav HaShalem #15*) as saying that
he would have exchanged all of his prayers of his entire life for one
novel halachic interpretation [din m'hudash].

  There is ample precedent for this.  The sages of the Talmud (Sabbath
10a) condemned people who prayed too long as "abandoning eternal life
[study] for temporary needs [hayei sha'ah]."

  Even purely logically prayer generally fulfills either a rabbinic
commandment or a custom, and study fulfills a Biblical commandment.

David Riceman


From: Gershon Rothstein <rothsteing@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 14:22:14 -0400
Subject: Three Kohen Points

Nathan Lamm writes:

  >>-Gershon Rothstein gives the original source for the Gra story. I wonder
  >>if I'm reading it right: It seems the Gra had a specific issue with how
  >>his father redeemed him, and so did it himself again as an adult.  Then,
  >>because kohanim don't have a yichus, he gave five rubles to many others.

Well I told you that I wasn't good at translating, so let me
clarify. The source I translated was actually quoting from two other
sources, Maase Rav: a collection of customs of the Gr'a written roughly
in order of the Shulchan Aruch, and Aliyos Eliyahu: biographical and
other general information about the Gr'a.

Both books addressed themselves to what seems to have been to known a
fact that the Gr'a redeemed himself as an adult. However, each book
gives a different reason.

The first book, Maase Rav says that he redeemed himself as an adult with
certain coins and made a beracha. This was presumably because he felt
that his father's Pidyon did not fulfill the Torah requirement. There is
no mention at all about yichus.

The second book, Aliyos Eliyahu gives the reason that the Gr'a felt that
the previous Cohanim might not have been real Cohanim (i.e., not
meyuchasim) so he kept trying. It goes on to say that he especially
wanted to have a Pidyon with R' Meir Rappaport because he was supposed
to be a Cohen Meyuchas.

I hope that all is now clarified and it explains why a beracha could
have been made.

With best wishes to all,
Gershon Rothstein


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 23:17:44 +0200
Subject: Who are these rabbis?

Perets Mett <p.mett@...> writes

>Rabbi Menachem Mendl Rubin of Linsk (aka Lisko) was the father of the
>famous Rebbe R' Naftoli of Roprzyce

a)  actually Naftali Tzi
b)  but more importantly, can anyone explain why the Zera Kodesh's
father is a Rubin whereas the Ropshitzer is a Horowitz?

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 44 Issue 17