Volume 59 Number 80 
      Produced: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 15:38:20 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Hospital Discharge 
    [Martin Stern]
Medical emergencies on Shabbat 
    [Josh Backon]
Pikuach nefesh on Shabbat  
    [Jeanette  Friedman]
Stipends for Torah students (4)
    [Orrin Tilevitz  Rabbi Meir Wise  Mordechai Horowitz  Michael Rogovin]
The frumkeit of our generation (2)
    [Mark Steiner  Yisrael Medad]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Hospital Discharge

Leah S.R. Gordon <leah@...> wrote (MJ 59#79):

> Ok, so we have discussed going to the hospital on shabbat.  But what about
> being discharged from the hospital on shabbat?  Obviously we would like to
> avoid this.  For a long time, I thought there could be no 'pikuach nefesh'
> about *leaving* the hospital.  But then I thought of two possibilities:
> 1. You might be clearing a space for the next patient who needs life-saving
> treatment

This is unlikely as the hospital could transfer you to some other location on
site away from the ward.
> 2. The longer one stays in the hospital, the greater the risk of various
> infections/problems

This is also unlikely if you are not being examined/treated.
> What might be some of the issues that could mitigate the breaking of shabbat
> in terms of signing discharge papers, getting a ride home, paying for care,
> etc.?  When we got a delivery of a dresser that came on shabbat, I told the
> delivery guy that I couldn't sign it and he didn't care that much.  I have a
> feeling that signing a hospital discharge is taken more seriously....

If you refused to sign what could they do? If the hospital were to insist on
discharging you without signing, you could refuse to leave the premises.
Most hospitals have waiting rooms where you could stay until after shabbat
so there seems to be no urgent reason for doing any melachah.

If the hospital were adamant that you depart, though this is highly
unlikely, you could tell them that you are unable to make the arrangements
and leave it to them to do whatever they want. In that case you would be in
the category of oness [acting under compulsion] and this is not chillul
[desecration of] shabbat.
> And what if the situation is that it's not ok to break shabbat to be
> discharged?  What would you do in practice?  Is it like being stuck in an
> airport on shabbat?

My only experience of such a situation was a few years ago when I had to go
to the eye hospital as an emergency with a suspected detaching retina. As
speed was not necessary, I was told that I could use my bus pass and go on
public transport and this was preferable to calling a taxi (I put the pass
in my shoe so as to carry it with a shinnui [in an unusual manner]). The
tests showed that there was no problem in the eye and that the symptoms were
probably neurological. As I was discharged about an hour before the end of
shabbat, I asked if I could wait in the corridor and they were only too
happy to allow me to do so.

Martin Stern


From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Medical emergencies on Shabbat


1) Choleh sh'yesh bo sakanat chayim (life threatening condition)

Included here is MAKEH SHEL CHALAL (internal injury: bruise or inflammation in
internal organs starting from the oral cavity downwards.

The halacha also classifies the following as SAKANAH: bruise of hand or foot
(top not sole or palm), dog bites, deep laceration by nail or metal object
anywhere on the body, any sudden changes in visual field or acuity, sudden
increased intraocular pressure, retinal detachment, snake bites, open fractures,
skull fractures, any fracture that engenders the possibility of fat embolism or
thrombosis, any serious fall even if there doesn't seem to be any outward
damage, any possibility of sepsis or serious infection, electrical shocks/burns,
dehydration in an infant, gangrene, etc.] Likewise, a woman in childbirth
(beginning of labor until 3 days after childbirth is in this category.

Shabbat *must* be desecrated (even by a Jew) and even regarding D'Oraita
(Toraitic) violations, in order to save the patient.

2) Choleh sh'yesh bo sakanat eyvar (serious situation threatening the vitality
of a limb such as an arm or a leg) 

SAKANAT EYVAR: no threat to loss of life but without treatment the limb will be
lost: a gentile can be asked to perform even Biblical violations of Shabbat and
a Jew can violate rabbinic violations. [fixing a dislocation or fracture are
permissible]. (Detailed explanations are given in SEFER REFUAT HASHABBAT which
is meant for rabbis and doctors).

3) Choleh sh'ein bo sakanah (a sick patient who is not in serious condition)

CHOLEH SH'EIN BO SAKANAH: a gentile can be asked to *violate* both Biblical and
rabbinic prohibitions but a Jew can only violate rabbinic prohibitions if they
are done in a *different* manner (SHINUI). If there is no gentile available,
even a Biblical prohibition may be violated provided that it is done with a
SHINUI (e.g. using left hand if one writes with right) 

4) Michushim (mild aches and pains, e.g. headache) 

Not permitted to take medicine

Dr. Josh Backon


From: Jeanette  Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Pikuach nefesh on Shabbat 

I am astounded at the number of people generally who are not knowledgable  
about pikuach nefesh. People don't seem to get that a good knock on the head, 
with or without bleeding, is life-threatening at all times, even on Shabbos. 
Sub-dural hematoma, shaken brains, internal bleeding, and a cracked skull 
can all lead to death. So can broken ribs, a punch to the heart, a knife in an 
eye, a broken nose...

That is why I can never, ever understand rabbis who absolutely refuse to 
grant divorces to battered women.  I guess if their children would be hit 
on the head and suffer from any of the above and then expire (chas veshalom or 
CVS), they might understand that beating your wife and kids is a life-
threatening situation and would free women and children who are in such 
situations. Any good marriage counselor will tell you that the abusers 
apologize profusely, speak gently, and then strike again when there is a 
"trigger" event, so that it is never safe for the woman and children.  

Such knowledge is an inconvenient fact for some rabbis. They don't want to  
hear it and act as if that reality doesn't exist. As a prominent rabbi once 
told me in front of 400 people when I pointed this matter out to him at an  
EDAH conference many years ago, "I ain't Santa Claus, and I ain't giving  
you cookies just 'cause you asked." 

I may not have s'micha, but I was taught from the day I became an aware 
person that pikuach nefesh trumps everything except cold-blooded murder, 
incest and idolatry. And I don't see those issues involved in giving a get.
The only issues are money and power. So what if a woman or child's life is at 
risk? Tough nuggies, as they used to say in the old 'hood.

Not to use a phone on Shabbos when you go into labor, not to use a phone 
when someone is bleeding profusely or gets a knock to the head, and being 
occupied with guilt-inducing notions and klotz kashas [absurd questions --Mod.] 
when your child, you, or someone else is at risk, is patently ridiculous and 
goes against the basic notion of pikuach nefesh. You should not have to worry 
about guilt or G-d when you are saving a life. You should thank G-d for giving 
you the brains to take care of what needs to be done and pray to G-d that the 
person recovers completely.

I've seen others write on this very list in the past that if you see an 
unconscious person laying in the gutter on Shabbos, and you aren't sure he or 
she is Jewish, you just let them lay there, you don't break Shabbos and you 
don't call an ambulance or the cops -- you let someone else take care of it. 

You don't have to be frum to suffer the bystander effect. Kitty Genovese 
and countless other examples prove that, but we are supposed to be better 
people than idle bystanders -- after all, the halacha is clear ... you do not 
stand idly by your brother's blood, and humans are all the same -- made in 
G-d's image. 

Human life and respect for humanity in general, as witnessed by some 
recent posts, is apparently not paramount on M-J, although Hillel's 
interpretation of the Torah ("Don't do anything to anyone you don't want
done to you") makes clear that THAT is the most important aspect of Torah.

Would you like it if it is Shabbos and, CVS, you or a family member was 
sick or injured, laying in the street, and people ignored you laying there?
I somehow doubt that! Disrespect of others is apparently kosher to some 
listmembers.  One proof among many others I can cite is recent -- the attitude, 
whether you do it or not, that it's ok to tell sexist and racist jokes behind 
people's backs because it's ok to let off steam like that when the people you 
are disrespecting can't hear you!  

Well, IMHO, that's how disrespect for all human life begins.

A pregnant woman should not be wracked by guilt for calling the midwife  
because she used the phone on Shabbos. People should know enough not to go 
to the mikveh with open wounds -- whether or not that impacts negatively on 
others' health. We have people stepping around "non-Jewish" bodies on Shabbos 
because we are going to let someone else eventually come along to save a person 
who might be dying in front of our eyes.  People whose children are bleeding 
profusely should not be worrying about things like other people in the life-
saving business using a telephone or a writing implement on Shabbos while trying
to save his child's life. And a good knock on the head is very dangerous and
requires immediate medical attention, Shabbos or otherwise.

Seems to me that for some people on this list, chumrah trumps saving a life.

Rabbi Dov Ber Weissmandl worked with others, including the Nazis, Zionists and
Rudolf Kasztner, to save almost 40,000 Jews from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland
during the Holocaust. On Shabbos, he wrote and rode, made phone calls, and broke
the law over and over again to save lives. How many lives would he have saved
if he stuck purely to Halacha?  I, for sure, would never have been born, and the
Satmar Rebbe would never have made it out of Europe, never mind the tens of
thousands of others he managed to save.

Think about that.

Jeanette  Friedman, EIC
The  Wordsmithy


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 59#79):

> In (MJ 59#78) Jeanett Friedman brought an article which proposed that full time
> Torah students support themselves via their own labor. The idea that full time
> Torah students who learn 45 hours a week can support themselves with a part
> time job is pure demagoguery.
> . . .
> Is only traditional Torah study unworthy of public support? If the Jewish state
> thinks that is important to have Torah scholars it must be willing to help
> support them.

This discussion sounds like ones I have read and been involved in before, on MJ
and elsewhere, on whether kolel members should be exempt from the Israeli
military. I have no hard statistics to support any of the following, but my
understanding is that in eastern Europe, it was only a small, elite group of
individuals who studied Torah full-time. They were to be the scholars, the
religious leaders, of the generation. The exemption of kolel guys from the
military -- and their support by the state -- was a concession by Israel's
founders to preserve the small number of scholars who had survived the
Holocaust. This exemption, and public support, has become one for an immense
group of professional students who, in the vast majority of cases, are incapable
of and have no intention of being leaders or, in many cases, even of receiving
rabbinical ordination. While I cannot speak for Jeanette, my belief that the
State of Israel should support Torah scholars just as it supports prospective
scientists is in no way inconsistent with my belief that the vast majority of
professional Torah students should support themselves.

From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

May I agree with David Zohar's crticism (MJ 59#79) of the article brought to our
attention by Jeanette Friedman (MJ 59#78).

In the USA,  one may get a substantial grant for studying Hottentot  
literature. In Israel, for Chinese studies amongst other things.

It is only Torah study that should not be supported!!!

It reminds me of the old criticism of the chalukah system by the  
Zionists. This was the system whereby landsmen would send money to  
Israel to support the various kollelim (Poland, Hungary, Lithuania etc)
Since 1948 every Zionist government has accepted "chalukah" from the USA and
some of them blood money from Germany with which to run the state!

Hypocrisy upon hypocrisy as the late, lamented Frankie Howerd used to  

Kol tuv

Rabbi Wise

From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

David asks (MJ 59#79):

> Is only traditional Torah study unworthy of public support? If the Jewish
> state thinks that is important to have Torah scholars it must be willing
> to help support them.

Yes the Israeli kollel world is 100% unworthy of support.  Not only 
should the Israeli government they spit on refuse to give them a dime 
but modern Orthodox Jews in the diaspora should refuse to give them a 
single dime.

1) Few of these 'students' are scholars. They simply live in a Israeli 
charedi society that opposes work and refuses to serve in the army. They 
are not in Kollel to learn but rather to avoid interaction with the 
adult world.  Rambam explicitly prohibits earning a living from Torah 
because of the Hillul H-shem it causes which is clearly illustrated by 
this world

2) The Israeli charedi kollel world hates us.  Us being anyone who isn't 
in their world.  My wife has friends whose husbands are kollel lifers and 
when we make aliya we know we can't consider living in their 
neighborhoods because I will have a job and therefore are "unworthy" of 
soiling their holy neighborhoods with my family's presence because they 
say having a job is prohibited by halacha, yet somehow they can benefit 
from the money I earn doing with this prohibited behavior.

3) They have no emuna as a community.  I was learning in yeshiva when 
the first gulf war came. The kollels in Israel of the charedi community 
quickly emptied out with black hats streaming to the airport to run to 
galut for the protection of the gentiles.  For all the claims that Torah 
learning protects Israel and that is why kollel students musn't serve in 
the army , in time of war they ran from their Talmuds back to America to 
watch the war on CNN.  It seems learning isn't that important and 
following the "gedolim" optional when the missiles are flying.  The 
Modern Orthodox yeshivot remained full.

4) They can say the rioters who run shabbos desecration aren't real 
charedim. The thugs who attack women in the "mens section" of the bus 
aren't real charedim, the thugs who attack women walking on the wrong 
side of the street aren't real charedim. But has anyone ever heard the real 
charedim call the police and turn them in. Ever heard of a Rosh Yeshiva 
walking the police to the thug in question's place in the Beit Medrash and say 
take him away?  I haven't either.

There is nothing traditional about the Israeli Kollel world. The 
traditional way of learning is what I do, go to work and learn afterwords.

From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

David Tzohar (MJ 59#79) writes in pertinent part:

> The protest of the students is the hight of hypocrisy. In a former life I
> was a University student and I know that post-graduate students in subjects
> such as Talmud are supported by government grants.
> Is only traditional Torah study unworthy of public support? If the Jewish
> state thinks that is important to have Torah scholars it must be willing to
> help support them.

I do not know the specifics of higher ed in Israel. In the US, some areas of
graduate study are supported by government grants and private fundraising by
universities, mostly in critical areas which themselves bring in grants,
such as the sciences. Humanities graduate programs, and career-based
graduate programs, generally charge students. There are, of course, grants
for graduate study in the humanities as well, but there are fewer of these.
Grants, whether government or private, are highly competitive as is
admission to programs that are grant supported. Support continues only
through a PhD, or in some cases post-doc work. 

And that is the difference between the current kollel system and universities.
If the kollels were to make admission and receipt of grants competitive on the
basis of merit (i.e. future potential), then there would be fewer protests. This
is what kollels reputedly were in Europe. But when the system lets anyone in and
it becomes an excuse for not working or serving in the army, then the system is
not only corrupt, it is unsustainable. Chazal worked -- all or nearly all had
professions, and they tell us to work (see Mishnah Avot) in addition to study.
We must return to a system of supporting the best and brightest, but only these,
and even then for only a limited time. The rest can learn on their own time and
dollar, once they have fulfilled their obligations to their families.


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: The frumkeit of our generation

In response to Akiva Miller (MJ 59#79), I would like to point out that people
here do know exactly who the perpetrator is, and what he did, and don't lose any
sleep over the damage he caused to Jews "elsewhere."  I do know one case of
a shul which refused to sell him a seat for the High Holidays. Obviously the
victims of a criminal like this are up in arms.

In both cases I deliberately chose criminals who victimized their own
community, rather than "ours."  Obviously everyone in Monsey is outraged at
the nightmare of having eaten non-kosher chickens when they thought they were
eating chickens with every humra.  I would not call this sensitivity to
ethical violations. The indifference to ethical violations increases
dramatically when the offence is against "others", whether Jews or Gentiles.

Just recently, we read on mail-jewish a story of a mashgiach in a bakery who
participated in fraud (ona'ah) by delivering to the Plaza hotel baked goods
from another bakery, when the customer had ordered the goods from this
specific bakery because of the supervision.  The mashgiach, and even the Bet
Din that supervises the mashgiach, were totally indifferent to what had been
done.  Once they had determined that the customer was not that particular
personally about what hechsher he eats (after all, he eats at the Plaza),
they found it permissible to switch cookies on him.  What I emphasize here
is not the hechsher but the monetary fraud.

In the case of the money laundering accusations against Jews in Deal, New
Jersey, the chain of crime travels to Israel and then back to New Jersey.  A
respected rosh yeshiva here was "interviewed" by the FBI about his possible
role in the laundering.  I told this not long ago to the guests at a
wedding, and nobody batted an eye.  On the contrary, some of the guests
argued that there is nothing wrong with money laundering, and is not even
hillul hashem when a rosh yeshiva does it (if he does).  (This is of course
ignorance of Torah as well as ethical insensitivity.)  I could pad this list
with thirty examples, but I do not want to appear to be the "accuser." 

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 07:01 PM
Subject: The frumkeit of our generation

Eli Turkel wrote (MJ 59#79) in reference to the two statements in the 
Talmud I had noted as attesting to what would appear a greater knowledge 
then than now and adds:

> Saying that the tannaim were greater than we are says absolutely nothing about
> their generation which may have been 99% illiterate.

I think that the content of those two statements belie Eli's suggestion as they,
if I recall  correctly, relate to the younger of the generation, that school
pupils had mastered extremely difficult texts that most Yeshiva students today
rarely look at.

I recall a visit to the YU Beis Midrash in the early 1980s and being ask to
address the issue of entrance into Har Habayit and when I showed up with certain
tomes and the hosting Rabbi looked them over, he whispered "go easy on these,
the boys haven't the faintest grasp of their contents".



End of Volume 59 Issue 80