Volume 58 Number 84 
      Produced: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 12:23:54 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

"statement of principles" regarding homosexuality (2)
    [Ira L. Jacobson  Michael Rogovin]
Arthur Hertzberg (2)
    [Mordechai Horowitz  Ira L. Jacobson]
Honors in shul on Shabbat 
    [Stuart Pilichowski]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: "statement of principles" regarding homosexuality

Mordechai Horowitz in MJ 58#81 stated:

>So open transgressions don't automatically ban people from shul honors.

I understand that one local shul has only two restrictions on 
membership.  The member must be shomer shabbat and may not be living 
for more than a year with a woman who is not his wife.

Please don't ask about a woman living with, etc.


From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: "statement of principles" regarding homosexuality

Mordechai Horowitz wrote (58:81):

> A Chabad shul I used to daven in used to have a Shaliach Tzibur (prayer 
> leader) who lead Musaf after driving to shul. The Young Israel, with a 
> Chofeitz Chaim Haredi Rabbi, I daven in used to have a gabbai for the daily 
> minyan who drove to shul on shabbos. So open transgressions don't automatically 
> ban people from shul honors. However other groups, like Agudas Israel I 
> believe, denies membership at all to anyone who isn't Shabbas observant.

This is interesting, since, AFAIK, being a mechalal shabbat (sabbath
violator) places one in an actual status in halacha that could
disqualify them from certain things, including (possibly) leading
services, being a gabbai, etc, perhaps even receiving an aliyah. Each
community seems to set its own standards, either via psak (decision)
of the Rabbi, or as a kehilla (typically by the gabbaim or shul

OTOH, being a homosexual does not, AFAIK, place one in a halachic status (there
is no homosexual *status* in halacha; a difference with modern secular society
that classifies people by their sexual orientation). Thus it is not clear to me
what would be the halachic basis to deny someone who is a (open or closeted)
homosexual these public honors, especially if, as in most MO shuls, these honors
are freely given out to guests whom the shul knows nothing about and to members
many of whom are known or presumed to be not fully sabbath or kashrut observant. 

If someone is known to be committing a sin that is considered serious enough,
they will likely be denied honors, but they would have little to complain about
under such circumstances (toevah applies to many things besides male homosexual
intercourse and if that is the standard, it should be applied across the board,
assuming one knows that such a person is guilty with a level of certainty yet to
be determined).


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Arthur Hertzberg

Jeanette  Friedman in  mail-jewish Vol.58 #81 Digest wrote:

> As for the statement of Orthodox Jews hijacking the secular Zionist
> movement, frankly I learned that from none other than the late great
> Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a very good man and brilliant scholar.

He was neither.  He was a Conservative Rabbi who hated Torah True Judaism to
justify his rebellion against Torah so its no surprise that he would demean
authentic Judaism.

He was an anti-Israel activist supporting the PLO's fight for a Palestinian
terror state as soon as Israel liberated Judea, Samaria and Gaza in '67. 
Israel's safety and security meant nothing to him as long as he could be a
important figure among the left wing political elite.

He was against Torah being part of Israel demanding it be a purely secular
atheist state see his book The Fate of Zionism: A Secular Future for Israel
Palestine which he is happy to have described as "...middle path between the
Israeli right wing and critics like Edward Said and Noam Chomsky.."  


Kinda like being in the middle of right wingers and Hitler on the Shoah.

He strongly supported Jew haters such as Rashid Khalidi making sure he was
employed by multiple universities to spread his hatred for Israel and the Jewish

In an article 


he wrote for New York's /Jewish Week/. he revealed how he once intervened to
overcome Jewish faculty opposition to Khalidi's appointment at the University of
Chicago. "I wrote the president of the University of Chicago that I found
Khalidi to be a solid and serious academic...

He was also friends with anti-Semites like Edward Said

"...Now Rabbi Hertzberg is a very great authority on many things. I took his
course on Zionism at Columbia nearly thirty years ago, and I wouldn't want to
get into a debate with him over Ahad Ha'am. But when it comes to his
Palestinians, the rabbi is no maven. 

But there's an even more telling example of his misreading of Said. In 2003,
Hertzberg published a short book entitled The Fate of Zionism. In it, he
rehashes his various intellectual battles, with himself cast in the role of
defender of Israel and critic of Israeli policies. Hertzberg tells of how Said
started out as "a proponent for the creation of an Arab Palestine, which he was
sure would treat a Jewish minority with generosity of spirit." Hertzberg then
(rightly) denigrates this fantastic idea, and crosses swords with those other
(Jewish) champions of the "one-state solution," Noam Chomsky and Tony Judt. But
then he offers this eye-opener (pp.137-38): 

> The only one who seems to have made some progress in his thinking, with the
> passing of the years, is Edward Said. He has apparently finally arrived at a
> rather unhappy acceptance of the partition of Palestine.... Said no longer
> calls for a unitary state in Palestine. He knows that if the Palestinians
> are not to lose all of Palestine, they must accept the partition of the land
> into two states. Said makes no secret of his hatred of Israel---not merely for
> Sharon and his followers, but for Israel as a whole --- but he knows that it
> will continue to exist. 

Said accepted the partition of Palestine? On what planet was Rabbi Hertzberg
living, where he could have missed Edward Said's celebrated migration from a
two-state solution back to a one-state solution? At what point did he stop
reading the New York Times Magazine, where Edward Said published an article
entitled "The One-State Solution" in 1999? (Said: "Palestinian
self-determination in a separate state is unworkable.") At what point did he
stop reading the weekend Haaretz, where Said made the case for one state
directly to the Israeli public, in an interview in 2000? (Said: "The two-state
solution can no longer be implemented.") "For all his sloganizing abilities,"
Herztberg announced, "Said is capable of being realistic." You might have
reached that conclusion, had you become too blind to read Said's words or too
deaf to hear them. Hertzberg obviously gave Said his blessing much like Isaac
gave his to Jacob---thinking he was someone else altogether. 


Wiki gives a largely friendly biography


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Arthur Hertzberg

Jeanette Friedman stated in Vol.58 #81:

> As for the statement of Orthodox Jews hijacking the secular Zionist 
> movement, frankly I learned that from none other than the late great 
> Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a very good man and brilliant scholar.

Dr. Hertzberg was a rabbi only by a very loose definition.

I remember that when his magnum opus was in press, "The Zionist 
Idea," he told his listeners in a lecture I attended that it would 
cause a revolution among Zionists and in Zionist thinking.  To the 
best of my memory, it was hardly noticed at all.

I do remember reading an article of his after the Six-ay War, which 
seemed to have signs that he was becoming a hozer biteshuva, but that 
apparently never happened.



From: Chana <Chana@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Dishwashers

David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...> wrote (MJ 58#79):
> In most domestic dishwashers there is a microswitch on the door which
> prevents the dishwasher from working if the door is open. When you
> close the door on shabbat you are preparing it for operation even if it is
> not turned on. This is a psik reishei (an action with a certain and
> irreversible result) and as such is forbidden.

I don't really understand how you can characterise this as a psik reisha,
which as you correctly point out is an action with a certain and
irreversible result.  This action is clearly reversible.  If you immediately
open the door, the action has been reversed without the dishwasher ever
having come on. In fact most families will open and close the door of the
dishwasher dozens of times during the course of an evening, putting more
dishes in.

Rather, I think the correct characterisation of this is that it constitutes
grama, ie it will cause something to happen at a latter point in time.  

This, I suspect, may be the reason for the distinction given in Shmirat
Shabbat between Shabbat and Yom Tov.  Because the Rema in Orach Chaim siman
334 si'if 22 permits grama only in cases of loss.  However in Orech Chaim
siman 514 si'if 3 the Rema appears to allow grama without restriction.  One
common resolution of what appears to be a contradiction is to note that
siman 334 is dealing with the halachos of Shabbas and siman 514 is dealing
with the halachos of Yom Tov.  It seems logical therefore that the
explanation in the SSK is that grama is permitted on Yom Tov but not on
shabbas.  [Note by the way that as this is a machlokus in the Rema, and the
Shulchan Aruch does not qualify the permissibility of grama in siman 334,
many hold that grama is permitted l'chatchila for Sephardim even on Shabbas,
ie even without great loss.]

Note also that this is not the only way of resolving the stira
[contradiction] in the Rema, and there are complicated analyses of different
types of grama, which might lead other Ashkenazi poskim to allow this even
on shabbas (or for that matter, prohibit it on Yom Tov), but I strongly
suspect that this reasoning is the basis of the SSK's position.

> There are also 3 chumrot:
> 1-avsha d'milta, forbidden because it makes a lot of noise.

Again you should note that there is a difference in psak between Ashkenazim
and Sephardim.  The Shulchan Aruch paskens (Orech Chaim siman 252 si'if 5)
that we are not concerned about this, even in the gemora's case of the sound
of millstones grinding (see Yachave Daat 3:18 where Rav Ovadiah confirms
this as the psak for Sephardim).  The Rema holds there that Ashkenazim are
concerned for shmiat kol [the hearing of a sound, lit voice], except in a
case of loss.

However, the question is "how loud is loud".  Rav Moshe (Iggeros Moshe Orech
Chaim vol 4 siman 70 paragraph 6), discusses the case of an alarm clock
which was set before shabbat as to whether there is an issue of shmiat kol
due to the noise it makes, and holds that if it can only be heard in the
room it is in, it is OK, but if it can be heard in the rest of the house it
is forbidden.

Now, this may also play into the question of a domestic dishwasher, as
domestic dishwashers are made to be much quieter than commercial ones, and
maybe this has a bearing on any distinction the SSK wanted to make.  I am
not sure my dishwasher is really that much louder than my oven and it is
definitely quieter than many air conditioners I have come across.
> 2-uvdin d'chol- Forbidden because its usage is the same as that during
> the week.

This seems a bit of a strange one to bring up here.  While it is indeed
problematic to do certain actions on shabbas due to uvdin d'chol, in this
case, as far as I can see, the person doing the acts vis a vis the
dishwasher on shabbas is doing absolutely nothing different on shabbas from
that which they would do if they had not set the timer.  That is, most
people I know stack their dishwasher with dirty plates, whether or not it is
set to run on shabbas, and then shut the door.  If doing that with the timer
set is considered uvdin d'chol, then so must the same acts without the timer

> 3-The dishwasher heats the water to a temp. higher than 45 degrees cel.
> thereby 'cooking it" There are some authorities who forbid this even if
> the timer turns it on.

Well aside from Rav Moshe, who forbids all uses of a timer other than for
lights, who were you thinking of?  A number of poskim suggest that the issur
of heating a metal filament until it glows (ie as in an incandescent light
bulb) violates the prohibition of bishul.  If you hold that bishul is a
problem by way of grama, then following this opinion, you would have to
reject time switches for lights as well.

Now, you may be referring to the Har Tzvi who distinguishes between using a
timer for lights and for cooking a food.  But, if that is the right
reference, you can see from the discussion of this piece in Yabia Omer
volume 10  Orech Chaim siman 26, that, in the Talei Hasadeh it is written
that after investigation it was determined he was making this distinction
only in relation to the permissibility of subsequently eating the food, as
in relation to eating such a food there was additional reason to be machmir.
This is something not of relevance in relation to the water heated for a

Of course, Rav Ovadiah in that teshuva argues *for* the permissibility of
placing food, even, it would seem theoretically, uncooked food, on a shabbat
platter while the time clock was off, only for it to come on by itself (and
practically, for the permissibility of placing cold soup, or other
previously cooked liquid on such a platter), so he has a purpose in
neutralising such positions, but nevertheless, given frequent applicability
of bishul to lights, a plausible distinction does need to be made.

> Dishwashers in institutions do not have a microswitch

They don't?  Why not.  Is in fact there not a greater risk that some worker
will open it mid flow and hurt him/herself (eg be burned by the water)?

> and the chumras are evened out by the fact that the dishwasher prevents
> tircha yeteira (much extra exertion) which one should avoid on shabbat
> if possible.

Why does that not apply at home as well?  Why would washing by hand a full
load of dishes not count as tircha yeseira (can well take an hour or two out
of one's shabbas day)?  Seems far more onerous than many of the things that
are considered tircha yeseira.




From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Honors in shul on Shabbat

Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...> wrote (MJ 58#81): 

> Avie Walfish in mail-jewish Vol.58 #78 Digest wrote:

>> When I signed the statement of principles, it was clear to me - and I think
>> to all signatories and most readers - that if a person's open practice of a
>> serious transgression is regarded by community as grounds to deprive them of
>> membership in a shul, then they certainly wouldn't be accorded any form
>> of honors in that shul. Since Orrin did not understand this point, perhaps
>> the document should have spelled it out.

> Why do we need this statement on principals giving how obvious they seem to
> be?

> A Chabad shul I used to daven in used to have a Shaliach Tzibur (prayer
> leader) who lead Musaf after driving to shul.

> The Young Israel, with a Chofeitz Chaim Haredi Rabbi, I daven in used to have 
> a gabbai for the daily minyan who drove to shul on shabbos.

> So open transgressions don't automatically ban people from shul honors.  
> However other groups, like Agudas Israel I believe, denies membership at all 
> to anyone who isn't Shabbas observant.

I'm a relatively new Gabbai in my smallish minyan. When I scan the room for
potential honors to be bestowed I only see people with their siddurim or
chumashim. No driving IN the shul, no keys or change dangling, no cell phones
gong off. Everybody is shomer shabbat as long as they're sitting there. 
Am I naive or am I quoting a psak din (from an OU seminar for Gabbaim)?

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion


End of Volume 58 Issue 84