Volume 49 Number 79
                    Produced: Sun Aug 28  7:46:19 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Entering a Church
         [Josh Backon]
A Great Jewish Ed quote:
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Hair Coverings- Women vs. Men
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Halachas of Hats
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Horns (was seperation of church and State)
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Jackets for Tefilah
         [S Wise]
Josephus vs. Sefer Yosifon
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
         [Anonymous: Alzheimer's Family]
Public Schools and "dejudaizing" Jewish Children
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Seat Belts
         [Art Werschulz]
Symposium on Dinoh D'Malchuta Dinoh
         [Andy Goldfinger]


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 17:05:53 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Entering a Church

The TZITZ ELIEZER XIV 91 not only prohibits entering a church [that's
obvious, I posted many references on this prohibition] but also a
mosque. See also YECHAVEH DAAT IV 45.

The subject is also discussed in the Minchat Chinuch 213.

The source of the Biblical prohibition is *meshamshei avoda zara*
(Talmud Avoda Zara 37b in the Chidushei haRamban). See also Rambam in
his Peyrush Hamishnayot to AZ 1:1. One is prohibited from even to come 4
*amot* [6 feet) near a church (see commentators on the gemara in Avoda
Zara 17a). In addition to the above, there is also a prohibition of
*mar'it ayin* where one would assume the person is participating in a
church service. One is biblically prohibited from any benefit whatsoever
from *meshamshei avoda zara*. Xtians worship AZ ("shituf") but weren't
warned on its violation (Tosfot in Sanhedrin 63b d"h "assur")

To reiterate: it is a biblical prohibition of at least 1 (if not 3
items) to so much as enter a church, even if not in use for
services. Needless to say, participating in a Xtian service even
passively is categorically prohibited.

As I wrote in a prior posting: there is 1 lenient position (in Asey
Lecha Rav) that permits entering an *empty* church that hasn't been used
for services for many years (e.g. a museum). And even that is on a need
for one's livelihood (e.g. a student of architecture or art history).

Josh Backon


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 10:02:25 EDT
Subject: A Great Jewish Ed quote:

I submit the following quote from Neil Kaunfer in Norman Drachler's "A
Bibliography of Jewish Education in the United States. Wayne State
University Press, 1996" "Jewish education is an unrewarding profession
financially and in terms of status.  It is also part time work.  The
result of all this is that only the very dedicated or the very
incompetent would choose to enter the field (P 269)."


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 10:27:00 -0400
Subject: Hair Coverings- Women vs. Men

>I may be causing lots of traffic by this next statement, but I'm pretty
>sure that halachikly your topic has less halachik significance than a
>discussion of most halachkly proper hair covering for married women.

Why? isn't the halacha clear that men just require dignified and
appropriate clothing, while women are required to cover the hair?

That sounds to me fairly close to being absolutist- men, use your
judgement vs. women, cover up as you wish, but cover!

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 09:38:33 -0400
Subject: Halachas of Hats

Carl Singer, in discussing hat regulations for US soldiers, writes:

> If you ever go into a Officer's Club you may see the following on the
> wall.  HWWHHIHBTBAROC He who wears his hat in here buys the bar a round
> of cheer.
> More to the point there are specific uniform regulations re: the wearing
> of headgear.  If you see a (US) Soldier wearing his hat indoors -- be
> nice to him / her -- as they're carrying a weapon.  One does not remove
> one's cover (hat) when under arms."

Just to show how specific military regulations (halachas?) are:

The center of the Pentagon building in Alexandria Virgina (across the
Potomac River from Washington DC) is a very large open courtyard that is
landscaped into a nice park.  Before 9/11, it was referred to as "ground
zero" (but this appelation is now used for the World Trade Center site
in Manhattan).  Military regulations require personnel to be "under
cover" (wearing a hat) when outside.  Since this is inconvenient in the
Pentagon Park, the military has ruled (poskened?) that this park is
"inside" and hence military personnel do not have to wear hats there.

-- Andy Goldfinger

(currently under cover even though inside and without a weapon)


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 09:47:08 EDT
Subject: Horns (was seperation of church and State)

I had to chuckle when Janice told her story about Chanuka and Xmas.
Believe it or not, a women at my undergraduate University in Chicago
(NEIU) asked to see my horns!  I took off my Kippah and told her I had
mine surgically removed (I wanted to also say that's why so many Jews
become Doctors).  I ended the conversation by telling her it wasn't

Chaim Shapiro


From: <Smwise3@...> (S Wise)
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 09:44:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Jackets for Tefilah

      jackets to church, then a Jew must do so as well in Shule!  That
      is, the Jew cannot do less when it comes to formality of clothing
      worn out of modesty/respect for a house of worship than the
      non-Jew. I don't think the argument that "we go more often" is
      relevant halachically. Perhaps things have changed, but there is a
      halachic ramification to "Sunday Best".

I just wanted to add to my comments which apparently started this
thread, that we are to approach davening with a certain amount of yirah
(fear).  I think the way we dress affects that attitude.  Remember the
purpose of davening is to give thanks and supplication.  The type of hat
and jacket is more symbolic of perhaps a higher standard we should
follow but can't always.  The bottom line is we should make an effort to
prepare ourselves and distinguish in some way how we stand before Hashem
from others.  Let's face it, Judaism is not a religion of convenience;
when people dress in a way that is convenient to them, be it the
weather, or a personal aversion, he is putting his considerations
first. Not that Hashem needs to see you in a hat and jacket, but at
least to me, I am showing Hashem that He is worth my attention to dress
differently, to take some action to show that my davening is important
enough that I just dont walk into shul at my convenience.

I will never forget the first time I went to the kosel 20 years ago on a
very hot day.  I wasn't wearing a jacket, and a young frum American from
Chicago stopped me to remind me the holiness of the place. He lent me
his hat and jacket and waited until I finished davening.  The kosel, a
shul, an open place-- Hashem is wherever we seek him.  That incident was
a great inspiration.

S. Wise


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 13:22:55 +0200
Subject: Josephus vs. Sefer Yosifon

Prof. David Flusser, z"l, of the Hebrew University compiled a critical
edition of Sefer Yosifon, in Hebrew (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1978-80),
2 volumes, with a scholarly introduction dealing with all the historical
and other issues, notes, variant readings, etc. For those seriously
interested in the whole question, this is probably the best source.

Yehonatan Chipman


From: Anonymous: Alzheimer's Family
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005
Subject: Lying

        There has been some discussion about the permissability of lying
according to Halacha.  My wife suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, and is
now significantly impaired.  I have asked a shailoh [formal question] to
my Rav about the permissability of "therapeutic lying," the telling of
deliberate lies to quiet or ease the suffering of a person with
Alzheimer's.  He told me that this is permissible since the goal is to
help the person, but that the degree of lying must be minimized to the
greatest extent possible.

        Thus, on one occasion, my wife seemed to be having a
hallucination about some sort of creature living in the basement, and I
said to her "I have not seen it."  Also, my wife frequently becomes
confused at bed time, and often gets very upset or even violent about
wanting to "go home" even though we are in our own bedroom.  If I
explain to her that we are home, she becomes even more angry.  So -- on
one occasion I promised her that if she got into bed and went to sleep,
when she woke up, she would be home.

        However, it is not always possible to "finesse" the situation
and avoid lies.  Thus, on one occasion she became very upset and wanted
to know if [our younger son] has "taken care of it."  She could not
explain what she wanted taken care of, or just what was concerning her,
so I said "Yes, he took care of it," and she became more relaxed and
quieted down.

        Changing the subject from lying, I have learned that there are a
number of orther Halachic considerations that come into play in
Alzheimer's care.

        In my wife's case, she is no longer able to read or make
brachas, and I do not force her to wash before eating bread and so on.
With regard to lighting Shabbos candles, she is unable to do it by
herself, so we use a long butane lighter.  We hold the lighter together
and I guide her hand to light the candles.

        The kashrus in our house is now "b'deved."  That is, she cannot
keep milchig and fleishig separate, and still attempts to wash dishes is
various non-ideal ways.  I have asked my Rav for Halachic guidelines,
and he uses a lenient position for most occurrences (but not all -- we
have had to throw out a few pots).  For meals, I use paper plates and
plastic knives, spoons and forks as much as I am able.  We do not keep
her away from the kitchen since it is very satisfying to her to wash
dishes -- she is able to feel useful.

        Another major concern is Nidah.  Although my wife is past
menopause, there can still be nidah issues.  Although, Boruch HaShem,
our Rav has poskened that all our "shailohs" to date have been "tahor."
there is a concern that if she ever (Chas V'Shalom) became a nidah, it
would be a permanent state, since she woud be unable to do bedikahs and
combatative if another person tried to help her (it is hard enough just
getting her to take her medicine!).

        Regarding Tisah B'Av, I asked my Rav whether I could have
physical contact with her the evening of Eichah.  He poskened that I
could if necessary, but that if at all possible I should touch her
through her clothing rather that directly on the skin. (Of course, each
person must ask their own Posek).

        There are, of course, many many other issues, both practical and
emotional, but they are best discussed in other forums.


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 09:55:04 EDT
Subject: Public Schools and "dejudaizing" Jewish Children

I would like an academic reference to this mission of dejudaizing in
Public Schools that Art Sapper refers to.

Chaim Shapiro


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 09:47:56 -0400
Subject: Seat Belts


Carl A. Singer <casinger@...> wrote:

> This was touched upon several weeks ago but seemed to go away without
> definitive responses.
> 1 - Is it halachically permitted to drive without seat belts?	
> 2 - Has anyone paskened on this?
> 3 - What is one's responsibility to one's fellow (wo)man re: same -- if
>     you're in car with them, otherwise.

I can't give you any halachic information, but I would *strongly* urge
people to wear seat belts when traveling by car.

A few weeks ago, my younger son was in a serious auto accident, going
off the road, hitting a tree, and then a telephone pole.  Had it not
been for the fact that he was wearing a seatbelt *and* some unknown
passersby pulled him out of the car before it caught fire and exploded
(you can see what was left of the car at
http://www.dsm.fordham.edu/~agw/ndw-car.jpg), I would be observing
double aveilut right now (my mother passed away on 11 July).

(BTW, he's doing OK right now, the only current injuries being a broken
ankle and a sprained ankle.)

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 10:45:10 -0400
Subject: Symposium on Dinoh D'Malchuta Dinoh

An truly excellent and very important kinus (symposium) was held
recently on Dinoh D'Malchutah Dinoh (observing the laws of the land).
The moderator was R. Aharon Twerski, and the speakers were R. Nuchim
Laskin, R. Shmulem Lipsker, Mr. George Meisner Esq., and Mr. Benjamin
Brafman Esq.  The lectures cover issues in halacha, hashkafa, US secular
law, and even what life is like for Obervant Jews in prison (it is not
pleasant).  They point out that such things as cheating on taxes are
completely forbidden by the Torah.  I am very impressed by the quality
of the speakers and what they have to say.

It is available in English on two cassette tapes.  The phone number
given on the tapes is (US) 845-783-7900.  When you call this number, you
get an automated system, the choices of which are given in Yiddish.

-- Andy Goldfinger


End of Volume 49 Issue 79