Volume 46 Number 65
                    Produced: Sun Jan 16 23:16:41 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Arba Kanfot made from Mesh
         [Andrew Marks]
Beauty in Marriage
Costs of Wedding
How to avoid guest costs
If Rav Moshe were alive he would - When to disagree with a Gadol
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Imitation Traif Food
         [Michae Kahn]
Late to shul v. work
         [Martin Stern]
Never eating Pizza
         [Batya Medad]
Out of town Rabbis
         [Ben Katz]
Shabbat Shalom as a Greeting
         [Yisrael Medad]
Smoking and Gedolim
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
When to disagree with a Gadol (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, rach elms79]


From: Andrew Marks <machmir@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 21:52:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Arba Kanfot made from Mesh

> I did a quick check on the internet, and apparently, Judaica sellers
> of the "reputable" sort do have in stock and sell 100% polyester mesh
> tzitzit.

They're probably relying on the Tzitz Eliezer's p'sak that synthetics
are fine.  Either that, or they're reasoning that Rav Moshe's psak on
nylon and rayon was limited to only rayon and nylon.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 22:50:49 -0800
Subject: Re: Beauty in Marriage

> From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
> Tzvi Stein writes in response to my statement that the Bible writes
> that Rachel was attractive to teach us that this is an important part
> of marriages as follows
> > From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
> > "Physical attractiveness is a very important componenet of a
> > marriage." One of the great roshei yeshiva of Lithuania, is supposed
> > to have remarked to his son, who refused a "shidduch" on grounds
> > that, although the candidate was pious and of good lineage, she
> > lacked physical attractiveness: "Vos iz dos, an esreg, vos hot a din
> > hodor?"
> >Reminds of a similar story where a rosh yeshiva chastised a bochur
> >who he felt was too picky: "It's not an esrog, that it has to be
> >perfect".
> I feel this is a dangerous approach (if unqualified). 

	I actually got into some difficulty because of this. When I was
in my early 20's and people/shadchun would ask me what I was looking for
in a mate I responded with "sensuality , common sense and backbone". I
was surprised when a Rabbi who was also a bit of a shadchen responded
that he bet I didn't get setup too much, which was true. He said I
shouldn't mention sensuality which I thought was silly since a major
component of marriage is having sexual relations, which should require
that there was a sensual attraction.  He said true, but that people in
BoroPark/Flatbush were not willing to hear someone single say that. So I
stopped listing 'sensualitly' when asked (not that it helped).



From: <chips@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 22:50:49 -0800
Subject: Re: Costs of Wedding

> > "The Chussan's parents are NOT hosting this event, they are
> > participants and, for that matter, guests of the Kallah's parents.
> > That was their decision.  {Presuming, of course, that there are no
> > "unusual" financial circumstances.}"
> But this exact set of points is where I disagree with you.  It is my
> strong opinion that *both* sets of parents *are* hosts, regardless of
> any financial arrangements.  It's not a highest-bidder-makes-decisions
> kind of affair, or at least it shouldn't be, by my understanding of
> noblesse oblige and general etiquette.

To which i have to respond - why are both sets hosts? Seems to me that
if one parent(s) is footing the bill than they should have veto
power. Then again, I don't believe in the 'brides family must be host'
dictum. In fact, when one of my family members got married the initial
guest list came out 85% groom and 15% bride. So they decided that the
groom side should pay for the wedding and the bride side for the


From: michael <mordechai@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 22:45:42 -0500
Subject: How to avoid guest costs

My family and in laws had an easy way of handling the wedding and
guests.  My parents paid for their guests and my in laws payed for
everything else

It makes the guest issue easy. My parents had full control over their
costs.  If they didn't want to pay allot they could have a few guests,
if they wanted alot of guests it didn't cost my in laws any more.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 05 23:32:00 -0400
Subject: Re: If Rav Moshe were alive he would - When to disagree with a Gadol

> The criteria I used here to disagree with Rav Moshe is spelled out
> in the laws of courts: Rambam explains (Courts Chapters 10) that
> although we follow the majority when there is controversy, it is not
> the majority of people: Rather it is the majority of reasons and
> arguments.

And I heard from my Rabbi a story of how the Chazon Ish once applied
that to a medical decision (where he had to pasken something) I don't
remember more details.


From: Michae Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 20:15:16 -0600
Subject: Re: Imitation Traif Food

>As a reminder there is also a midrash that posits that for every
>non-kosher food, there is a kosher food that tastes the same.

I heard Rav Dovid Cohen say that that is only kneged yetzer hara dibra
Torah. (The Tora gave it as a means of fighting the yetzer hara but it
is not a lachatchila option.)


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:25:19 +0000
Subject: Re: Late to shul v. work

on 16/1/05 3:22 am, Avi Feldblum at <mljewish@...> wrote:

> I'm not sure I would interpret things exactly as Martin appears to be
> above. While HaShem decrees what our parnassah will be, and he does
> mention that acting dishonestly to try and increase it will not work,
> the issue raised by Tzvi is whether a reasonable effort on our part is
> needed to make that come true. If I take it to the extreme, why not
> simply not go to work and depend on what HaShem has decreed? For the
> great majority of us, I think it is clear that we need to do our part as
> well. If the workplace expectation is that you are in by a certain time,
> and if you are not, that will be cause for firing or will prevent your
> getting oppertunities, then I do not think that is in any way a
> violation of faith in HaShem to act in manner that will perserve your
> current job security.

Sorry I must have not made my point clear. Of course one must satisfy
one's condition of employment, anything less is theft from one's
employer. What I had in mind is that, quite apart from that mundane
level, the real employer is HKBH and those who come late to shul might
seem to demonstrate a lack of awareness of this. That is what I meant
when I wrote "Tzvi's comment seems to imply that people who come late to
shul do not accept these basic Torah values." They demonstrate a greater
fear of their immediate human superior than of the ultimate controller
of everything.

Martin Stern


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 06:48:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Never eating Pizza

How long ago?  It may have been during the days when many frum people
thought all cheese was kosher and ate pizza out at traif pizza places,
before there were kosher ones.  So saying that he "never ate pizza"
meant that he only ate home-cooked food from kosher kitchens.



From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 11:43:51 -0600
Subject: Re: Out of town Rabbis

      From: Daniel Geretz <dgeretz@...>

      The paper was written by Marc D. Stern, and titled "On
      Constructively Harnessing Tensions Between Laity and Clergy."  It
      is posted on the "Jewish Law" website at
      http://www.jlaw.com/Commentary/ms-LaityClergy.html. You can read
      more about Marc D. Stern's c.v. and the paper on the website.

        The article referred to by Mr. Geretz is part of YU's Orthodox
Forum series.  In a previous volume where the concept of daat Torah was
discussed it was pointed out that until 1800 all yeshivot were part of a
community and it was unlikely that a rosh yeshivah would wish to
estrange himself from the community (eg by excessively stringent
rulings).  It was only after yeshivot began to get outside funding (and
I believe it was the Yeshivah of Volozin which started this trend) that
they became more immune to the community standards of the baalay

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 01:41:09 +0200
Subject: Shabbat Shalom as a Greeting

(I tried searching for this topic as I thought it was discussed but
could not find it so...)

I have found a reference to 'Shabbat Shalom' as a greeting form in the
Shnei Luchot HaBrit, Vol. I, 99A, second column in the section beginning
"B'inyan v'aseh tov" (the book was finished in 1623, published in

"when meeting an acquaintance on Shabbat morning, one should not say as
on a weekday 'tzafra taba' but only Shabbat Shalom or Shabbat Tov".

The reference is in a new article by Moshe Halamish on Shabbat customs
and Kabbalah Influences but he has the wrong side of the page - B
instead of A (took me a good few minutes to relocate where it was.).

That same article recounts a vort said by Shlomo Leib of Lantshneh (?)
to R. Yitzchak of Worki that since the Shabbat is one unified day, one
doesn't have a greeting for Shabbat evening and another for the day but
simply says Shabta Taba because Shabbat did not have the words "vayehi
erev" as did all the others at the time of creation.

Yisrael Medad


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 08:50:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Smoking and Gedolim

Elazar Teitz writes:

 "Rav Feinstein compares smoking to the eating of food (not, as quoted,
fruit) which may be harmful in excess, of which the Rambam says it
should be avoided, but does not declare it prohibited.  The analogy is
obvious: one does not endanger himself by a single ingestion of a
harmful food, nor is there danger to life from a single cigarette."

He then takes Russell Jay Hendel to task for suggesting that Rav
Feinstein might possibly by wrong.

The analogy, no matter who makes it, is absurd.  (A similar statement,
something like "eating chocolate cake is like smoking--it's ok as long
as you don't do it to excess", appeared about a year ago in Kashrus
Magazine in the name of another late, revered Brooklyn rabbi.  I wrote
in to complain but, predictably, my letter was not published.) I'm not
sure the precise mechanism of cancer causation by cigarette smoking is
known, but cigarette smoke apparently causes mutations in the DNA.  One
possibility is that smoking even one cigarette has a chance of
triggering a cancer-causing mutation, and the more one smokes, the more
likely the mutation will occur.  I think the other possibility is that
smoking causes mutations, and cancer is triggered when there are enough
of them. Either way, the proper analogy is not to eating but to playing
Russian roulette, crossing a busy street blindfolded, or eating arsenic.
If a gadol said that it's ok to play Russian roulette--once only, of
course--would that opinion be given any deference?  What about, for that
matter, if a gadol declared that the moon is made of green cheese?

I think one must distinguish between two types of statements, those
purely of halacha and those of fact.  One can reasonably debate the
former, and accord the gadol's conclusion at least great deference.  But
there are some statements of halacha that depend on facts as to which
the gadol may have no expertise, and as to which the gadol may simply be
flat wrong. I submit, IMHO, that the statement quoted above is in the
latter category.

As far as the general infallibility of Rav Moshe Feinstein is concerned,
there are many things in the Igrot Moshe that are widely ignored.  For
example, can someone tell me why no major kashrut organization seems to
accept his tshuva that blended whiskey is mutar because stam yeinam is
batel beshisha (one part in six)?  Chassidim put up eruvim in Borough
Park (and there is a Chabad rabbi-sponsored eruv in Park Slope)
nothwithstanding Rav Moshe's flat prohibition of making an eruv in
Brooklyn.  And other things in the Igrot Moshe are at least difficult,
for example, can anyone explain, other than rhetorically, the statement
that Conservative Judaism is "avoda zara" (as opposed to "a religion
other than Judaism", which is quite different).


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 11:04:32 -0500
Subject: Re: When to disagree with a Gadol

From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
> This is analogous to assuming that the doctor who is head of pediatric
> surgery at University of Chicago is right, rather than assuming the
> intern is correct.

Coming from a profession that is rotten with presumed authority and
expertise, that is academia, I think that this is generally the wrong
perspective.  The head of pediatric surgery (or a "gadol" in any field)
has had many years to reinforce incorrect or antiquated beliefs and
forget less-used concepts, often without the benefit of rigorous
criticism.  Authority should be given to a person only if (s)he can back
up his statements with proof (and better proofs than the "intern")
 ... and not solely on the basis of respect.

The problem with past g'dolim is that they are no long around to
interact with us...and must rely on the living to support their
statements.  This is essential to preventing the near idolization that
is becoming trendy in the frum community.


From: rach elms79 <rachelms79@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 00:22:54 -0500
Subject: RE: When to disagree with a Gadol

I'm no Talmudic scholar, but from my 5 minutes reading the Mishna Brura
in these 2 places it's obvious to me that 318:14 allows deriving benefit
from the food while 328:63 prohibits eating it.  I don't see the
inconsistency.  Could someone explain the inconsistency?  Thanks.

>So for example, the Mishna Brura is inconsistent in his psak in
>regard to the status after shabbos of food cooked on shabbos by a
>non-jew for a choleh (see 318:14 and 328:63). His son R' Aryeh Leib
>records that it was an error. (he wrote a biography of his father which
>is included in Kitvei Chafetz Chaim, vol 3. The description of this
>error appears on page 43.)


End of Volume 46 Issue 65