Volume 50 Number 06
                    Produced: Wed Nov 16  5:30:25 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adultery No Ketubah
         [Russell J Hendel]
bet resh kaf
         [Robert Israel]
Brit Milah (2)
         [Martin Stern, Stephen Phillips]
         [Martin Stern]
Davening in a non-denominational chapel
         [Eli Turkel]
A Ger Who Had Milah But No Mikvah
         [Tal Benschar]
Shabbat/Yom Kippur
         [Art Werschulz]
Vehakna'ani az ba'Aretz
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 22:27:40 -0500
Subject: RE: Adultery No Ketubah

Frequently the Talmud will exort people by a technique called
IDOLS." It is ok to use such statements PROVIDED one understands them
exhortively vs. legally.

With this background let us examine the marital laws: (a) ADULTERY is
defined as a physical relationship where the women is married and the
man is not her husband. The ADULTERESS status is then conferred on both
parties (man and woman). Clearly however this does not apply here....the
husband and wife are having relations with each other.

(b) PRE-MARITAL relations is a sin defined as either (according to some
authorities) a violation of the prohibition against prostitution (some
authorities claim this does not apply to a continuous live in situation)
OR a violation of the obligation to sanctify a relationship with an act
of marital acquisition (eg buying with the ring). Clearly however the
husband and wife have had an act of marital acquistion. They are NOT
violating the prohibition(s) of premarital relationship.

(C) So what are they violating? They are violating an additional
obligation that the woman must have a WRITTEN CONTRACT where the man
monetary obligates himself in case of separation (except for "justified
cause"). There is controversy whether this written contract is a
Biblical or Rabbinic requirement. It is clear however that there is a
prohibition of CONTINUING the legally performed marriage if the WRITTEN
CONTRACT (called in Hebrew the KETUBAH, meaning WRITTEN) is absent. This
prohibition whether Rabbinic or BIblical is a DIFFERENT AND DISTINCT
prohibition to the prohibitions of adultery or premarital relationship.

In passing I once heard a lecture from Rav Aaron Solveitchick ZL. He
explained that women are more vulnerable in the "jungle." The promise of
monetary payment when the "guy" feels like "dumping" her gives her a
sense of security in the relationship. Following Rav Aaron's theme it
would appear that if the WRITTEN CONTRACT obligation is Rabbinical it
would be subsumed under the laws of not causing emotional anguish to
ones fellow person.

Russell Jay Hendel;http://www.rashiyomi.com/


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:13:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: bet resh kaf

Yehoshua Steinberg <ysteinberg@...> wrote:

> The root of Kapara, I'm sure you'll agree is caf-peh-resh.  This root is
> found in other contexts as well: "Cover (vechfarta) it inside and out
> with pitch (kofer)" (Gen. 6:14). "And you shall make an ark cover
> (kopores) of pure gold" (Ex. 25:17). Not puny Steinberg, but the great
> tri-literalists Rabbeinu Yona and Radak both included these two vastly
> different verses in the same entry ,caf-peh-resh, because they both mean
> covering (some may indeed claim that the English "cover" is a
> cognate).

I don't think the English "cover" is at all related.  "Cover" is from
Latin "cooperire" which is a combination of the intensive prefix "co-"
and "operire" (to cover).  "Operire" goes back to the Indo-European root
"wer-".  Other derivatives of this root include overt, warranty, garage,
garrison and garnish.  See
e.g. <http://www.bartleby.com/61/32/C0703200.html>

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:53:12 +0000
Subject: Brit Milah

The standard practice for giur is to do the milah (not as yet perhaps a
brit, covenant - this is perhaps implied by the wording of the berakhot)
and when the wound has healed the tevilah; both are necessary components
of the giur process without which it has not taken effect. There is no
difference between a child and an adult except that the child can
renounce his Jewish status on reaching adulthood.

Martin Stern

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:37:35 +0000
Subject: Re: Brit Milah

For all Gerim Brit Milah is performed before Tevillah (Yoeh De'ah
268:1). Why, I'm not sure. But it is also brought there in the Rama that
there is an opinion that if the Tevillah was performed first it is no
good and, according to the Shach, should be done again after Milah.

Stephen Phillips


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:58:26 +0000
Subject: Re: Brit/giur

on 15/11/05 11:52 am, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
> Remember that Avraham also performed milah on his entire "household".
> Thus, when a person adopts a child and brings him into the "household"
> (via giur) then the commanment to perform milah applies as well.  Is the
> bracha said with an adult ger as well at his bris?  I would suspect that
> it is because it is part of giur.  Any male who becomes Jewish (whether
> through birth or giur) is chayav milah.

But a giur does not take effect until after tevilah preceded by
milah. So a man who wishes to convert but is medically precluded from
undergoing circumcision cannot become a Jew. Thus the last case
suggested by Hillel can never occur.

Martin Stern


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 11:18:40 +0200
Subject: Davening in a non-denominational chapel

Recently, I found a minyan near my office for Mincha. The minyan is
davening in a non-denominational chapel of a local hospital. I asked my
Rov if I could daven there and was told that I could not . He said it
was better to daven "beyichidus" (by myself, without a minyan).  >

When on travel in an airport the choice is between yechidus in a chapel
with relative quiet or yechidus with many people passing by in a
terminal. What would he say then?

Eli Turkel


From: Tal Benschar <tbenschar@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 11:22:49 -0500
Subject: A Ger Who Had Milah But No Mikvah

> I understand that the practice, when circumcising a child convert is to
> do the Mikveh after the Brit Milah.  My question is, how can we bring a
> non-Jew into the Covenant of Avraham Avinu?  Or is the milah itself done
> l'shem giur?  If so, why do we need the mikveh?
> --I. Caspi"

Acc. to many Rishonim, the mila is itself part of the process of
conversion, along with the tevillah in the mikveh.  The geirus is not
complete until all steps are performed.  In fact, at the time of the
Beis ha Mikdash, a third step was required: a korban.  Until that was
brought, the geirus was not complete and the person was not permitted to

An interesting question is what is the status of the person who has only
undergone some but not all steps of geirus.  Is he Jewish?  IIRC, there
was a raging controversy about this in early 20th century Yerushalayim.
A man was megayer, had a milah, which was not healing so well, so the
mikveh had to be postponed until it healed.  Meantime, Shabbos came.
Was this person supposed to keep Shabbos as a Jew, or was he required to
be mechallel shabbos, as a non-Jew?  (A non-Jew may not keep Shabbos.)
This was a cause celebre for a while in some circles at the time.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 18:20:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbat/Yom Kippur


Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...> wrote:

> I will conclude with a well-known story I heard from Rav
> Soloveitchik, told about Baron Edmund de Rothschild, known as "the
> Frumer Rothschild" because he was the pious member of that famous
> French-Jewish banking family.  One of the Gedolei Torah -- either
> R. Akiva Eiger or R. Shlomo Kluger -- was his guest one year on Yom
> Kippur that fell on Shabbat.  After the Evening Service, the two of
> them returned to Rothschild's home ,where the candles were lit and
> the table was set with the finest china, crystal and so on, as was
> his custom every week.  "Frumer Rothschild" sat at the head of the
> table, and said something like this: "Ribono shel Olam, you have
> commanded us to celebrate Your holy Shabbat with a beautifully laid
> table and finery -- and I have done my part.  But then you have
> commanded us to fast on this day, so what can we I do?  This Shabbat
> meal must remain uncelebrated" and with these words he rose from the
> table.

Another variant of this story may be found in Agnon's "Days of Awe"
(pages 197-198 in the paperback Shocken edition).  In this case, the
protagonist was Rabbi Leib "the Sabbat Observer", rather than Baron

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: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 22:33:49 -0500
Subject: RE: Vehakna'ani az ba'Aretz

I suspect the reason someone might say that Moses did not write this
phrase is that it looks odd. "Looks odd" is a statistical
observation. In this case we are stating that the two phrases in the
verse "Abraham's and Lot's shepards disputed" vs "The Canaanites were
still in the land" seems unrelated. (Genesis 13:7)

The approach to this problem on the Rashi website (url) below is to (a)
classify problems and (b) to provide lists of comparable approaches to
these problems. Since an approach is used many many times it then no
longer appears "odd."

In this particular case I classify Gn13-07a as a problem of disparate
items in the same sentence/paragraph. There are in fact rules (in all
languages) governing "paragraph development." My own understanding is
that Rashi use 4 rules of paragraph development: a) Cause-consequence b)
enablement c) unified theme d) contrast.

In this particular case CONTRAST, ENABLEMENT and UNIFIED THEME do not
work. I therefore believe we have an issue of CAUSE. One approach is
that the Midrash is a "best guess" at an odd looking verse. I would go a
step further: It is a "best guess" at an odd looking verse to which WE

Gn13-14 EXPLICITLY says "God spoke to Abraham AFTER Lot separated" Thus
in this sentence we have EXPLICIT statement of causality---LOTS
SEPARATION enabled GOD TO SPEAK TO ABRAHAM. My opinion is that Rashi
borrowed an ALREADY EXISTING causal connection and applied it to
Gn13-07: Because the CANAANITES were in the land THEREFORE Abraham and
Lot disputed. Now it becomes clearer, Abraham would not touch the land
God promised him UNTIL the Canaanites had left while Lot thought nothing
wrong of using it now.

Explicit? No! Conjecture? Also no! Rather this is a situation of
MULTIPLE HINTS---one verse explicitly makes a connection and it seems
REASONABLE to apply this to the other verse.

To read the above explanation see http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gn13-07a.htm
To review other Rashis on CAUSALITY see
http://www.Rashiyomi.com/h27n22.htm#LIST061a To review LISTS of rules
see http://www.Rashiyomi.com/lists.htm More generally one can go to the
main Rashiyomi page (URL below) and click EITHER on LECH LECHA and look
up the verse OR click on the DATABASE and look up the CONSECUTIVE

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.rashiyomi.com/


End of Volume 50 Issue 6