Volume 48 Number 55
                    Produced: Tue Jun 21  6:03:19 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accepting Psak without reviewing sources
         [Carl Singer]
         [Mark Steiner]
Feminism and men
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Martin Stern]
Iggeres HaRamban
         [Dov Teichman]
Is it theft not to return a borrowed article
         [Immanuel Burton]
Kiddush Levana on Yom Tov and Shabbos
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Kiddush Levanah - Need a Minyan?
         [Aliza Berger]
Public sabbath Desecrator
         [Stuart Pilichowski]
Public Sabbath Desecrators
         [Chana Luntz]
Second Job / Volunteering
         [Batya Medad]
Seven full weeks
         [Alan Rubin]
Shabbos -- Guests
         [Chana Luntz]
Yiddish Etymology
         [N Miller]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 06:47:19 -0400
Subject: Accepting Psak without reviewing sources

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
> where do these rules come from? Where is the *halachic* authorityof
> modern rabbis established ... and who qualifies *halachicly* as a
> rabbi capable of p'sak din? (again, I'm not interested in a variety of
> personal opinions ... I'm looking for a halachically-supported
> answer).

I believe the relevant issue is not the authority bestowed upon "modern
Rabbis" nor their lineage (Moshe kabayl Torah from Sinai and ....) --
but our responsibility to Assay l'cha Rav -- find for ourselves a
teacher / decider.

Carl Singer


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 21:53:37 +0300
Subject: RE: Clarification

It has come to my intention that the following phrase from one of my

On pareve: though it may be true (I have not checked this) that the
Israel Academy of the Hebrew Language offers "stami" as a Hebrew
substitute for pareve...

Could be interpreted as casting aspersions on the veracity of Ira
Jacobson's statement that "stami" is a word in Modern Hebrew (something
I don't doubt for a minute--not everything in Modern Hebrew comes from
the Academy, though, and, as I say, I didn't check with the Academy to
see whether it comes from there).

I apologize for the unintended implication.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 14:01:53 +0300
Subject: Re: Feminism and men

Leah Perl <leahperl@...> said:

      I don't know about you, but I have never heard of a female rapist.

I see that you do not read Israeli newspapers.  Without going into
details, that is one of the major stories in the tabloids these days.
The interesting point is (as made by the woman's lawyer) that what she
did is not prohibited by any law on the books.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:37:29 +0100
Subject: Re: Gilyonot

on 20/6/05 11:17 am, Mark Steiner <marksa@...> wrote:

> The Mishnah speaks of "gilyonot", probably referring to the Gospels

This is an abbreviation of the Hebraisation of the Greek term
Evangelion, Good News i.e. Gospel, as Avon gilion - Sinful writing (in
the margin) with obvious polemic intent.

Martin Stern


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 08:33:31 EDT
Subject: Iggeres HaRamban

I was wondering if anyone knew whether the passage at the end of the
Iggeres HaRamban (Nachmanides' letter to his son) that says: "Read this
letter at least once a week and neglect none of it. Fulfill it, and in
so doing, walk with it forever in the ways of Hashem, may he be blessed,
so that you will succeed in all your ways. Thus you will succeed and
merit the World to Come which lies hidden away for the righteous. Every
day that you shall read this letter, heaven shall answer your heart's
desires. Amen, Sela!"

Did the Ramban write that? If he did, isn't it strange that he would
make such a promise? Or, was it added later by others?

Thank you,
Dov Teichman


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:58:57 +0100
Subject: RE: Is it theft not to return a borrowed article

What constitutes borrowing?  Does the lender actually have to transfer
money or an object to the borrower?

The following situation actually happened to me: Someone I knew was
getting married and needed to move furniture and other items from his
finacee's home town to his.  Being under 21 at the time he was having
difficulty in renting a truck, so I kindly offered to do so.  He told me
that he would reimburse the cost of fuel for the truck.  So, I spent a
day driving up and down the motorways, and filled up with diesel as
necessary.  Then came the hard part of getting this person to reimburse
me.  Despite numerous and repeated requests, he failed to do so.  Given
that I laid out for the diesel and no money actually passed between the
two of us before the event, did he borrow the money from me, or is the
transaction classified as something else in Halachah?  And what effect
does Shmittah have on this transaction?

This event reminds me of a saying I once read: If you lend someone
twenty pounds and you never see them again, then it was probably worth

Immanuel Burton.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 14:04:55 +0300
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levana on Yom Tov and Shabbos

HB <halfull@...> said:

      The possibility of saying Kiddush Levana on Shavos just passed and
      the thought occurred to me as to why we do not say it on Yom Tov.
      (Since Shavos is the only Yom Tov occurring in the first 1/2 of a
      month it is also the only Yom Tov on which it might be possible to
      say it.)

Off hand, it would seem that with the present calendar, where there
could be up to a two-day difference between the molad and Rosh hodesh,
such an occurrence is more likely than HB thinks.

[Similar question recieved from: .cp. <chips@...>. Mod]

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 14:21:58 +0200
Subject: Kiddush Levanah - Need a Minyan?

HB wrote: 

> In addition, we dont say Kiddush Levana on Friday nights either.
> ( unless it is the last opportunity, in which case it may be said
> without a minyan and even individually.)

What if one doesn't ever attend minyan regularly for maariv? Can it then
be said at home without a minyan? I'm fairly certain I have seen people
do this (and I have done it myself).

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


From: Stuart Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 20:37:35 +0000
Subject: Public sabbath Desecrator

> From:(Josh Backon)
> The Teshuvot haRashba VII 179 in the name of Rabbenu Yonah indicates
> that one who willfully violates the Sabbath or doesn't believe in
> "divrei chazal" is a MIN and his touching wine places it in the
> category of Yayin Nesech.  See also the Shach in the Nekudot haKessef
> on YOREH DEAH Siman 124.

What are the practical applications when dealing with my very Jewish
neighbor in Israel who isn't yet observing all Shabbat laws? "Sorry,
your wine is assur to me because you have different beliefs than I do?"

No, they're not baalei teshuva on their derech (road) to
observance. They may light candles and make kiddush, but have no
problems with driving or watching TV. They consciously decided to limit
their observances and not observe the way their parents and grandparents

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion, Israel


From: Chana Luntz <chana@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 21:49:37 +0100
Subject: Public Sabbath Desecrators

Akiva Miller asked:
>But I'd just like to add the possibility that the halacha might go even
>further that. That is, the halacha might be that this person is not
>only considered so unJewish that he is not valid to give a get, but he
>might even be so unJewish that he doesn't *need* to give a get, because
>halacha considers a marriage between a Jew and a nonJew invalid.

I was wondering about that too (as you can see from one of my earlier
postings where I queried this) - so I went for a hunt over Shavuos.

And in fact the Mordechai in Yevamos ois 107 quotes one of the Geonim
(Rav Nachshon Gaon) as holding exactly that in the case of a mumar (to
idolatory) at the time of the kiddushin of his brother (ie he does not
have to do either chalitza or yibum) .  Also, following this opinion,
the kiddushin is a only deemed a kedushin as a "chumra b'alma" (because
we worry that maybe in fact he did teshuva).

However, the Smag disagrees and states explicitly that there is zika
[the connection which makes chalitza necessary] even for a mumar for
idolatory, and it would seem that the Rishonim follow this view, as
demonstrated in that Mordechai.

One of the proofs brought appears to be from the fact that Rabbi Meir
brings this case as one where one could argue for uprooting the
kiddushin for mekach taos [a mistaken contract on behalf of the wife],
whereas if there was no zika to begin with, then there would be no need
to get into a mistaken contract discussion.  As we know, and as brought
by the Mordechai there, we hold in general like Tosphos (and not R"M)
that this uprooting of the kiddushin is only possible for kiddushin and
not for erusin - and since today we combine these even that is not
possible.  However the fact that this debate is happening at all (about
uprooting the kiddushin) shows that the first level, that of there being
a zika, would seem to be present.

And note that while Rav Moshe in Iggeros Moshe Even Ha'Ezer chelek daled
siman 121 relies on the R"M in this Mordechai to uproot the marriage in
the case of a woman who married someone with everybody knowing he was
just about to be called up to the army in wartime, and where the brother
was such a mumar that he was a member of a political party that would
throw him out of the party were he to do chalitza - even here he does
not place any great reliance on the fact that we had a full fledged
mumar to the extent of arguing that there was no zika.

Note also that one of the things the Mordechai discusses in this regard
(albeit in brief) is the machlokus rishonim regarding lending at
interest to a mumar (he brings it to show those who hold that you can't
for various reasons, as part of the discussion that a mumar remains a
Jew to the extent of needing chalitza or yibum).  There is a *lot* on
this in various sources - which I might at some time have time to
summarise. However there are a range of additional issues that come up
in regard to lending, over and above the Jewish/non Jewish issue.

None of this, in my opinion, takes away from the fact that while bideved
one may need a get or chalitza, one would not want l'chatchila to get
into a safek of this nature by allowing a kiddushin to go ahead.

Chana Luntz


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 20:59:55 +0200
Subject: Second Job / Volunteering

> I was wondering whether there were any thoughts on the halachic issues
> related with second jobs or with volunteering on the side.  At what
> point are you stealing from your primary job?

a related problem

As some of you know, I do a lot of writing which appears primarily on
the internet in various blogs and sites.  I don't get paid for my
articles.  A number of years ago, when I was barely dabbling and not yet
blogging a freelance writer told me how people like me make it hard to
make a living from writing. Why should they pay her/him when they get
quality stuff for nothing?  Ok, papers like the Post don't want to pay
me or know me, but lots of publications today are based on what they can
copy off the net.  And yes, I'd love to get paid, but the hassle of the
hustle puts me off.  Do people like me really make it worse for those
who really need the parnasa from writing? 



From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 13:38:38 +0100
Subject: Seven full weeks

Many communities seem to be adopting the custom to delay bringing in the
first night of Shevuos until nightfall. My impression is that this
custom was not so prevalent until recent years. I am aware that the
custom is mentioned by the Taz and brought in the Mishnah Berurah. Are
there any other sources? It seems then that the idea that we must wait
until nightfall to bring in Shevuos is recent.

With Shevuos being so late this year, our shul did not daven Maariv
until 10.25 pm.  I would be interested in any sources that are critical
of this practice and more concerned with Simchas YomTov than what Rabbi
Yaakov Emden describes as an "insubstantial fine point." Apart from the
opinion of Rabbi Yaakov Emden in his siddur are there any other gedolim
that have criticised this custom?

Alan Rubin


From: Chana Luntz <Heather_Luntz@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 16:53:23 +0100
Subject: Shabbos -- Guests

Carl Singer <casinger@...> writes:

> Rambam and others (Kesef Mishnah) speak to kovid Shabbos (focusing on
> pre-Shabbos preparations) and Oneg Shabbos (3 meals, etc.)

> Does anyone have any halachic sources re: guests on Shabbos (Hachnosos
> Orchim.)  Again, I am looking SPECIFICALLY for HALACHIC sources that tie
> Shabbos and Guests.

How about Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim siman 333, si'if 1?

The Shulchan Aruch there brings down the mishna in Shabbas 128b which
states the permissability of moving piles of grain on shabbas, in
circumstances in which it would otherwise be (rabbinically) prohibited,
for tzorech orchim [the needs of guests] and other situations of d'var
mitzvah. And the Rema there explans that that it is not just moving
piles of grain, but any shvut [rabbinical prohibition] that can be
violated in the case of a d'var mitzvah or for the needs of guests.
However the Rema qualifies this by stating that this only applicable in
cases where the guests were staying over at his house, or at the houses
of others, and not where locals have merely been invited for a meal
(which is to be considered a seudas rishus, not a seudas mitzvah) (and
note that the Kaf Hachaim brings a further qualification that the guests
must have arrived just before shabbat).

Is this what you were after?



From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 13:38:33 -0400
Subject: Yiddish Etymology

Bernard Raab is on solid ground when he recommends checking the German
(better yet: MHG) in working up the etymology of a Yiddish word, but the
example he offers of shtadlan (which he derives from G. Staatlan) may
not be the most felicitous choice.  Shtadlan is written
shin-tof-daled-lamed-nun.  It means a go-between or intercessor, just as
shtadlanut (or as it is pronounced Yiddish 'shtadlones') means
intercession.  Moreover, except for American Yiddish compounds
(shtat-sekretar, secretary of state) the Yiddish counterpart of the
Germanic Staat is not shtat but melukhe and in any case they're spelled
phonetically and with a tes/tet not tof.  There is therefore good reason
to doubt the German connection in this case.

It's true of course that shtadlonim were (and are) Hofjuden, court Jews,
and it's possible that the Hebraicized spelling is nothing more than
euphonious flimflam.  Could be, but I'd like to see more evidence.

Noyekh Miller


End of Volume 48 Issue 55