Volume 53 Number 83
                    Produced: Tue Jan 16  5:18:15 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

99.99% of those on the bus
Back of the Bus
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Blaming the Victim and Bus Segregation
         [Richard Dine]
Explaining catastrophies
         [Martin Stern]
Holding the Extra Seat
Kattan saying kaddish (2)
         [Martin Stern, Perets Mett]
The Matseivot of Rav and Reb Soloveitchik (3)
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer, Eli Turkel, Tzvi Stein]
Slightest Glimpse of Woman
Some History
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
What is a "Right"
         [Shimon Lebowitz]


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 01:22:37 +1100
Subject: 99.99% of those on the bus

From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>

> The only place you will find a segragated bus, is in Chareidi
> neighborhoods, where 99.99% of those on the bus are wearing Tzniusdik
> clothing.

  ...of whom 99.99% are quite happy with the separated bus concept.

And you may have missed it, but there are unfortunately plenty of
non-tzanua women travelling on Jerusalem buses.

> Too many "halachot" or "chumrot" have been enacted over the past
> decade with insufficient halachic bases.

Before you make such a comment, maybe you should pick up the telephone
and speak to a few Charedi rabonim enquiring whether they too consider
these new chumras as lacking in sufficient halachic bases. Just because
you and I may not know of them, does not mean that they do not exist.

(In fact my view is that "Too many "kulot" have been enacted over the
past decade with insufficient halachic bases" ...)

> Chavot Ya'ir notes that excessive chumrot actually leads to the
> opposite of frumkeit.

And what does the CY say about excessive kulot?

> Perhaps it's time that people realized that "Bal Tosif" is a Torah Law
> that deserves atleast as much attention as the "chumra of the week"
> club.

Which posek issued a psika that having separate buses breaches the issur
of "Bal Tosif"?



From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 05:47:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Back of the Bus

>From Sarah Beck:

>> Ari Trachtenberg asserts that segregating people by sex is a halachic
>> issue, and that the right Sarah Beck asserts not to be segregated is
>> non-halachic. Sarah concedes the point.  I wonder if she did so too
>> quickly.

> I don't mean to concede the point. There may well be a halachic "right
> not to be segregated" in public. I don't know. But even IF there is
> nosuch right in halacha, there certainly is in U.S. law. No, all
> countries are not the U.S., and Israel certainly isn't, but I think
> that this right is worth fighting for in all secular democracies.

Sarah misses my point.  One not need posit a conflict between halacha
and secular law.  I am suggesting that even if there is arguably a
halachic obligation--or, as SBA seems to concede, merely a halachic
preference--for men to sit separately, in the front of the bus, the
people who are under this obligation have no halachic right to compel
anyone to follow it on a public bus, and the rabbis who are their
leaders have no halachic right to compel anyone other than their
adherents to follow it on a public bus.  If so, then the both the
"right" to be segregated and the "right" not to be segregated, on a
public bus, are purely non-halachic.

One cannot determine in a vacuum the weight to be accorded these two
conflicting non-halachic rights.  The statement in U.S. law that "the
right to extend your fist ends at the bridge of my nose" doesn't help
you when both sides are extending their fists (figuratively).  But for
all the reasons that have been stated in this discussion--among them,
there is published halachic authority permitting mixed seating, sticking
women in the back doesn't even advance the aim, and it at least looks
like women are being discriminated against-- I have difficulty believing
that any neutral party, in Israel or the U.S. (even ignoring
establishment clause issues), would side with the segregators.


From: Richard Dine <richard.dine@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 09:01:31 -0500
Subject: Blaming the Victim and Bus Segregation

I would caution against having so many posts on the topic of explaining
catastrophes, and the bus beating case, since IMHO they may cause us to
focus on the bad we perceive in others: we would never hit someone on a
bus, we would never do the evil act that caused [name your catastrophe],
so we post (or read the posts) and feel pretty good about ourselves.
While in the context of mail.jewish posting halachic rulings or
technical or philosophical musings of our great Rabbis on these topics
could certainly be of interest, overall I think we should not dwell much
on the bad we think others are doing.  We are more likely to better
ourselves if we instead focus on the good others have done rather than
the bad.

Now to violate my own rule, I would add one other point on the
catastrophes issue.  Rambam states in Hilchot Teshuvah that we should
regard ourselves and the whole world and equally good and bad, and one
more good deed helps put the world over the top and one more bad deed
bring trouble.  While taking that approach could be psychologically hard
on us (every time something goes wrong in the world, it our fault?!) at
least it reduces the time spent on our trying to blame others.

Richard Dine


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:25:11 +0000
Subject: Re: Explaining catastrophies

On Thu, 11 Jan 2007 09:15:47 -0600 (CST), Frank Silbermann
<fs@...> wrote:

> In the past, rabbis blamed disasters on sins that were prevalent
> throughout the Jewish community.

The Tosafot Yom Tov blamed the Chmielnitski massacres on talking in
shul. I believe the Gerer Rebbe also attributed the fact that the
majority of German Jews escaped the Holocaust despite their much greater
defection from Torah Judaism than those in Eastern Europe to their
greater care to avoid this particular sin. Perhaps we should all take

Martin Stern


From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 13:20:08 EST
Subject: Re: Holding the Extra Seat

      The reason I mention this is to point out that the behavior
      observed by Yisrael can also be seen in many other places, and
      might have nothing at all to do with halacha and tznius, but
      merely due to a desire for personal space. Of course, it is quite
      possible that many of the cases Yisrael saw were indeed due to
      tznius issues; I'm only suggesting that it is not *always* so.

Does it make a difference if the person hogging the aisle seat while
keeping the window seat vacant is motivated by "tznius" or simply wants
to keep the seat next to him vacant? Whatever the reason, unless this
person wants to pay double the regular fare, he shoild not be allowed to
take two seats for one fare. What do these people do on a commercial


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:15:29 +0000
Subject: Re: Kattan saying kaddish

The real chiyuv for an aveil for a parent is to act as sheliach tsibbur
and kaddish was originally instituted for ketanim who could not do
so. They therefore take precedence over adult aveilim in shuls where
only one person says each kaddish as Yossi witnessed, which was the
traditional Ashkenaz custom universally until about 200 years ago and is
still preserved in the few shuls still following the German Jewish
tradition, the others having abandoned it because of the problem of
people quarrelling as to who had the greater right. It is not the case
that the kaddish-sayer assumes the role of the shelach tsibbur so this
is not a problem; if there were no aveilim most of these kaddeishim
would simply not be said at all.

Martin Stern

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 16:58:18 +0000
Subject: Re: Kattan saying kaddish

A boy who is old enough to recite kadish yosom does so if he has lost a
parent, rachamono litslan. He does no have to be bar mitsva.

AFAIK this is a widespread custom. Unfortunately I have witnessd it on
too many occasions.

Perets Mett


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 08:46:53 +0200
Subject: The Matseivot of Rav and Reb Soloveitchik

    Rabbi Eli Turkel has referred us to pictures of the Rav JB
Soloveitchik's Matzeiva as well as that of Rebbitzen Tanya (a tiny URL
would be very helpful here.). My brother Dov has noted that Tanya passed
away before the Rov and hence he presumably drafted the text.  Note that
her text includes her father and Mothers name.  His matseiva, presumably
drawn up by the children, does not.  Any insights?

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>

From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 12:05:05 +0200
Subject: Re: The Matseivot of Rav and Reb Soloveitchik

To answer a question with a question it has been noted by others that
there is a single matzeva over both graves and so obviously RYBS did not
feel that was a problem.

kol tiv

Eli Turkel

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 10:05:47 -0500
Subject: Re: The Matseivot of Rav and Reb Soloveitchik

In case anyone had problems accessing that ghastly URL (as I did) I
managed to extract the "ikkur" to come up with a more "wieldy" version
(my webmaster skills come in handy sometimes):


For future reference (although I didn't use it for this case), 1 of my
favorite sites is tinyurl.com .  If you have a huge URL, you can just
paste it on that site and it will greatly shorten it for you ... no
webmaster skills required!.


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 01:13:05 +1100
Subject: Slightest Glimpse of Woman

From: Batya Medad

>> Remember that these innovations are for people in communities where
>> the sexes rarely mix, where they do not go to movies or watch TV and
>> get influenced by the loose morals and smut promoted there. ..
> Seems to me, that all this separation just makes it so that the
> slightest glimpse of even the most covered up woman just makes them
> think of sex,

No doubt that is the reason that Charedi communities are overflowing with
uncontrollable sex-crazed maniacs...

From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
> perhaps it is these innovations in the community that are the
> underlying problem?.. creating people who are completely unable to
> interact with the outside world - even with modestly dressed women...

A good analogy to consider may be the halachos of Yichud.  It matters
not a whit whether the lady involved is a 100 year old grandmother
wearing a full-cover potato sack and a paper bag over her head, it is
still Yichud.

Any outsider hearing of dinei Yichud would probably make the
same comments as BM and MS.



From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 13:49:55 +0200
Subject: Some History

> From: SBA <sba@...>
> There are cases in halacha (and I am not saying that bus travel is
> exactly the same matter) where Chazal say regarding a man walking past
> women doing their washing on the river - when they could have gone an
> alternative way, ["ikka darka achrina"], then he is considered a
> rasha.

I gather it's time for a history lesson.

Obviously, you haven't seen relevant historical movies, nor read books
with descriptions of washer-women at work.

When the women did their washing on the river, by necessity, they pulled
up their long skirts and tied their skirts higher, so that they were
free to wade into the water as necessary.

On top of that, they would get very wet.

So, this is not a usual case of people walking down the center of town,
and moving aside not to see untzniusdik passerbys.

First, the washer-women used certain, well known, sections of the local
river to do their washing. Specifically b/c they were out of the way,
but convenient for washing the clothing and bedding.

Secondly, the women were specifically and unusually less tzniusdik b/c
of the job they were doing.

Therefore, if a man, knowing that this was the designated area; knowing
what was happening, and knowing that there was an alternative road he
could use -- and didn't, then he was a Rasha, or perhaps more accurately
- a voyeur...

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 09:45:49 +0200
Subject: Re: What is a "Right"

> Some lawyers spoke to me over the weekend and pointed out that
> American and Jewish law differ in their view on torts. So let me be
> very explicit: Rambam, Laws of Torts, Chapter 3 **explicitly** says
> that the tort of "embarassment" does not apply to naked people. For
> example if I spit on a naked person in a bathhouse I owe him no
> money. a) I have not physically harmed him and b) I have not
> embarassed him since BY JEWISH LAW DEFINITION the legal category of
> embarassment does not apply to naked people.

I am neither a rabbi nor a lawyer, but I do not understand that Rambam
as you do.

My understanding is that a person who is naked WHERE OTHERS ARE DRESSED,
is already 'embarrassing himself' to such a degree, that nothing someone
else does really matters. OTOH, in a bathhouse, where EVERYONE is naked,
there is no embarrassment entailed in that state. Therefore, spitting
(!?) on someone or otherwise causing embarrassment SHOULD be an offense.

Just my understanding, and I admit I didn't open it up and check



End of Volume 53 Issue 83