Volume 48 Number 19
                    Produced: Sun May 29 10:33:15 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anti-female bias?
         [Shayna Kravetz]
Artscroll Errors
         [I M Fuchs]
Minyan & The Great Divide
         [I M Fuchs]
"Single-Use" Digital Camera (3)
         [Bernard Raab, Eliyahu Gerstl, Akiva Miller]
Smoking on Yom tov
         [Martin Stern]
Women and Prayer
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 12:44:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Anti-female bias?

After Dov Teichman wrote:
>> The feminist movement, in most of its forms, strives for complete
>> equality between the sexes. To transfer those feelings of sexism and
>> patriarchy to Judaism, is to have the gall to say that our greatest
>> leaders and poskim had an anti-female bias. The undercurrent is that
>> Judaism as has been practiced for thousands of years is flawed. That
>> is absurd to say, and I think at the least, borders on heresy.

David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...> replied:
>The Sifrei in Parshat Pinchas, attributes to Bnot Tzlofchad: "Human
>favor is not like divine favor. Humans favor males over females, but God
>favors all...".  And of course, in the end, God said that Bnot Tzlofchad
>spoke correctly.

Dov Teichman's reasoning can be applied to every area in which Jewish
practices have changed.  For instance, it was certainly possible in my
youth to attend a public dinner with Orthodox hashgachah at which
broccoli or asparagus were served.  Now, due to a change in the halachic
standards for cleaning tiny insects from such vegetables, this is no
longer possible.  The prevailing standard now seems to be that, in a
commercial kitchen, vegetables with tightly packed heads can't be
properly cleaned.

Does this mean that our parents were eating treif? that their mashgichim
were ignorant, careless, or indifferent to halachah? that, as you might
write, "Judaism as has been practiced for [the last half-century] is
flawed"?  I think not.  It means that most supervisory authorities have
chosen to rely on more stringent opinions.  Why this is happening here
and now is a /political/ question, not a halachic one.

As for Bnot Tzlafchad: Thanks to the Curwins for providing the Sifrei
quote.  The B'Tz episode provides a lot of instructive examples of how
to handle women's issues in the Jewish community.  (I use "women's
issues" as a convenient shorthand; they are, or should be, everybody's
issues.)  And don't kid yourself--the girls were asking a feminist
question.  (See Rashi on BaMidbar 27:4 s.v. "why should our father's
name be diminished", where he comments: "We stand in the place of a
son.")  Their motivation was their love for the land of Israel (see
Rashi on BaMidbar 27:1 s.v. "of the family of Menashe son of Yosef") but
the issue they raised was a feminist issue.

Note all the things that Moshe doesn't do in response to the daughters'
question: he doesn't say there's no precedent, he doesn't question their
motivations, he doesn't say that change is impossible, he doesn't say
that there is already a complete scheme for inheritance in place, so why
should they want anything beyond what is already the halachah.

The most interesting and, to me, startling comment that Rashi makes on
this episode is the suggestion that B'Tz actually wrote this section of
the Torah!  If I read him correctly on v. 27:5, after quoting Tractate
Sanhedrin's idea that the correct ruling on the daughters' question was
concealed from Moshe--thus forcing him to ask God, Rashi's secondary
explanation for the verse is: "Davar akheir, r'uya hayta parasha zo
l'hikateiv al y'dei moshe ela she-zachu b'not tz'lafkhad v'nich'tvah al
yadan." My translation: "Another opinion: it would have been appropriate
for this section to have been written by Moshe but the daughters of
Tzlafkhad were of such merit that it was written by their hand."

Kol tuv from
Shayna in Toronto


From: <ISSARM@...> (I M Fuchs)
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 14:35:31 EDT
Subject: Re: Artscroll Errors

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
David Roth wrote:
>> What is an example of a mistake in Artscroll?

> Nusach Sfard custom is to follow the nakdishokh kedusho with ato
> kodoish, but after the keser kedusho (at musaf) minhogim vary - some say
> ato kodosih and other say l'dor vodor . . . There is no valid reason to
> include l'dor vodor after the nakdishokh kedusho (with the advent of
> computer typesetting, every other sidur publisher has removed it)
> . . . I would call this a mistake.

It may not be such a big mistake, nor may something have been included
or left out at the expence of correctness in order to save time or

The Siddur T'filah Yesharah -- known as the Berditchever Siddur -- which
carries the haskomah of the Koshnitzer Maggid and the Kedushas Levi, and
was used by the Baal Kedushas Yom Tov has le'dor va'dor in Shacharis.  I
believe there are other siddurim as well.  This cannot be an accident.
You will notice many changes from Nusach Sefard AND Ashkenaz.  You would
have to agreee tht it is highly unlikely that they overlooked l'dor



From: <ISSARM@...> (I M Fuchs)
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 14:54:32 EDT
Subject: Minyan & The Great Divide

Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...> writes re:  Minyan & The
Great Divide

<<I do not know what to make of R' Teitz's comments in M-J 48-4, If the
person is aware of the prohibition of Shabbos and violates it publicly,
whether for spite or for personal benefit, his shechitah is not kosher,
the wine he touches is prohibited, and he does not count to a minyan.>>

Later he quotes the Melamed l'hoil 29 that
<<After going through the classic sources again he concludes that today
things are different.  People violate Shabbos through ignorance.  He even
quotes the Sho'el uMeishiv that Jews from America do not become possul
(unfit) for minyan since they are in the category of Jews raised among

One thing has nothing to do with the other.  Being a mechallel Shabobs
whether for spite or for personal benefit assumes, as he writes himself
<<if the person is aware of the prohibition of Shabbos.>> A Jew raised
among non-Jews presumes I would think that he IS NOT aware of the
prohibition of Shabbos.

Then you write << I do not know whether this is a statement of halacha
l'maaseh or a restatement of the classic sources in Shas and poskim.>>

What is the difference between halachah l'maaseh and the classic sources
in Shas and Poskim.  What are poskim if not those who teach us halachah



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 15:29:11 -0400
Subject: Re: "Single-Use" Digital Camera

>From: Carl Singer
>Do you think the cost (to the store) of the camera is only $20.  If so,
>why not purchase it outright from the store.  Forthrightly tell them
>that you have no intention of returning the camera and using their
>processing services.  That you simply wish to purchase the camera (for

If it makes you feel better Carl's solution is certainly the way to go.
Assuming the situation is the same as single-use film cameras, I would
be surprised, however, if the clerk knew what you are talking about. As
far as he (and the store) is concerned, it is a simple sale. In the case
of single-use film cameras, the business model is based on some revenue
from processing the film and reselling the camera. But you can be sure
they also factor in a certain fraction of cameras that are never
returned for whatever reason. If the fraction exceeds their
expectations, they will adjust the sale price accordingly. If the loss
fraction gets too high, the business model breaks down, and the price
starts to resemble the real price of the camera. There is no assumed or
implied act or contract of rental whatsoever. The camera is yours to do
with as you wish. Welcome to the world of modern commerce.

b'shalom--Bernie R. (not a lawyer (or a rabbi) but I sometimes play one
on M-J)

From: Eliyahu Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 09:13:27 -0400
Subject: RE: "Single-Use" Digital Camera

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
>From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>I guess it depends on the written or implied "contract" associated with
>this transaction -- but it could, very simply, be theft.
>Here are three interpretations of the transaction:
>[1] Store RENTS you a camera for $20...
>[2] Store LENDS you the camera with a $20 security deposit ....
>[3] Store SELLS you the camera for $20.  Expecting, but not committing
>you, to exchange the camera for another...
>You choose not to sell the camera back to them or to use their
>processing processing service.

>From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>As for [3], the store is not "repurchasing" the camera...
>In reality, what the "modifier" of the camera is doing is "converting"
>an item away from its intended use, which doesn't seem to have any
>halachic prohibitions.

I would tend to agree with the " 'converting' from its intended use"
analysis, however the issue is then whether one may have a conditional
sale in halacha, e.g.  can you have a condition-subsequent that voids
the sale retroactively?

Here's an actual case that is, I think, explicitly a no. 3 example:

During the seventies some books bought in Israel had a notice stamped on
their inside that they were only for sale in Israel. (There were
probably tax reasons probably books intended for export were subject to
some type of manufacturor' excise tax.)  So then, if a wholesaler
decided to sell the books on the "gray-market" and violate the condition
stamped on the inside of the book would he lose ownership of the books
and would the purchasers acquire title. ( One further twist, perhaps the
publisher couldn't care less and he was only complying with a government
regulation, and he wasn't serious about the imposed condition, even if
there could be such a thing as a condition-subsequent here.)

Anyway, the question is whether such a condition if seriously contracted
for is recognized in Halacha? I don't have time to research this until
Shabbat so perhaps in the meanwhile someone who has the sefarim at hand
could answer.


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 14:37:44 -0400
Subject: Re: "Single-Use" Digital Camera

Carl Singer suggested that the store is renting or lending these
cameras.  If that were the case, it would be clear that you'd have to
return it to the same store that you got it from, or at least to another
store in the same corporation. If there is such a requirement, that
answers the question, but there is no such requirement for single-use
film cameras, so I doubt that there's be one here either.

Also, if it *was* a rental or lending situation, the initial price would
probably include the processing of the pictures. I have vague
recollections of other items handled like that, but I can't remember
exactly which.

Thus, my guess is that we're dealing with a genuine sale. But one still
has to read the fine print. I may think that I bought some software at
the computer store, but I *cannot* do whatever I want with it. There are
a lot of think that I cannot do with that software, and if I do any of
them, then I have violated that agreement. Such wording might exist on
the sale of these cameras too, and one should look carefully for it.

He asked <<< Since they are expecting that you return the camera to them
for processing (and that they will then keep the camera subsequent to
the processing.) why isn't it rental or lending. >>>

If this store is the only one which can process the camera, then this
question can be discussed further. But if I can bring the camera to a
variety of competitors, the way I can with a single-use film camera,
then they don't have any such expectations, and I can process the camera
wherever I want, such as in my own home.

Akiva Miller


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 21:15:51 +0100
Subject: Re: Smoking on Yom tov

on 26/5/05 10:46 am, Perry Zamek <perryza@...> wrote:

> As an aside, I wonder if the issue of smoking on yom tov, which, today,
> is probably not "davar hashaveh lechol nefesh" (something that most
> people enjoy), falls into this category of halachic change. It is clear
> that some people still feel that they may smoke on yom tov, even though
> many poskim and rabbis have already ruled, on the above grounds, that it
> should not be done (I don't recall names - however, I have seen, prior
> to yomtovim, posters in haredi areas quoting various rabbonim - perhaps
> over 20 in number - as stating that it is forbidden).

Isn't the question people should consider whether smoking is permitted
at any time since we now have such strong evidence that it is a major
cause of illness and death. Many latter-day posekim, such as the Tsits
Eliezer, have ruled that it is completely assur and others, like Rav
Mosheh Feinstein, have only not done so because of the great difficulty
tobacco addicts have in giving it up, relying on shomer peta'im Hashem,
but rule that one certainly may not start smoking in the first place.

Martin Stern


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 15:03:47 -0400
Subject: RE: Women and Prayer

>From: Eitan Fiorino
> Any argument that is constructed "this shouldn't happen because it
>never happened before" is worthless because that argument was, at some
>point in time, applicable to 90% of what happens in the synagogue

I find Eitan's entire argument beautifully written and totally
persuasive. I seize on this sentence to point out that we see nothing
unusual in regular synagogue attendance today by crowds of women, B"H,
on Shabbat and Y"T, at least. But, based on the testimony of many people
I have spoken to, including my sainted grandmother A"H, this was far
from true in frum European communities a few generations ago. Women from
even the most famous rabbinic families rarely attended on an ordinary
Shabbat.  The truly pious would pray at home. Is this change a result of
"feminism"? I doubt it. Rather it is most likely a result of the same
social dynamic operating across all segments of society, resulting from
the general change in the status and education level of women in

b'shalom--Bernie R.


End of Volume 48 Issue 19