Volume 54 Number 54
                    Produced: Thu Mar 29  5:06:03 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adding a new mi-sheberach
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Agunot and the law of the Rodef
         [Frank Silbermann]
Character Assassinations
         [Guido Elbogen]
Copyright Law and Learning (2)
         [Eitan Fiorino, Ed Greenberg]
Efficiency of the Shiddach System
         [Carl Singer]
Mi she-Berakh for Agunot
         [Yael Levine]
an out-of-the-box question about matzah
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Parallel Courts
         [David Eisen]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 06:02:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Adding a new mi-sheberach

Rabbi Feldman of Atlanta, in his book "Tales Out of Shul" stated that he
did not add any modern mi-sheberach at all.  This was in the context of
the misheberach for the State of Israel but would apply to the current
discussion of agunos as well.  IIRC the question was that we are not at
the level required in order to create a new tefillah (or bakasha).
Consider the new kinos added by Rav Schwab and some others for the Shoah
to be said on Tisha B'Av.  Note how long it took them to actually be
willing to publish the kinos and who they had to be to have the kinos be

This is actually more of a consideration than the copyright issues that
have been discussed.

As far as people, whether men or women, who are acting in a way to
prevent their spouse from obtaining or delivering a get, remember that
there is another way for a spouse to be freed of a marriage besides a
get. Someone who prevents a get is making himself liable to the "second
method".  I think that there is a story about a man who refused to give
his wife a get and was brought to the Ramah (?).  The Ramah (?) quoted
the mishnah as to how a woman was freed to remarry by a get or the death
of the husband.  The husband continued to refuse.  The Ramah (?)
repeated the mishnah.  As the husband left, he tripped on the stairs and
broke his neck.  The widow was able to get on with her life.

Men especially are opening themselves up to this fate.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 07:42:09 -0600 (CST)
Subject:  Agunot and the law of the Rodef

A few years ago my aunt sent me a book of short stories about frum
people written by a young author who had left the derech.  One story
involved a childless divorcee with a facial hair problem whose
emotionally abusive ex-husband refused to give her a get.  Every month
she would complain about the problem to her Italian electrolicist, who
eventually told her of a cousin connected to the mob who could solve her
problem for $10,000.  Ultimately, she declined the offer -- but she did
consider it.

In the sense that the ex-husband's behavior is preventing the woman from
ever having children, and to the extent that one's children can be
considered an extension of one's own life, I wonder whether the law
about killing the rodef would ameliorate her guilt had she taken that
route -- at least to the extent of, say, not suffering kores (having
one's soul cut off).

Frank Silbermann	Memphis, Tennessee	<fs@...>


From: Guido Elbogen <havlei.h@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 12:17:47 +0200
Subject: Character Assassinations

> Many of the dayanim, unfortunately, and in spite of what avi feldblum
> wrote, are not people of integrity - something that the community
> recognizes but refuses to deal with - and prefers to criticize the
> critics.

Does this group tolerate such blatant slurs and character aspersion such
as "many of the dayanim are not people of integrity" without any source,
on presumably talmidei chachamim who have spent many years learning

The same poster claims:

> am not a lawyer, so can't comment on the specific legal issues, nor
> what remedies or compensation Yael Levine would be entitled to.

and yet does presume to speak in the name of halacha:

> does a disservice to the author is something that at the least is
> halachically questionable

also without sources.

I hereby request, and I think I echo Avi from a recent administratia
communique, that all character assassinations whether specific or
general especially in this highly volatile discussion cease
immediately. I would also suggest that while Jews are bound by the laws
of the country lived in, inclusive of copyright, intellectual property
rights, and fair use etc, the idea of this group is to explore and
contend with issues based on Jewish codes of Law and which may conflict
with civil law.

As such it would be interesting to see this discussion develop the
issues of copyright, intellectual property rights, and fair use in terms
of halacha and hashkafa.



From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 09:17:29 -0400
Subject: RE: Copyright Law and Learning

> The situation of a Rabbi distributing copies of an Artscroll 
> Gemarah is different from the Texaco case on a number of 
> levels.  (1) Although xeroxing pages is non-transformative, 

While poking around on this issue I saw cases in which churches were
permitted under Fair Use to reproduce things like plays and hymnals for
use in religious services/performances.  This would seem analagous to
the case in which a page of an Artscroll gemara is photocopied.


From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 17:59:17 -0700
Subject: Re: Copyright Law and Learning

> Because the text of the gemarah is not copyrighted, nothing stops the
> Rabbi from re-typing the entire blatt into his own computer and
> printing out his own copies.

I would be concerned that, by copying the page of Gemara each week (or
each day) in order to avoid stocking the classroom with copies of the
text, we have gone beyond fair use.

Yes, the Hebrew text is public domain, but the typography, layout, page
breaks, page numbers, any translation and commentary, etc., are not.
They could be considered a Derivitive Work.

I think the Rabbi SHOULD retype the Hebrew text, and only the Hebrew
text, in order to avoid even the appearance of stealing from the
publisher of the book, especially in the pursuance of a Kiddush Hashem
such as offering a shiur.

Ed Greenberg


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 08:03:44 -0400
Subject: Efficiency of the Shiddach System

Of late we've been getting several calls from close friends, some quite
desperate in their attempts to find an appropriate shiddach for their
children.  And these are wonderful children (we've known many since
birth) from wonderful families.

I see the "process" as quite inefficient:  

1 - It seems several third parties (friends, professional shadchuns,
etc.) spend much effort and time screening and filtering to determine if
the boy and girl should meet.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but typically a
month or two may elapse for this pre-meeting effort.  Kudos, to those
who devote so much to making this happen.

2 - Upon meeting each other, as often as not (and again, I have no
"hard" data.)  it takes perhaps 5 or 10 minutes for boy and girl to
decide in the negative (i.e., "no match) or perhaps let's go forward,
and get more serious about a possible match, perhaps.

It would seem that more time and effort in screening and filtering is
NOT the answer.  Similarly, the other extreme -- say 5 minute dating, or
whatever, is not acceptable (even if "efficient") -- Similarly, the
"singles scene" is unacceptable to many.

Has anyone considered some hybrid process model -- perhaps LESS
pre-screening (or at least less elapsed time spent pre-screening) prior
to a supervised and limited first meeting.  I'd even propose something
artificial like a two-week limit.

Comments, please!


(B"H, our two oldest sons are happily married to wonderful women -- and
our youngest is only 16 so we have plenty of time to worry.)


From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 11:28:25 +0200
Subject: Mi she-Berakh for Agunot

This is in response to MJ Vol. 54 #47.

R. Yehudah Prero wrote: "I am happy people use my writings, even if the
meaning may get distorted." 

There is a clear cut difference between using one's writings in the
original language, and preparing an incorrect translation, which will
perpetuate a misunderstabnding of the prayer among the public, against
the will of the author. As Carl Singer succintly and correctly wrote:
"It seems to me that there is a more serious issue with a
mis-translation." This was the case here.

SBA wrote: "The incredible series of posts... has more than reinforced my
understanding and acceptance of the view held by nearly all Charedi
Rabbonim , that our seder Tefilos should be not be tampered with and no
additions should be made to the words uttered during prayer for the past
centuries by our ancestors." 

I don't see any logical correlation between the two. Contrary to what he
wrote, my earlier prayer, written a few years ago,"Prayer for Women
Murdered by their Spouses" has gained extremely wide acceptance, and is
recited in shuls worldwide on the Shabbat near the International Day for
the Elimination of Violence towards Women, marked on November 25.

Meir Shinnar also wrote: "Even though the tefilla lishlom hamedina was
very carefully composed, and has become part of the standard tefillot of
most Religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox shuls - I suspect most don't
give the words the same attention that is given, say, to av harachamim.
Therefore there is a very high hurdle to pass - both in terms of skill
of formulation - but also in terms of getting acceptance...There is
another issue, making her hurdle much higher - which is the content.
the issue of the modern style agunot - whose husband won't, instead of
can't, give a get - is a political issue - and viewed (unfortunately) by
many as a feminist or left wing issue - and this was the thrust of the
person who (mis)translated originally - and a subtext is that a tefilla
on a feminist and LW issue doesn't have the right to be taken as

Given that "Prayer for Women Murdered by their Spouses" has been already
accepted, and likewise the additional prayers I have composed, and given
that in most circles the prayer for agunot was received extremely well,
despite what has been going on on this list, thank G-d I don't see the
acceptance issue as a major one in my case. There will always be some
people with a chareidi orientation, who would not recite such a prayer
had it been composed even by a man.

Orrin Tilevitz "So even if Yael has some secular claim for infringement,
I question whether she would have any claim before a beit din, and thus
whether Lisa has committed any aveira."  According to the article on
copyright matter by R. Schreiber, which I sent to MJ, this is not the



From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 05:14:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: an out-of-the-box question about matzah

I learned that when the Jews left Egypt, they didn't have time to let
their dough rise before they baked it, and that's why we eat matzah
today.  It turns out that this is Rashi's (and Sforno's) pshat in
parshat Bo.  Others (e.g., Ramban, Taz) learn pshat differently, saying
that the Jews could have baked it after it had risen but deliberately
didn't because they had already been commanded not to eat chametz.  In
any event, it would seem that according to the first pshat, that the
Jews had to eat matzah and not bread was a punishment for their lack of
faith that they would be redeemed: they should have put their dough up
to rise days before, so they could have baked it as bread before they
left.  This "punishment" explanation makes sense: why else would we,
today, have to eat burnt cardboard and pay $15/lb for the privilege?

Question: Why can't I find this "punishment" explanation for matzah
written anywhere?  Presumably, it's because it's wrong, but why?

Ground rule: I don't want to hear "because shmura matzah tastes good."
De gustibus non est disputandum (a phrase I need not translate, under
Avi's rules, because it's Latin, not Hebrew), and anyway chazal viewed
matzah--lechem oni, or poor bread--as inferior to real bread.


From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:37:13 +0200
Subject: RE: Parallel Courts

Jon Baker wrote:

> And if the Haredim, who already have their own system, are taking over
> the system in place for non-Haredim, what choice does that leave the
> non-Haredim, other than to follow the precedent already set by the
> Haredim, and set up parallel religious institutions. 

I am genuinely concerned with a very realistic scenario in which the
current State of Israel or Edah Haredit rabbinical courts do not readily
accept the gittin issued by the courts envisioned by HaRav Riskin. Will
they be treated similarly to the batei din of the Conservative movement
or of R. Rackman's bet din that IMHO has applied the mechanism of
hafqa'at kiddushin (rabbinic marriage annulment) far beyond the scope of
normative halacha, and G-d forbid, lead to ribui mamzerim b'yisrael or
the creation of separate religious castes that cannot marry among one

Kol tuv,



End of Volume 54 Issue 54