Volume 54 Number 76
                    Produced: Sun May 27 10:28:32 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Conservative "responsa" (2)
         [Martin Dauber, Avi Feldblum ]
Hungarians - 'Hagrim'
Married Women and Hair Covering
NOT _THAT_ "Frieda Birnbaum"....!!
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Psychotherapy and Jewish law
         [Meir Shinnar]
Shabbat friendly Paris hotels
         [David Riceman]
Uploaded 2nd Learn Hebrew video to YouTube
         [Jacob Richman]
Yetziv Pisgam and Cultural Imperialism
         [David Riceman]


From: Martin Dauber <mhdauber@...>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 06:26:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Conservative "responsa"

> "[Note: the following represents a Conservative responsa to the topic
> at hand. Mod.]

I have been under the impression that anything other than Torah-true
comments (i.e. not reform, not consrervative, not reconstructionist) are
not part of Mail-Jewish.  I, for one, would like to seee these types of
comments, notes from moderator notwithstanding, excluded from MJ.

Moshe Tzvi Dauber

From: Avi Feldblum  <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007
Subject: Conservative "responsa"

The definition of what is acceptable discussion on mail-jewish is
largely defined by the mail-jewish Welcome message. A copy is available
at: http://www.mail-jewish.org/MJWelcome.html (There are some updates I
need to make there, but none impact this issue). The following is the
Purpose of the mailing list:

This mailing list was founded in 1986 for the purpose of discussing
Jewish topics in general within an environment where the validity of
Halakha and the Halakhic process is accepted, as well as for the
discussion of topics of Halakha. The mailing list is open to everybody,
but topics such as the validity of Torah, halakha etc are not accepted.

Under the Mailing List Ground rules, the following is listed:

1) Halakha
a)Submissions to the mailing list may not advocate actions which are
clearly in violation of Halakha.
b) Discussions about whether it is appropriate in these modern times to
follow Halakha is not a valid topic for discussion
c) It is the responsibility of the moderator to determine what the
bounds of acceptable discussion are. The moderator may discuss
borderline issues with some selected members of the list to help in
making that decision.

So to respond to Martin's comments above (and a similar question sent in
to me as well), mail-jewish is not defined as an "Orthodox" mailing
list. In practical terms, the great majority of the list are people who
self-define as "Orthodox", but there are members who are not. As long as
the postings meet the above criteria, they will be reviewed as
applicable to the list. If the posting advocates actions that are in
clear violation of Halakha, they will be rejected. I do not see that the
referenced posting either challanged the validity of the Halachic
process, nor did it advocate any actions that are clear violations of
halacha. As such I felt it was an interesting addition to the discussion
at hand. Each member can chose what they wish to read and give validity

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 12:42:52 +1000
Subject: Hungarians - 'Hagrim'

From: Shoshana L. Boublil 
> From: SBA <sba@...>
>> Not quite sure how the Hungarians ('Hagrim', according to the Tishbi)
>> got in there right between the the Yishmaelim and the Amalekim...
>"Bnei Moav VeHagrim" - according to Metzudot and Ibn Ezra, these are the
>sons of Hagar.  It is a machloket whether their father was Avraham or
>someone else.

The Targum on "Moav vehagrim" (Tehilim 83:7) is 'Moavaei veHungraei' The
Redak and Ibn Ezra there indeed say say that they are the children of
Hagar - from another husband.

In Divrei Hayomin 1:5:19 on 'Hahagriim' again the Targum is 'Hongraaei'

In any case it seems that Hungarians have some sort of 'yichus'...



From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 13:29:49 +1000
Subject: RE: Married Women and Hair Covering

From: Samuel Groner
>"From: Shmuel Himelstein < 1 Dec 1999
>I have gleaned the following from the two (all direct quotes):
>(Rabbi Broyde): "It is quite clear from both the halachic and historical
>literature that this uncovering was the practice of the community in
>Lithuania 100 years before World War I, when Orthodox observance and
>culture was at its strongest. For proof of this, one need only examine
>the fact that many poskim noted this uncovering in the 1870s as already
>being well-established; see e.g., Rabbi Yosef Chaim (Ben Ish Chai)
>Parshat Bo (writing about 1870). Rabbi Yechiel Epstein's remarks on the
>commonness of this practice (Aruch HaShulchan OC 75:7) were published in
>1903, and Mishnah Berurah OC 75:2 in 1881; both of them are clearly
>referring to what was then already a well-established practice" ...

Reading the above quotes one could, CV, get the impression that the
Mishnah Berurah and the Aruch Hashulchan somehow accepted this practice,
after realising that there were unfortunately so many who transgressed.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. See the MB:75.10.
The quote is too long for me to accurately translate in a hurry (but
invite others to do so - for the benefit of those here who do not
understand Hebrew).

Those whose Hebrew is good enough should look it up for themselves. They
will see how the holy Chofetz Chaim categorically and fiercely speaks
out against any practice of uncovering hair.

He rules that a married woman having even a small amount uncovered -
even inside her home - is considered an ervah and her husband (and of
course anyone else) may not say Krias Shema in her presence.  He CLEARLY
states that this is so - even if the practice of local women is to
publicly uncovered their hair - "kederech haprutzos" - it is totally

He adds that it is an Issur Torah and that all Bnos Yisroel who observed
'das Moshe' have always careful about this - 'miyemos avoseinu meolom'
and until today...

Similarly, an accurate and correct quote of RY Epstein in his Aruch
Hashulchan - where he bewails and attacks the practice of so many women
to go out bareheaded - should have been included in the abovementioned

I don't have the Ben Ish Chai that is cited, but I presume that he too
would be lamenting and attacking such a 'minhag pritzus'.



From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 22:35:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: NOT _THAT_ "Frieda Birnbaum"....!!

Before you ask... NO, the Frieda Birnbaum in Saddle River, NJ, who gave
birth to twins on Tuesday at the age of 60 (YES, sixty) IS NOT YOURS
TRULY, who is not sixty, and is not now and has never been pregnant with

As one family member emailed me:

> Subject: Be prepared........
> ....for the jokes.


> Egads, just because you CAN do something does it necessarily mean you 

As Dr. Phil would say, what were they THINKING?

I suppose one could debate the halachic issues of this...

Besides, I'm "Freda" not "Frieda"....

And, on a more relevant note:

Thanks to all of you (I've also written you privately) for your
congratulations (instigated by Saul Mashbaum) on my husband's honorary
doctorate from Yeshiva University.  He enjoyed them hugely.  And thinks
there are a lot of very nice people on Mail-Jewish.  But you knew that

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"  [AND HOW!]


From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 11:12:12 -0400
Subject: Psychotherapy and Jewish law

The discussion about the halachic implications of revealing or not
revealing confidences has several different levels.

1.  First, even if someone knows about a potential halachic violation,
and telling someone about it might eliminate that violation, it is not
always the case (even ignoring the specific confidentiality issues here)
that one is obligated to tell - nor will telling necessary change the
halachic picture.

There is a famous tshuva of the Noda Biyehuda about a student who, when
he lived with his rav, slept with the rebbitzen.  Later, when he moved
away, he did tshuva. He asked whether he was obligated to tell the rav -
because the rav was forbidden to live with his wife, as she had
committed adultery.

The Noda Biyehuda, leading 18th century posek, ruled that he shouldn't
tell - and furthermore, even if he did tell, the husband was under no
obligation to believe him - and therefore the halachic status wouldn't
necessarily change.

This seems similar to many of the cases being brought here - and would
suggest that there is no general halachic requirement to tell others of
halachic issurs.

 On a closely related issue, Yossi Ginzberg writes
>The kashrus of one's kitchen is dependant on the reliability of the
>kitchen manager, in most domestic situations the wife. We rely on
>her tacit testimony that her kitchen is kosher based on the fact
>that she is believed, even as a single witness, because of the fact
>that she is kosher. Were she known not to be kosher, I believe her
>kitchen and what came from it would also not be kosher.
>The result in our scenario is, that if the wife is no longer
>religious and the husband is unaware of this, his food may lack in
>kashruth in halacha even if not in fact.  He deserves to be aware of
>this, and  to make his own decisions if he in fact will rely on her

The crucial issue is not whether she is actually reliable, but whether
one may rely on her being reliable(hezkat kashrut) - and she still has
hezkat kashrut unless there is grounds to undermine that assumption -
but there is no reason why one has to undermine that assumption - and
until it is undermined, her kitchen is kosher.  I would argue that the
kitchen is kosher in halacha - even if not in fact (the reverse of Mr.
Ginzberg) -

There is another set of more global issues.

1.  There is a reason why general society imposes confidentiality duties
on certain professions - and those reasons (such as the desire that
people will seek treatment) are quite reasonable, and of some halachic
weight.  Whether that weight is enough against other halachic issues can
be argued - but it has to be understood that the issue of
confidentiality of a therapist is different than the issue of
confidentiality of an average person.

2.  Therapists (and physicians), when they join the fraternity, assume
certain obligations, and those obligations do have weight. Again,
whether those obligations outweigh some halachic concerns (the issue is
not dina dmalchuta dina, but rather the specific obligations a
professional undertook) can be debated - but is not a simple matter.
Thus, there is a tshuva of Rav Goren that a physician's oath of
confidentiality means that he should not reveal even if may endanger
another life (although this is quite controversial, and many do allow or
even mandate revealing in this case) - not to say for issues of halachic

Furthermore, if confidences can not be kept by mental health and medical
professionals if they involve halachic issues - that would signficantly
affect the ability of religious Jews to enter those professions - and
that is an issue that also has some halachic weight.

Meir Shinnar


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 09:11:58 -0400
Subject: Shabbat friendly Paris hotels

My wife is scheduled to be in Paris on business in a couple of weeks,
and it looks like she'll need to stay there on Shabbat.  Can anyone
recommend any Shabbat friendly hotels?


David Riceman


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 08:23:57 +0300
Subject: Uploaded 2nd Learn Hebrew video to YouTube

Hi Everyone!

Feedback from my first Learn Hebrew video was very good
and I received requests to develop additional ones.

I just uploaded my second Learn Hebrew video to YouTube.
The address is:

You can view a list of additional language videos I developed at:

Feedback is welcome!

Have a good week,


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 09:15:44 -0400
Subject: Yetziv Pisgam and Cultural Imperialism

I own many siddurim and mahzorim composed in Israel.  All of them make
accommodations for the diaspora, yet none of them include yetziv pisgam.
Is this an Evil Zionist Plot to denude the exile of one of its fairest
liturgical flowers, or is there a benign explanation?

David Riceman


End of Volume 54 Issue 76