Volume 49 Number 41
                    Produced: Mon Aug  8  5:46:19 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Candle Lighting After Childbirth.
         [Simon Wanderer]
Common Sense Compromise?
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Disengagement Ethics
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Family splitting for the summer
         [Tobias Robison]
Polygamy (2)
         [Harry Weiss, Shimon Lebowitz]
Polygamy and the rabbis of the Talmud
         [Martin Stern]
Pressure to Get Married (3)
         [Elazar M. Teitz, Ari Trachtenberg, Tom Buchler]
Tisha B'Av Program
         [Nathan Lamm]


From: Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 14:20:47 +0100
Subject: Candle Lighting After Childbirth.

>A colleague of mine told me that she has heard of a custom for a woman
>NOT to light Shabbos candles on the first Friday night after giving

>Has anyone heard of this custom and its reason?

I am familiar with this custom (I believe it is even mentioned in
'mainstream' halachic literature) and have heard two reasons ascribed in
addition to those discussed. I am writing without the benefit of sources
so I take no responsibility for the detail, but the general gist is as

a) The reason that candle lighting is women's responsibility is to serve
as a 'Tikun' for the Original Sin, which Chazal liken to extinguishing a
candle (Hee kavsa neira shel olam...). However, another Tikun exists:
Hashem decreed childbirth would be an arduous ordeal (B'itzvon teildee
banim). Therefore, in the week following childbirth which itself serves
as a Tikun for the Sin, there is no need for the additional tikun of
candle lighting.

b) A more prosaic reason, yet an impressive example of the Halacha's
sensitivity. Appreciating that many women will simply not be able to
light candles that week (perhaps less of an issue now than
historically), and in consideration of the special emotional attachment
of many women to this Mitzva, women were entirely relieved of this
responsibility. This means the women (i) feel no misplaced 'guilt' for
omitting to light (ii) do not go to undue (and possibly unhealthy)
effort to light candles.


From: Yeshaya Halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 20:33:51 -0500
Subject: Common Sense Compromise?

Arguments abound as to whether we should have an m-j list of people's
day jobs, and what their affiliations are. My humble solution is that
people should list their professions but omit their names, so people are
not intimidated by arguing with a gadol (Torah giant), nor can they be
flamed because they may know a lot less than the person with whom
they're (kosher)beefing.

In this manner we can eat our cake and have it too.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi Halevi


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 13:52:10 -0400
Subject: Disengagement Ethics

I have noticed a remarkable reticence of the American Jewish community
(even mail-jewish) regarding the upcoming evacuation of Jews from Gush
Katif.  I am interested in the halachic issues of the problem, for

[Note: The difficulty with some of these discussions is to keep it
focused on the halachic issues of the problem and not become a political
discussion. There are many places on the net to engage in partisan
political discussion on this topic. I will require that any responses
here keep to the halachic issues of the problem. Mod.]

1.  Is there a halachic obligation to maintain border towns of the State
of Israel?  How is this mitigated by piku'ach nefesh (in this case, it
seems unclear whether more lives will be lost maintaining Gush Katif or
as a result of disengaging from it)?

2.  Is there a halachic prohibition of throwing an (innocent) Jew out of
his home?  Does compensation mitigate the problem?  Again, how is this
mitigated by piku'ach nefesh as above?

3.  Is there a halachic obligation to for a Jew to enter into the
discussion (i.e. "do not stand (idly) on your neighbor's blood") ... if
so, is there a halachically justified position?

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Tobias Robison <trobison@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 11:03:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Family splitting for the summer

I'm not an expert in these matters, but I'd like to broaden the
discussion a little. There's a great tradition of getting the family out
of the city into the country for the summer even though the father has
to stay behind and work. Mothers and children went to the Catskills in
the19th century, fathers joining them for the weekends by boat and
horse-drawn taxi. The Shalom Bayis issues need to be balanced against
the historic risks of staying in the city - no air conditioning, risk of
polio and other summer diseases in hot, crowded living quarters,
extremely dangeorus places to play and swim, bored kids with nothing to
do getting into trouble. Many fathers also worked long hours and did not
see enough of their children and wives even when they came home daily,
so the additional separation might not make much difference.

- Tobias D. Robison, Princeton, NJ.


From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 18:36:18 -0700
Subject: Re:  Polygamy

>From: Mark Steiner <ms151@...>
>	I find it quite interesting that, as far as I know (and I
>checked this with two talmidei hakhamim who know "shas" backwards and
>forwards) there is no evidence whatever of polygamy among the Tannaim or
>Amoraim, despite the plethora of legal discussions of polygamy.  To put
>it another way, I (and, more importantly, my informants) cannot come up
>with a single Tanna or Amora who had more than one wife (at a time).

IIRC there is some Aggadata about one Amora (I think Rav Pappa) that had
different wives in different cities that he would travel to.

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 12:59:50 +0200
Subject: RE: Polygamy

Two things come to mind.

The story of the guy who was bald because his young wife pulled out his
white hairs, while his old wife pulled the dark ones.

The tana or amora who married many women in a famine year, so that as
wives of a kohen, they could eat from truma.

Sorry I do not know sources for these memories. Maybe (hopefully)
someone else does.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 13:12:13 +0100
Subject: Polygamy and the rabbis of the Talmud

on 5/8/05 1:52 am, David Curwin <tobyndave@...> wrote:

> According to the Jewish Encyclopedia (
> http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=425&letter=P ):
> "Of all the rabbis named in the Talmud there is not one who is mentioned
> as having lived in polygamy."

This is not a valid argument that it never existed (lo raiti eino
rayah). It is possible that there were a few cases which simply did not
get mentioned because they were not relevant to any argument. However it
seems that there was a general sentiment against polygamy and that it
was not particularly common, as might be expected for purely economic

Martin Stern


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 04:02:27 GMT
Subject: re: Pressure to Get Married

Russell J. Hendel writes, "In Volume 49 Number 33 Rabbi Teitz challenges
my assertion that the COVET prohibitions Biblically prohibit pressuring
a person into marrying somebody."

My comments said nothing about marriage. They were addressed exclusively
to Dr. Hendel's misquoting or misunderstanding of the Rambam, in his
statement that the Rambam considers pressure to buy a violation of the
prohibition of coveting, whereas the Rambam, of course, is talking about
pressuring an owner of an object into _selling_.  At least, if in no
other way, I can be compared to the Rambam in that we were both
misquoted by Dr. Hendel.

In point of fact, though, even if we were to grant Dr. Hendel's mistaken
reading of the Rambam, what he said does not follow. His comment was,
"In other words if I pressure someone into marrying someone I have
violated a Biblical prohibition."  A third party's action is never a
violation. If I know that A wants to buy something belonging to B, and
pressure B into selling it, I have committed no violation of coveting.
Only if I pressure B into selling it to _me_ is there a violation.

Incidentally, there is an expression for pressuring someone into
buying. It's called hard-sell advertising, and while it may be annoying,
it is not prohibited by the restriction against coveting.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 22:54:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Pressure to Get Married

From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
> case. Indeed the act of marriage consists of the man buying (the
> rights to have relations with the woman). Therefore the woman is the
> seller; she sells the right to have relations with her.

This is hardly obvious as the language in the mishna is quite strangely
passive ('the woman is "acquired" ...' rather than 'a man "acquires" a
woman').  This passive voice ambiguates the "acquirer" and the nature of
the "acquirement".


From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 23:32:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Pressure to Get Married

>From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
>Next: Perhaps a non-marriage illustration will clarify "what is
>bothering me." According to Rabbi Teitz, situation (A), Say, Avi has
>everyone on mail jewish email me to **sell** my computer to Rabbi Teitz,
>would be a violation of coveting, but situation (B), say Avi has
>everyone on mail Jewish email Rabbi Teitz to **buy** my computer would
>not be a violation of coveting. Rabbi Teitz does have a point (The
>prohibition is phrased in terms of pestering the owner to sell). But I
>also have a point--after all situations (A) and (B) "look the same."
>They are both pestering. They both result in the same transaction. Why
>should one be prohibited while the other is permissable.

With all due respect, how can you say that cases A and B are the same?

The parties being pressured are different, and occupy exactly opposite
roles in the prospective transaction. I'm no expert in laws of
acquisition, but in many instances don't different rights and
obligations apply to the buyers versus the sellers?

The issue of "coveting" seems to involve an overwhelming desire to
possess an item, not an overwhelming desire to dispose of it. If, in the
case at hand, the the covetor is prohibited from pressuring the
unwilling possessor of the coveted item to sell it, how is this at all
like the possessor of the coveted item pressuring an unwilling potential
buyer, who now cannot even be called a covetor?

It additionally seems clear from Rabbi Teitz's presentation of the
Rambam that the definition of coveting is not a broad prohibition of
pressuring or pestering, but specifically of pressuring someone to sell.
I do agree that by dropping the verb "to sell" one can derive many
innovative things -- including your argument -- but it does seem to
distort the issur.

In none of the supporting citations you present are the parties
reversed. You bring up "Rape in a field versus elsewhere." and "Goring
oxen verses other goring animals." A proper analogy to your case B would
be "Woman gores Ox." We would then have to apply the Laws of a Muad
Woman, and give her two more chances to gore an ox. For the initial
gorings, strict penalties would be applied to the woman's owner
(obviously her husband, per rules of acquisition). After the third
goring, we summarily kill her, and her husband must not benefit from the



From: Lectures <Lectures@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 11:18:31 -0400
Subject: Tisha B'Av Program

Congregation Keter Torah and Yeshiva University Proudly Present
Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter
Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future
Tisha B'Av 5765, Sunday August 14th 2005
at Congregation Keter Torah 600 Roemer Ave., Teaneck NJ

8:30 Shacharit
9:15 The Dialectic of Tisha B'Av: Mourning and Consolation
11-5 A Discussion of the Kinot Inspired by the Writings of Rabbi Soloveitchik

Live Webcast at www.yu.edu/torah
For information contact Congregation Keter Torah at (201) 907-0180


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 07:23:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: V'lamalshinim

One should also see the circumstances in which some lines were
written. Perhaps at some point, converts were seen as worse for Jews
than informers. We can also see if "Malchut Zadon" refers to one
specific kingdom, and whether it should be recited by those living in a
non-hostile environment.

I find it ironic that the one bracha the halacha stresses we have to be
careful about (say, if a chazzan omits it, he's removed) is the one with
the most variations. Understandable, but ironic. I, for one, say "Oyvei
Amcha" instead of "Oyvecha" although I daven nusach Ashkenaz, because of
the pasuk "Halo Ashur Shevet Yadi." Our enemies are not neccesarily
God's, at least not in quite the same way.

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 49 Issue 41