Volume 45 Number 13
                    Produced: Mon Oct 11  4:39:42 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Martin Stern]
         [Nathan Lamm]
Aleinu after Mincha (2)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Ken Bloom]
Birth control (formerly "Unmarried girls") (2)
         [Anonymous, Abie Zayit]
Dairy Label (2)
         [Batya Medad, Avi Feldblum]
Hurricane Blessing
         [Sam Saal]
Kodesh v'khol
         [Sam Saal]
Sukkahs made from material that blows in the wind
         [Jonathan Sperling]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 09:40:21 +0100
Subject: Re: Abortion

on 3/10/04 4:27 am, Stephen Phillips <admin@...> wrote:
>> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>:
>> The consequence is that, effectively, abortion is either obligatory or
>> forbidden depending on the individual case, the difficult problem facing
>> a rav is deciding from the particular circumstances which applies. There
>> certainly is no such thing as an elective abortion permitted by
>> halachah.
> Perhaps, though, the Christian "pro-lifers" have a point. I always
> thought that the prohibition of killing as one of the 7 Noahide Laws was
> absolute and that non-Jews could not rely on the din of "Rodef" [a
> pursuer]. 

I am not sure whether this is correct. However abortion is a capital
offence under the Noahide dispensation, as pointed out by Rabbi Yishmael
in Mas.  Sanhedrin, which makes it an example of the rare situation
where the law is more stringent for non-Jews than Jews.

> If that is correct, then a Jewish woman having to have an
> abortion should presumably have it performed by a Jewish doctor.

I certainly remember seeing such a psak but I cannot recall offhand
where I saw it . Furthermore there was an opinion that it would be
preferable for the operation to be performed by a female Jewish doctor
to avoid the possibility that an abortion would constitute hashchatat
zera, which is a peculiarly male prohibition.

> As to the question of an elective abortion, surely there are cases
> where it is permitted, but not necessarily mandatory, for a woman to
> have an abortion. I believe that the Tzitz Eliezer (Harav Eliezer
> Waldenberg) is quite lenient in such matters.

I don't think this inference is correct. Certainly the Tzitz Eliezer
permits abortion in some cases which seem at first sight not to involve
danger to the mother's life or health such as where amniocentesis shows
that the baby will suffer from Tay-Sachs but he does so because the
distress caused might lead to suicidal tendencies. The fact that she
asked shows that this is a possibility since only the strongest of women
could contemplate seeing the inevitable suffering and slow death of yet
another child. However there are not many poskim who agree with this
rather wide interpretation of danger to the mother's life or health, at
least without corroborating psychological assessment.

Martin Stern


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 06:58:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Aleinu

In another context (the origin of the custom of bowing on the floor on
the yamim noraim), I recently heard a talk on the history of Aleinu. To
sum up, from memory:

Aleinu was composed for the beginning of the Malkhiot section of the
Rosh Hashana Musaf, as is clear from its text. Only much later was the
custom of saying it after Shacharit begun; it was said privately, as a
way of preparing to "go out into the world," the text making points
about making a kiddush hashem. (There are numerous tefilot in the sidur
today that match this practice.) Still later, the recitation was
formalized. So I imagine we can't derive any hard and fast rules as to
when it's said: By rights, it should be said only on weekday mornings,
but has clearly migrated to other times as well (not to mention to Yom
Kippur). Of course, if it is *not* said at a particular time, we can
trace the cause to these origins- not leaving shul on Yom Kippur, etc.

As to bowing: Apparently, once the tefilah was said every day, the
bowing on the floor was introduced to the Rosh Hashana recitation to
make it distinct.

Nachum Lamm


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 07:44:53 +0200
Subject: Re: Aleinu after Mincha

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> stated the following on Tue, 28
Sep 2004 01:12:45 -0400:

      All the shuls that I've ever davened at (except for those
      associated with the German community) - and this includes nusach
      sefard, seem to have standardized a few rules, and they never
      deviate from them.

      1) Shacharis always gets Alenu, except on days when there is
      Musaf, in which case there is never an Alenu, even if there is a
      break for Kiddush between them.

Interestingly, in Vizhnitz the custom is to say `Aleinu after both
shaharit and mussaf on a day when both are said.  People who daven there
for the first time and come late don't know what to make of the first
`Aleinu, perhaps thinking that they have come at the end of mussaf.

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 15:14:15 -0700
Subject: Re: Aleinu after Mincha

On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 01:12:45 -0400, Akiva Miller
<kennethgmiller@...> wrote:
> 2) Musaf always gets Alenu, even if Mincha comes immediately afterward
> (such as on Simchas Torah). But Musaf never gets Alenu on Yom Kippur,
> even if there is a break before Mincha.

In Sephardic synagogues (Edot HaMizrach) Aleinu and Ein Keloheinu are
said after Musaf on Yom Kippur, as though it were any other shabbat or

> 3) Mincha always gets Alenu (except on Yom Kippur), even when Maariv
> or Kabbalas Shabbos begins immediately after Mincha.

Edot HaMizrach says Aleinu here too on Yom Kippur.

> 4) Neilah never gets Alenu. (Duh!!!)

Chabad moves their Ein Keloheinu / Ketoret / Aleinu from after Musaf to
after Neilah on Yom Kippur.


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 07:32:30
Subject: Birth control (formerly "Unmarried girls")

Martin Stern wrote:

> I find the existence of such a hetter for newlyweds very difficult to
> believe except where either the husband has children from a previous
> marriage, in which case he has already fulfilled the basic mitsvah of
> peru urevu, and the wife's life or health is endangered by pregnancy.
> If only the latter is true (and not a very short term condition) it is
> highly doubtful if the husband would have been allowed to marry that
> wife in the first place.

While I don't have halachic source material at the ready to back up my
statements, I personally know of multiple cases where a couple has
gotten a pesaq to postpone pregnancy by several years when both husband
and wife were marrying for the first time and even where the wife's
health was not threatened by an immediate pregnancy.  Among my own
circle of acquaintances, examples of this have included situations in
which husbands wanted to learn in kollel for a limited period, and
couples who were determined to go on aliya and were allowed to wait
several years after marriage before procreating in order to facilitate
the move.  Since I don't have permission I will not identify the poseqim
in question to a public forum, but will state that in several of these
cases I know who granted the heterim.

However, perhaps without meaning to, Mr. Stern has raised another, more
serious point.  B"H, in present time, women in most western-type
societies, even in frum ranks, have access to means to support
themselves financially and as such are not dependent on marriage for
their basic survival.  However, if Mr. Stern's assertions were correct,
then when women had no other options for economic survival besides
marriage, what was left to those who were known or suspected not to be
good "baby machines"?

Were their parents or brothers to be responsible permanently for their
support?  What if they couldn't, or wouldn't, assume this
responsibility?  Were women who weren't "good bearers" to be forced into
intolerable sham excuses for marriage to 80-year-olds whom they might
not be able to stand, but who might, or might not, provide for them?
Or, were they forced to be not only permanently single, celibate, and
deprived of companionship, but also destitute?

Even where economic survival isn't an issue, is Mr. Stern asserting that
women who can't, or mustn't, have children are doomed to remain single,
celibate, and deprived of companionship for their entire lives?

From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie Zayit)
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 17:16:06 +0000
Subject: Birth control (formerly "Unmarried girls")

Previous posters wrote:

>> Some couples do not want (or cannot support) children at that early
>> stage, and are taking steps (and yes, halakhically allowed) to prevent
>> pregnancy.

> I find the existence of such a hetter for newlyweds very difficult to
> believe except where either the husband has children from a previous
> marriage, in which case he has already fulfilled the basic mitsvah of
> peru urevu, and the wife's life or health is endangered by pregnancy.

It is worth reading _Procreation in the light of the Halacha: Family
planning and birth control_ by Getzel Ellinson (author of the HaIsha
V'Hamitzvot series). He argues that two young people who feel that they
cannot support children will not fulfill P'ru U'revu any more
successfully if they refrain from marrying than if they marry and use
(halachically acceptable) birth control methods.

Moadim Lesimcha,
Abie Zayit


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 09:11:08 +0200
Subject: Dairy Label

Getting bored with the subject, but in my vast experience with human
nature, Murphy rules supreme.  Whatever sign, storage etc for dairy is
yours=individual.  Others won't get the "hint."  The minute someone else
goes near foul-ups are inevitable.  Halacha is to protect the clal.  So
anything such as bread, cakes or cookies that can be either, should be

So, if in your own home, where you have some control, and you want to
serve dairy bread, pastry cakes, kugels, cookies whatever, please have
written and verbal signs all over.  If you are bringing, donating to any
person event, etc, please stick to parve, unless it's a classic
cheesecake, but considering what people do with tofu nowadays.

So I'll end with an anecdote apropo.

Israel hotdogs probably still aren't anything like the all-beef kosher
we were raised with, so we never buy them.  In the 34 years here, we've
only served the soy ones.  I remember a trip to the states, probably
over 20 years ago, when the relatives were making us a real American
barbque.  Our kids were excited to see hotdogs.  But yuch, did they spit
them out fast.  Their mouths were watering for the soy, not beef.


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 17:55:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Dairy Label

> Halacha is to protect the clal.  So anything such as bread, cakes or
> cookies that can be either, should be parve.

In my opinion, this is incorrect. Halacha is whatever the Halacha
actually is. You can have the opinion that anything that could be either
dairy or pareve should be pareve, but in my opinion, that is just your
opinion, not Halacha. The only item that I am aware of in our recent
discussions on which there is a clear halachic rule, is on bread. Bread
that is "unmarked" must be pareve. A significant part of the discussion
has been on what level of "marking" halacha requires. But I am unaware
of any halachic requirement for cakes or cookies to be pareve.



From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 08:20:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: Hurricane Blessing

Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:

>Just a reminder to those in Florida and other places where the
>hurricanes have been, the blessing to be said over a hurricane ("ruchot
>she-nashvu b'za'af") is "oseh ma'aseh breishit", OH 227:1 - although
>with the winds over 100 MPH, maybe a LOR could paskin that it should be
>"she'kocho ug'vurato...", see there the MB 227:4.

Hopefully too late for those of us north of Florida but still in the
path of diminishing winds, how does the choice of bracha evolve.

Sam Saal


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 08:13:48 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: Kodesh v'khol

Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote:

>Finally, if science is respected in Judaism today, I think it is mainly
>due to the frum scientists in many fields, and the legion of frum
>doctors who treat patients with care and compassion and live in the
>worlds of science and yiddishkeit with equal ease. That is perhaps the
>greatest change that I have witnessed in my lifetime. While secular
>education in general continues to be feared in certain circles, I don't
>think this fear is focused on science in particular, which does enjoy a
>certain respect, even in those circles.

I'd go a step further, at least a far as the US is concerned.

It is only in the past generation or so that it became possible for Jews
to attend medical school. Whether outright blacklisting/antisemitism or
unacceptable imposition on halachically allowable activities, only once
these deterents began to subside did we see more Jews acceptedc to - and
entering - (American) medical schools.

Sam Saal


From: Jonathan Sperling <jsperling@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 15:00:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Sukkahs made from material that blows in the wind

Daniel Lowinger inquired (MJ 45:06) about the halachic status of
"succahs that you can buy which are made from material that flaps in the
wind."  An article on this topic appeared in issue 40 of the Journal of
Halacha and Contemporary Society, and can be read online at


End of Volume 45 Issue 13