Volume 51 Number 92
                    Produced: Fri Apr  7  5:54:46 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Layperson selling Chametz
         [David Riceman]
Non-Jews receiving kibbudim in shul
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Seder Start Time
         [J Zangvil]
Tinok Shenishba: One who knows NOTHING about Judaism (2)
         [Chana Luntz, Russell J Hendel]


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 14:04:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Layperson selling Chametz

> From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>

> No rav includes chametz utensils in the sale, for that reason.
> Instead, they are rented to the non-Jew, and only the chametz absorbed
> within them is sold.

How would the purchaser extract the hametz from the pot if he wished to
do so? If he can't extract it how can the sale be binding?

David Riceman 


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 23:08:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Non-Jews receiving kibbudim in shul

I've been asked to post for a friend, but I'm curious myself:

Is it halachicly permissible for a non-Jew to get kibbudim in shul, such
as opening the aron kodesh? (Obviously he can't get an aliyah.) Or in
any other religious observance such as a wedding (where he obviously
cannot be an eid, but can he, say, recite one of the sheva brochos) or a

What are the sources on this?

(Some of the background on this: the person who asked my friend the
question has a very liberal rabbi [I don't know whether or not this is
an Orthodox rabbi - FB] who wishes to give out kibbudim in shul to
non-Jews; she and her family wish to fight the plan but haven't
sufficient halachic knowledge to do so. It would also be useful to know,
say for a ger, if he is permitted to give his parents any kibbudim at
his simchas.)

Thanks very much.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: J Zangvil <j.zangvil@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 09:27:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Seder Start Time


I know that this must be a FAQ, but I have searched the mail-jewish
archives to no avail.  Is there any dissention on the start time for the
seder?  The shulchan aruch says that it has to start when it gets dark
("ad techashech" 462:1), even though you want to start as soon as
possible so the kids don't fall asleep, and the Mishnah Berurah is
pretty clear that this means tzeit hakokhavim, and no earlier.  I
haven't made a huge comparison of sources, but the Mekor Chaim's kitzur
brings the shulchan aruch word-for-word, but leaves open to
interpretation what choshech is.

In particular, if anyone knows of a kula on start times for the purposes
of kiruv, I would love to hear of its existence.

Something interesting that I noticed is that not a single one of the
20-so haggadot that I took out of the library gives a time for kiddush.
They're mostly the old-fashioned kind, such as the YU one from the 80's.
I am guessing that the obsessions with time, like the obsession with
measurement, is an advent of the Artscroll era.  What do people think?
When did issues like measurements and times start being mentioned in



From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Wed,  5 Apr 2006 22:35:35 +0100
Subject: Tinok Shenishba: One who knows NOTHING about Judaism

 Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...> writes:

> 3) M'Lamed l'Ho'il II YD 115 d"h ra'iti defining who is NOT a Tinok
> Shenishba ("she'harei yodea shafir ma heim yisrael v'she'yisrael
> tzrichim lihyot nimolim")

I was slightly surprised to see this, as the position you appear to
quote in the name of the M'Lamed l'Ho'il would seem to be in direct
contradiction to the position that Rav Ovadiah Yosef quotes his as
having, in Yabiat Omer chelek 7 Orech Chaim siman 15.

So while I haven't had the chance to check some of your other quotes, I
went and looked this teshuva up and the teshuva that Rav Ovadiah quotes.

Anyhow the teshuva that Rav Ovadiah quotes (Chelek 1, Orech Chaim siman
29) the question reads as follows "in our minyan there are one or two
who are mechallel shabbas b'farhesia and not only because of their work
because even when what they do is finished, they do not even make
kiddush and havdala is it permissable to be metztaref them to a minyan?"

On the other hand the teshuva you quote, while we don't have the
question, is a ruling about whether one is allowed to bury a fellow who
was not circumcised close to other Jews, or whether he is required to be
buried further away.

Now the answer in the first case is: One who wants to be lenient and
count people like this for a minyan, have on whom to rely.

And the answer in the second case is: No somebody like this must be
buried a distance away from other Jews.

It is certainly true that in the teshuva you refer to he uses the hebrew
words that you have quoted above - preceeded by the words "and do not
say of him that he is a tinuk shenishba amongst the non Jews" but the
words translate to mean: and behold he knows well what are Jews and that
Jews need to be circumcised.

In the teshuva about minyan he says in discussing a number of other
cases where it was known that they counted a mechallel shabbas
b'farhesia into a minyan "and it is possible that they also rely on what
was written in the teshuvos of the Binyan Zion haChadashot siman 23 that
a mechallel shabbas in our time we can think of him a little like a
tinuk shenishba amongst the non Jews because the majority of Jews in our
land are mechallel shabbas and their intention in this is not to deny
the principles of faith in HKBH and so was told to me by Rav Msholum
Zalman HaCohen in the name of the Baal Shoel U'meshiv that writes that
the people from America do not disqualify those who are mechallel
shabbas because they are like a tinuk shenishba amongst the non Jews" -
this of course being part of the bit that Rav Ovadiah quotes, earlier
the M'Lamed L'ho#il writes that the minhag is to be lenient even in the
land of Hungry and even more so in Ashkenaz (which is the other bit that
Rav Ovadiah quotes).

So I think that the quote you bring is rather misleading, because even
the most non frum today do still tend to circumcise their children, and
not to do so is, even today, something of a statement (and not something
the majority or even a significant minority do), while on the other
hand, as the M'lamed l'Ho'il brings, being mechallel shabbas is
something that the majority of Jews today do, and it would rather seem
to be this that he is using as a criteria to decide whether one can
apply the categorisation.

More generally on tinuk shenishba: I think it is necessary to understand
that, just as I said when discussing the concept of including a
mechallel shabbas based on the sins of Spies that this was a chiddush of
Rav Moshe's, that the use of the concept of tinuk shenishba (or more
correctly as one can see from these quotes "like a tinuk shenisba" not
an actual tinuk shenisbha) to allow eg the counting of a mechallel
shabbas in a minyan, the touching of his/her wine, duchaning if a cohen
etc seems to have been a chiddush of the Binyan Zion.

However, one of the major differences is that this Binyan Zion has been
quoted extensively by many many poskim after him as at least one of, if
not the major reason to, permit in the case of a mechallel shabbas
b'farhesia (whereas, partly perhaps because he is much more recent and
partly perhaps because most poskim writing teshuvas today tend to be in
Eretz Yisroel, and partly perhaps for other reasons) Rav Moshe's
chiddush appears to be less quoted and less relied upon among more
recent teshuva literature.

And I tend to agree that one cannot just waive a concept like tinuk
shenishba around and say it applies without more (or even just bring a
Rambam). That is why, when Rav Ovadiah refers to the concept, and quotes
the Binyan Zion, he then goes on to bring numerous other poskim and
teshuvos (I haven't done a count, although I may do for a future post
but my sense is dozens) who then rely on this Binyan Zion as at least
one of the reasons not to treat a mechallel shabbas today like a classic
mechallel shabbas - in cases where it is absolutely clear that they are
not referring to people who know absolutely nothing about Judaism (as it
is clear that the M'Lamed L'ho'il was not - his Jews who could be
considered like a tinuk shenishba were quite able to distinguish between
halachas that the majority of Jews keep like circumcision and halachas
that most Jews do not, like shabbas).

Given the level of interest in this topic, and the extent of
misinformation floating around, I do hope at some stage in the future to
translate some of the quotes from the various poskim that Rav Ovadiah
brings on this matter, to give some of the flavour of what has been said
and the extent to which the concept has been used since the Binyan Zion
introduced his chiddush into the world of psak.  But this post is
overlong already, - and we are talking about pages and pages of text,
(even though Rav Ovadiah does trim his quotes to the minimum needed),
which means I am going to have to in some way summarise as well as
translate, so it is a task which I do not know if I will get to at any
time soon.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 20:18:24 -0400
Subject: Tinok Shenishba: One who knows NOTHING about Judaism

Josh Backon (v51n89) attempts to correct Steve White and argue that many
Rishonim and acharonim DEFINE a CAPTIVE INFANT (Tinok Shenishba) as
someone who knows NOTHING about Judaism.

Josh **does** have many sources. And some people do argue from sources.
However this does not hold when those sources directly contradict
explicitly stated reasons and explicit language in the Rishonim. (On an
"authority" note I observe that all Josh's sources are acharonim except
for the Radbaz and as far as I can see the Radbaz directly contradicts
several sources in the Rambam).

Josh correctly identifies Rebellors: 3:3 as one source. The Rambam's
exact language there is as follows (CITATION) "But the children of these
deviators who were raised by them AND ARE NOT HABITUAL (AyNo ZaRiZ) TO
DO COMMANDMENTS, they are like a CAPTIVE INFANT.....and even if they
know they are Jewish afterwards they have been brought up differently
about people raised as (Karite) Jews --- their problem however is like
of habituation (ZaRiz) not lack of knowledge.  (Presumably Karites told
their children what the other side believed and that they act

Now Josh **seems** to have support from a second source: Errors 2:6
(CITATION) "A CAPTIVE INFANT who NEVER knew he was Jewish...when he
finds out ...he must bring a sin offering" (END CITAITON). However one
cannot prove anything from this source since it only illustrates the
general principle cited at the beginning of the paragraph (CITATION)
"Whoever finds out that he has sinned AFTER HE SINS even though he did
not know at the beginning ...must bring a sin offering...how soa CAPTIVE

In other words the purpose of ERRORS 2:6 was not to *define* CAPTIVE
INFANT but rather to use ONE TYPE of captive infant to illustrate a
general principle. On the other hand the language in REBELLORS 3:3 is
quite clear "....he is not HABITUATED (ZaRiZ) in COMMANDMENT
PERFORMANCE" In fact the Rambam seems to define two types of captive
infants (1) Not habituated and (2) never knew.

As I suggested in an email one can justify this approach by using the
CLASSIFICATION OF INTENTS presented in Murder 6. Some examples (not
necessarily from the Rambam) may help (English has better linguistic
acuity then Hebrew in this regard). Example 1: If I tie up a person and
throw him on a baby then his murder was neither negligent nor accidental
but rather HELPLESS (ANUS) (Example from Tosafoth). Example 2: If a
person shoots an arrow in one direction and a strong wind deflects it 90
degrees and it kill somebody then that person is not helpless (he did an
act) nor is he negligent...in English we say it was "accidental murder"
In Hebrew we say he is LIKE HELPLESS. This person does NOT go to the
refuge city.(Example from Rambam) Example 3 (Rambam): If I had a heavy
stone in my lap, take a nap, and get up quickly and the stone falls and
kills an infant then I am neither helpless nor accidental---I am
negligent...I am suppose to know that I dont think clearly when I get

Now **all** agree that sin offerings are brought on NEGLIGENCE not on
accidents. Apparently the Rambam holds that both ACCIDENTAL and
NEGLIGENT sin require sin offerings. Returning to the CAPTIVE INFANT: A
person who never knew and found out is as the Rambam says LIKE HELPLESS
PERFORMANCE" is negilgent...he is like the person getting up and
forgetting about the stone. That is exactly what negligence is...when
you dont focus on your acts and the non-habituated person does not

There IS a philosophical point here---What is our responsibility to do
commandments?...certainly if we never knew we are ACCIDENTAL and at most
must bring a sin offering. But if we knew cognitively but not
experientially (not habituated) then we are in a mental state like
negligence---we KNOW there is a stone in our lap but NOT FOCUSED on it.
The person's knowledge of Jewish law is not co-occurrent with experience
and hence he is NEGLIGENT and requires a sin offering. (The Rambam's own
example is a person who grew up among Karites..so he KNEW he was Jewish
and he KNEW that the other side believed these things wrong...however he
was "raised as a non practicer....").

This by the way is THE reason for outreach leniency....COGNITION of
Jewishness and even of God does not consequent itself in Experience and
PERFORMANCE. To be responsible for Jewish performacne we must have had
both cognitive learning and experiental habits. We therefore must be
lenient on those who do not have the experience till they acquire it.

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


End of Volume 51 Issue 92