Volume 47 Number 38
                    Produced: Wed Mar 23 22:30:00 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Birkat Ha-Gomel
         [Ben Katz]
Chabad Din Torah
Lubavitch and Chabad
         [I. Balbin]
Lubavitch and Gurary
         [Nachman Yaakov Ziskind]
Lubavitch Chabad
         [Yisrael Medad]
Lubavitch dynasty
         [Yisrael Medad]
Minyan for Megillah reading
         [I. Balbin]
The Schiavo case
         [Akiva Miller]
WWI (was re: Bostoner shlita)
         [Ben Katz]


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 11:07:51 -0600
Subject: Re: Birkat Ha-Gomel

>From: Stuart Feldhamer <Stuart.Feldhamer@...>
>"Mi shegemalaich kol tov, hu yigmaleich kol tov selah"
>But anyway I don't know if you're supposed to say a variation on the
>text in the siddur. I remember once asking about "hamakom y'nacheim"
>etc. that you say upon leaving a shivah house, and was told that the
>standard text applies even if it's just one person sitting shivah, for

         The latter depends upon your hashkafa.  The Rav zt"l did not
like to change nusach.  I have argued this on our list before, but I
cannot in good conscience NOT alter the grammar as the case may be.  I
do respond to women saying birchat hagomel as cited above, and encourage
my daughters to say "modah ani" as in Rinat Yisrael (was Rabbi Shlomo
Tal the first to introduce this?  If so, it is interesting that the
first sidur to do so was an Israeli one.)

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: <Ilan@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 18:46:25 +0200 (SAST)
Subject: Chabad Din Torah

Martin Stern WROTE:

>As I am unfamiliar with the precise situation in New York, I wonder if
> the Beis Din of Crown Heights is in fact a Chabad body. If so, I can
> understand Mr. Gourary's reluctance to have it adjudicate the case. Can
> anyone clarify the matter?

Barry Gourary refused to go to ANY Beis Din as he felt ligitimately that
no frum Dayan would have the nerve to rule against the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Ilan Sasoon


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 09:20:07 +1100
Subject: Re: Lubavitch and Chabad

> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
> As I am unfamiliar with the precise situation in New York, I wonder if
> the Beis Din of Crown Heights is in fact a Chabad body. If so, I can
> understand Mr. Gourary's reluctance to have it adjudicate the case. Can
> anyone clarify the matter?

The wonderment should also extend to the question of whether Mr. Gourary
asked for a different Beis Din to adjudicate, or whether he was simply
MeSarev (someone who did not wish to submit to a(ny) Beis Din) regarding
this particular issue.

You would expect any Beis Din to withdraw if its Dayonim [Judges] felt
they were unable to Pasken [decide law] "off their own bat" as a matter
of Torah Law. I don't know if they formally summoned Mr. Gourary.  If
they did call him to a meeting, one must assume that they felt they
would Pasken without prejudice, and that the Lubavitcher Rebbe z"tl
would have abided by their Psak Din [judgement] whatever the outcome.


From: Nachman Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 12:58:43 -0500
Subject: RE: Lubavitch and Gurary

> From: David Eisen <davide@...>
> Can someone please provide additional information concerning this matter; 
> specifically:
> A. Who was the plaintiff and who was the defendant? It sounds from the
> above that Habad was the plaintiff.

The case was captioned (on appeal) "Agudas Chasidei Chabad of United
States, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Barry Gourary, Defendant-Appellant, Hanna
Gourary, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellant" No. 87-7224, reported at 833
F. 2d 431, 1987 U.S. App. 15206.

> B. Did the plaintiff try to sue the defendant before a Din Torah? If
> so, before which Bet Din?

Yes, Plaintiff took out summonses before the Beis Din of Crown Heights.

> C. If the plaintiff indeed tried to sue the defendant before a
> particular Bet Din, did it receive a Ktav Seruv (i.e, Writ of Refusal)
> from such Bet Din, thereby enabling it to halachically seek justice
> from a secular court?

Yes. As I mentioned in another post, the Rebbe urged the lawyers to
mention this (the Siruv and the Code of Jewish Law appertaining thereto)
before Judge Sifton.

> D. Did the defendant argue that the presiding court was not qualified
> and/or did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate this matter?

This I don't know, as I have only the appelate record before
me. However, the issue was not raised on appeal, making it likely that
it was not raised at all.

> E.Can someone send the URL with the court decision or send me by
> e-mail or fax (+972-2-623-9276) a soft copy?

I don't think it's online; someone sent me a Lexis printout, which I can
email to anyone who writes me; I don't know if it's legitimate to
redistribute the opinion; on the other hand, it *is* a matter of public
record. I particularly love this paragraph of the opinion:

     "Based on this reference to the United States State Department,
     appellants claim that the Rebbe's only purpose was to gain the
     government's assistance. In effect, they claim the Rebbe wrote the
     letter in a disingenuous -- even dishonest -- manner to secure the
     library's safety; in appellants' view the Rebbe's final line in the
     letter regarding the Jewish community as the rightful possessors of
     the library was hyperbole used only for an ulterior motive. We
     cannot agree. It simply defies reason and common sense to believe
     that a religious leader of the Rebbe's [**16] stature, whose life
     was dedicated to expounding the spiritual values of truth and
     morality, would deliberately write letters containing
     misrepresentations regarding the ownership of a valued and to him
     sacred national treasure in order to feather his own nest."

Used to be the case that things like this went without saying. Oh, well.

If anyone has electronic format to Judge Sifton's opinion, I would
appreciate hearing from them.

Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, FSPA, LLM       <awacs@...>


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:25:03 +0200
Subject: Lubavitch Chabad

Alex Heppenheimer write: 

" as I understand it, they are so named after their founder (and only
Rebbe), R' Avraham HaKohen "the Malach (angel)," a former chassid of R'
Shalom Dovber, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe."

This is where it gets problematic for the son of DovBer of Mezeritch
was also the Malach.

Yisrael Medad 


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:46:51 +0200
Subject: Lubavitch dynasty

Joseph Ginzberg writes

"Per the Encyclopedia Judaica: The 3rd Rebbe, AKA The Zemach Zedek, had
four sons"

Nope.  There were seven or six.

As for the court case with Gourary,

Agudas Chasidei of U.S. v. Gourary

650 F.Supp. 1463
Jan. 6, 1987.

Religious corporation brought action seeking to establish that books
held by defendants were property of corporation's library. The District
Court, Sifton, J., held that evidence established that rabbi divested
himself of private ownership of library prior to his death by making it
the res of a charitable trust for benefit of religious
community. Judgment for plaintiff.

Yisrael Medad


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 09:09:04 +1100
Subject: Re: Minyan for Megillah reading

> From: Prof. Aryeh Frimer <frimea@...>
> See "Women's Megillah Reading," Aryeh A. Frimer, In "Traditions and
> Celebrations for the Bat Mitzvah," Ora Wiskind Elper, Editor; Urim
> Publications: Jerusalem, 2003; pp. 281-304. PDF file available online
> at: http://www.mail-jewish.org/Women%27sMegillaReadingArticle.pdf Note
> 93 which cites the following references:

This is a nice article, which I re-read recently.

I also read a very interesting Chiddush from the Rov, Rav Y. D.
Soloveitchik z"tl as brought in Harerei Kedem Vol 1, where he opines
that the Mitzvah for men is davka to read it for Men, WOMEN & Children
(if I have read it accurately) and for Women to hear it in such a

[ We have a 2 week old so called clone of the Shira Chadasha Shule in
Melbourne, where the founder is organising that his daughter reads the
Megilla for Men and Women and Children as part of her Bat Mitzvah
Ceremony ]


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 16:06:38 GMT
Subject: Re: The Schiavo case

Chaim Shapiro asked <<< I wanted to get thoughts from the list on the
Terry Schiavo case. >>>

For those unaware of this case, my understanding is that Mrs. Schiavo is
a woman in Florida who (according to her doctors) has been in a
Persistive Vegetative State for several (15?) years. Her husband has
maintained that she would not want to be kept alive under such
conditions, and her parents have fought this. This battle has been
fought in the Florida courts for years and reached the Federal level
this week. Last Friday, her feeding tube was removed, and she is
expected to die sometime in the coming week unless it is
reinserted. More information is available on many internet news and
research sites, such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Schiavo

As I see it, the halachic views on this situation is extremely
clear. Mrs. Schiavo is unquestionably alive. No one claims that she is
"brain dead", so we do not need to discuss whether or not halacha
recognizes brain death.

The only real disputes, as I understand it, are (a) whether or not she
really is in a Persistive Vegetative State, because her parents claim
that she really is conscious to a small degree, and (b) whether or not
she would want to be kept alive in such a condition.

Both of those points are totally irrelevant to halacha. Mrs. Schiavo has
normal heart and lung function, and does not need mechanical assistance
for breathing or for heartbeat. She is alive. Whether or not she is
conscious has not effect on the halachos of preserving that life.

I heard a certain person on tv this morning express his view that this
manner of withholding food does not constitute killing her, but merely
passively allows her to die. I think that's absurd. Someone performed a
positive act of removing the feeding tube -- that's not passive!

Even if they would not have actively removed the tube, but merely
refrained from refilling it, so that they could claim passivity --- I
think that's about as passive as choosing not to feed a bedridden
patient who was unable to get to the kitchen on his own. Is there any
difference? Food is a basic need of living things. Withholding food is
like withholding air, and both are far different than withholding
medical treatment.

Akiva Miller


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 11:01:52 -0600
Subject: Re: WWI (was re: Bostoner shlita)

>From: <bernieavi@...> (Ed Goldstein)
>More importantly, let's not forget...WWI began on Tisha BAv with the
>shooting of the Archduke Ferdinand.

         This is a common misperception.  I remember looking this up
many years ago.  The archduke was not assassinated on 9 Av 1914.  It
turns out that there are many possible start dates to WWI.  The only 1
that occurred on 9 Av that year was the beginning of Russian

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


End of Volume 47 Issue 38