Volume 47 Number 39
                    Produced: Thu Mar 24  7:14:27 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baseball Games (and theatrical events)
         [Bernard Raab]
Hagadah Shel Purim
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
haleluhu V/B in Psalm 150
         [David Wachtel]
Hallel and Purim
         [Gershon Dubin]
The Schiavo case (2)
         [Bernard Raab, Tzvi Stein]
WWI and Tisha B'Av (3)
         [Mike Gerver, Bernard Katz, Ed Goldstein]
Yeshivah in Israel after High School
         [Richard Dine]
Yiddish In Federal Court - Happy Purim!!
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 22:31:21 -0500
Subject: Baseball Games (and theatrical events)

>From: Dov Teichman:
>My question is simply are there any poskim that DO allow attendance at
>these type of functions, or is the segment of orthodox jewry that
>attends ball games, movies, etc. just acting without halachic basis?

There are many shuls and yeshivas that take their youth groups to
baseball games or organize a day at a ballpark or at a professional
basketball game as a family event.

For many years now the Women's Division of Yeshiva University has
organized a theater evening at the NYC Opera as a fund-raiser. Attendees
are mostly YU grads and friends of both genders. I have to believe that
before the first such event was planned the Roshei Yeshiva were
consulted, but I do not know this for sure. Perhaps there are listers
who know the facts here and can inform us.

Of course in former days this sort of activity would not raise any
eyebrows, and I never heard of a rabbi objecting to attending a sporting
event. These days we tend to have a more thoughtful approach to our
religion, but I hope we resist the forces which want to equate
religiosity with asceticism. It is important to realize that in such
matters, responsible public behavior by the observant community leads
the way, and the halacha follows.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Joshua Hosseinof <JHosseinof@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 12:51:42 -0500
Subject: Hagadah Shel Purim



From: David Wachtel <dawachtel@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 13:04:55 -0500
Subject: Re: haleluhu V/B in Psalm 150

I was intrigued by the explanation of Baruch Schwartz about the dikduk
and te-amim of Psalms 150.  However, upon checking in a number of
masoretic manuscripts and finally cross-checking in the Keter Aram Zova,
I found that the reading in v.1 i(not v.2 as cited) is Birqi'a and not
Virqi'a.  Also that the haleluhu in v.1 takes a revii, not a mercha.  I
suspect he meant to point out the case in v.2 where halelulu in fact has
a mercha, and the correct reading is Vigvurotav. As neither dikduk or
te-amim are my field, I apologize if the transliterations are incorrect
but as far as the presence or lack of a dagesh is concerned, the
manuscript evidence seems quite clear.

Best wishes to all for an exceedingly joyous Purim,

David Wachtel
Research Librarian for Special Collections
The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
E-mail  <dawachtel@...>


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 18:18:12 -0500
Subject: Hallel and Purim

From: Tal Benschar <tbenschar@...>

<<I heard this past Shabbos, but did not have a chance to confirm
inside, that the view of the Meiri is that in a city where there is no
megillah, the tsibbur should recite hallel, based on the view in the
gemara that reading the Megillah is a form of Hallel.

The quoted psak to do so on Shabbos seems only a short extension of that
 view.  We cannot lein because of gezeirah de Rabbah, so we can recite
 Hallel instead.>>

This is indeed the view of the Meiri, but what you're saying is that the
gezera of Rabba was set up so that whenever Purim comes out on Shabbos
(it could have happened much more often before the calendar was fixed)
that we say Hallel.  Everyone, each time it comes out that way.

This is a great leap from the Meiri's opinion which relates to the
unusual case of oneis; one would need some type of proof that gezera de
Rabba was in fact set up that way for all time, and this proof does not,
AFAIK, exist.



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:36:28 -0500
Subject: Re: The Schiavo case

>From: Akiva Miller
>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.

There may be room here for a more nuanced halacha. Certainly, Akiva is
correct in stating: "Withholding food is like withholding air....", and
this may provide the clue. In general, there may not be an obligation to
put someone on a respirator when that person is hopelessly terminal and
no longer able to breathe on their own. But if one is already on a
respirator, it is generally ruled to be forbidden to disconnect or "pull
the plug". However, since this can result in an indefinitely extended
commitment to a clearly hopeless case, it has been ruled (sorry, I
forget by whom, but I would guess R. Feinstein) that if the respirator
stops working and requires repair, there is no obligation to do the
repair or to attach another respirator. This would seem to at least open
the possibility (lo aleynu) that a similar reasoning could be applied to
refilling the food container indefinitely.

b'shalom--Bernie R.

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:15:25 -0500
Subject: Re: The Schiavo case

I didn't appreciate hearing on the radio the statement that "the
Catholics are the only religious group that has a conscience on this
issue.... we don't hear anything from the Protestants, the Jews, or the


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 18:42:01 EST
Subject: WWI and Tisha B'Av

Ed Goldstein writes, in v47n33

      More importantly, let's not forget...WWI began on Tisha BAv with
      the shooting of the Archduke Ferdinand.

Not exactly. WWI did begin on Tisha B'Av, but that was about a month
after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. During that month,
Austria demanded that Serbia essentially give up its independence, or
they would go to war against them. Serbia agreed, but Austria, egged on
by Germany, declared war on Serbia anyway. Then Russia declared war on
Austria, and the Germans, being Social Darwinists who thought war was
inevitable and had been looking for an excuse to start one sooner rather
than later, declared war on Russia and invaded Russia's ally France,
through Belgium. THAT happened on Tisha B'Av.

(This view of the outbreak of World War I, which is probably different
from what you learned in school, is based on very persuasive arguments
in David Fromkin's book, "In the Time of the Americans," which is just
as good as his earlier book about World War I and its aftermath n the
Middle East, "A Peace to End All Peace.")

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Bernard Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 06:46:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: WWI and Tisha B'Av

  Concerning Ed Goldstein's comment, "More importantly, let's not forget
  . . . WWI began on Tisha BAv with the shooting of the Archduke
  Ferdinand", Ben Katz writes:

    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 is correct that the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand
 did not occur on Tisha B'Av; it took place June 28,1914, which was the
 4th day of Tammuz.

 I would have thought, however, that the war began with
 Austria-Hungary's declaration of war on Serbia, which took place on
 July 28, which was the 5th day of Av. Of course, it did not become a
 world war until the various other actors joined: Russia announced full
 mobilization of its armed forces on July 31, which was the 8th day of
 Av, and Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, which was Tisha
 B'Av. In the following few days, Germany declared war on France and
 Belgium, and Britain declared war on Germany. Finally, Austria-Hungary
 declared war on Russia on August 6, which was the 14th day of Av.

 Bernard Katz

From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Ed Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 22:33:52 EST
Subject: Re: WWI and Tisha B'Av

I take it to be so, even though the child in me believes that the world
certainly fell apart on that day if none other and that the tooth fairy
and sandman likewise are real.  After all if calamity didn't happen on
tisha b'av, then when else might have it occurred?

Rabbi Ed Goldstein


From: Richard Dine <richard.dine@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 05:29:06 -0500
Subject: Yeshivah in Israel after High School

I just read Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen's article in the new Jewish Action,
in which he argues that whatever other benefits there are to American
high-school graduates learning in Yeshivah in Israel before going on to
college, a big benefit is that it prepares the students better for life.
He argues that students who have completed the year or two in Israel are
better prepared for campus life and (1) less likely to get involved with
the sex/drinking subcultures; (2) less likely to get depressed/commit
suicide; (3) more likely to be happy; (4) better able to build enduring
friendships; and (5) have learned skills life-skills they will not get
in college, such as patience, how to be better parents, and personal

>From admittedly a great distance, since my kids are not yet old enough
for us to face this decision, I would like to hear from Mail-Jewish
readers who have either themselves recently completed a year or two in
Israel and then returned to an American University, or parents thereof,
whether they agree with Rabbi Kelemen's assessment.  My own, again
distant, impression, is that while kids already well-rounded returned
with from Israel still well-rounded and with more Talmud learning,
overall the Yeshivah experience is not a rounding one.  If anything, it
makes some kids more insular, encourages family rifts (as parents are no
longer sufficiently "Kosher"), and for those spending a second year in
Israel makes them less academically prepared for college (this we have
heard from at least one University professor).

Part of the answer no doubt depends on which Yeshivah one goes to, and
one should put at least as much care into that decision as to which
college one goes to.  Also, I assume the moderator will watch for
lashon-harah but I think if answers are confined to the five specific
points Coleman makes we can get a lively and realistic discussion.
Thank you.

Richard Dine


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 08:39:06 +0200
Subject: Yiddish In Federal Court - Happy Purim!!

Thanks to Prof. Avraham Nudelman

Yiddish In Federal Court

In the heat of litigation, tempers often flare and lawyers sometimes
have difficulty expressing their frustrations.  When English fails,
Yiddish may come to the rescue. So it happened that defence counsel,
arguing in a recent summary judgment motion in federal court in Boston
wrote, in a responsive pleading, "It is unfortunate that this Court must
wade through the dreck of plaintiff's original and supplemental
statement of undisputed facts."

Plaintiffs' attorneys, not to be outdone, responded with a motion that
could double as a primer on practical Yiddish for lawyers:

MONICA SANTIAGO, Plaintiff, v.
Civ. No. 87-2799-T

Plaintiff, by her attorneys, hereby moves this Court pursuant to Rule
12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to strike as impertinent
and scandalous the characterization of her factual submission as "dreck"
on page 11 of Defendant's Rule 56.1 Supplemental Statement of Disputed
Facts (a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A).

As grounds therefore, plaintiff states: For almost four years now,
plaintiff and her attorneys have been subjected to the constant
kvetching by defendant's counsel, who have made a big tsimmes about the
quantity and quality of plaintiff's responses to discovery
requests. This has been the source of much tzores among plaintiff's
counsel and a ganseh megillah for the Court. Now that plaintiff's
counsel has, after much time and effort, provided defendants with a
specific and comprehensive statement of plaintiff's claims and the
factual basis thereof, defendant's counsel have the chutzpah to call it
"dreck" and to urge the Court to ignore it.  Plaintiff moves that this
language be stricken for several reasons.  First, we think it is
impertinent to refer to the work of a fellow member of the bar of this
Court with the Yiddish term "dreck" as it would be to use "the sibilant
four-letter English word for excrement." (Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish
(Simon & Schuster, New York, 1968) p. 103).  Second, defendants are in
no position to deprecate plaintiff's counsel in view of the chazzerai
which they have filed over the course of this litigation.  Finally,
since not all of plaintiff's lawyers are yeshiva bochers, defendants
should not have assumed that they would all be conversant in Yiddish.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays that the Court put an end to this mishiga'as.


End of Volume 47 Issue 39