Volume 59 Number 81 
      Produced: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 01:47:13 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

"Ho Chi Minh Yeshivot" 
    [Meir Shinnar]
A mitzvah in AZ, please 
    [Batya Medad]
Changing psak / practices / observance 
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
Donating organs 
    [Eli Turkel]
Halacha for Special Agents 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Hospital Discharge on Shabbos (3)
    [Yisrael Medad  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Chana Luntz]
Pikuah-Nefesh on Shabbat 
    [Abe Brot]
PS on humming/education 
    [Leah S.R. Gordon]
Stipends for Torah students (4)
    [Bernard Raab  Elazar M. Teitz  Bernard Raab  Eli Turkel]
Tefillas keva [fixed] = exact wording?- 
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
The frumkeit of our generation 
    [Carl Singer]


From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 13,2010 at 07:01 PM
Subject: "Ho Chi Minh Yeshivot"

Carl Singer <carl.singer@...> wrote (MJ 59#79):

> Meir Shinnar (MJ 59#78) notes: 
>> In 1971-2, while at Columbia, I learned at a yeshiva
>> (one of  the  Ho Chi Minh yeshivot, whose contributions to growth of Torah in
>> America have been undervalued :-) - (I was the only one in the school not
>> there for a draft deferment.....). 
> As someone who chose to serve the country that took me in as a refugee I've
> always had strong feelings about this situation.  Although I had never heard
> the term "Ho Chi Minh Yeshivot" I'd often heard that more young men got
> smicha because of Vietnam than because of Moishe Rabbainu & Sinai.
> Would anyone care to discuss the halachic aspects?

I agree with Carl Singer that the issue is quite problematic from a moral
viewpoint - my choice of the term Ho Chi Minh yeshivot was meant to emphasize
this aspect.  As I said originally, I did not get a draft defement from the
yeshiva nor did I study there for such a deferment - but I was the only such
student in the yeshiva.

I would  add that the moral and halachic issues with this are still with us -
because the deferment for yeshiva students in Israel is quite analogous. 
Indeed, during the Vietnam era, a case can be made that America was quite
conflicted about the war - and attempts at draft dodging were quite common and
accepted if not lauded by parts of the community - something that still haunts
us, as charges of evading active military service were made against the last two
presidents.  (It is, however, very problematic to have a right wing political
view of the Vietnam War -  which is common in the Orthodox community - and
support draft dodging...)It is difficult to make such a case in Israel - that
makes defense of deferments there very morally problematic.

Meir Shinnar


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 01:01 AM
Subject: A mitzvah in AZ, please

Does anyone have connections in the Phoenix AZ area for Jewish groups, 
students, adults etc who would do chessed - good deed visits to my 
lonely elderly parents? They live in a senior citizen home and need 
more company. They are very sociable. Please spread this message.

Batya Medad


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Changing psak / practices / observance

Elie Rosenfeld stated (MJ 59#76):

> all the Orthodox shuls do still have the "midnight" (= ~1 am DST) 
> selichos the first night.

Not exactly.  The midnight is defined as sha`ot zemani'ot and 
therefore would only once in about 60 years (on the average) come out 
precisely on the hour (if we ignore seconds).

And we are at this moment ignoring the halakhic implications of 
saying selihot before the prescribed time, which is another 
discussion entirely.



From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Donating organs

Re recent discussions of people who are willing to receive organs but not
donate, Israel is now giving priority in receiving organ transplants to those
who sign pledge cards


For the first time in the world, the Health Ministry's Israel Transplant will
give priority in the receipt of organs to people who previously signed an
ADI card and gave consent to donate organs after their deaths.
Over 1,000 Israeli children and adults are waiting for a donor kidney,
150 for a liver, 70 for lungs and 120 for a heart. Just 250 organs are
transplanted in an average year, and 100 people die while waiting for one.
But 300 more people join the waiting lists annually.

Eli Turkel


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Halacha for Special Agents

Menashe Elyashiv (MJ 59#79) relates to the 1948 situation of Gush Etzion and
Mishmar Hayarden when women were taken prisoner and escaped a rape. He then asks:

> Is this not a mild case of putting one self in rape danger? Is a combat
> women soldier not in danger? It is less danger than an agent, but it is a
> possible danger.

a) were they "combat" or simply residents of the communities that did not leave
but stayed to assist?

b) isn't the "kalah m'chupata" paradigm ("all go out to fight, even the
bridegroom from his chamber and the bride from out of her wedding canopy" -
Sottah 44B in the Mishna) applicable in that and other situations, even 'mildly'?



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Hospital Discharge on Shabbos

As for Leah's question (MJ 59#79):

> Another shabbat question ... what about being discharged from the hospital on
> shabbat?

I guess the simple solution is to sit in the lobby until after the end of shabbes.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Hospital Discharge on Shabbos

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. ...

> 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.? ... I have a feeling that signing a hospital discharge is taken more
> seriously....
> 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?

I had a stent put in on Friday and had to stay for shabbos. They
marked the "discharge" time as 1 PM so as to take care of the timing
of the discharge instructions but there was no problem about staying
until after shabbos. I was able to stay in the room until after
shabbos. Once shabbos was over, I was able to stay until my wife
picked me up. The people in the hospital were very nice about it and
made sure that I got the kosher meals. It is usually better to ensure
that they know about the arrangements when you first come in.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 

From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Hospital Discharge on Shabbos

Leah S.R. Gordon 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.

I think things may be different in the US, but certainly here in the UK you
don't get any choice about being discharged from hospital.  If they decide
that you ought to go and they need to free up the bed, they boot you out.  I
don't think I have ever had to sign anything either, they do all the
paperwork.  It may be possible to sweet-talk them into letting you stay over
shabbas (I did when I had my second, although there were possibly reasons
for that), but you have no ability to demand it.

Yes you could perhaps camp out in A&E (I think it is known as ER in the US)
or in the cafeteria or some similar place located in the hospital, but
technically you are discharged when they say you are discharged and are then
only allowed in the public areas of the hospital available to visitors.

>> But then I thought of two possibilities:
>> 1. You might be clearing a space for the next patient who needs life-
>> saving treatment

Yes, but certainly in England they will make that decision, they won't leave
it up to you.

And Martin Stern then responded to Leah's comments (MJ 59#80): 

> This is unlikely as the hospital could transfer you to some other
> location on site away from the ward.

I don't think hospitals do this in practice, ie they don't do the
transferring.  They discharge you from the ward and then you are free to go
wherever you choose in the hospital that is open to the general public.
They may let you wait in various waiting rooms (or corridors), but they may
not (and it may depend what time of night or day it is).

>> 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.

I think from what we have read in the papers about the MRSA bug, that is
also not necessarily true, although I am not sure how big a risk it would be
considered to be, and I personally doubt it would trip the pikuach nefesh

Martin Stern then goes on to say :

> My only experience of such a situation was a few years ...
> 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.

That is all very well if you are discharged about an hour before the end of
Shabbat, but that is by no means necessarily the case.  For example:  When I
was 33 weeks pregnant with my third I needed a very minor procedure, the
kind of thing that a GP could do or even possibly at home.  But, because I
was 33 weeks pregnant, the hospital I was under insisted that it be done in
the hospital and that I stay in for 24 hours afterwards to make sure I
didn't go into labour.   The doctor did say to me that this was a very
cautious hospital, but at 33 weeks, anything can set off labour, and while
with their neonatal units handy, the baby would be fine if had it in
hospital, since the lungs are generally not strong enough to breathe at 33
weeks, it would be very dangerous if I went into labour away from it.  So I
went in and had the procedure on a Tuesday midday.  But then on Wednesday
late morning I started having what seemed to be teeny weenie contractions,
so of course there was no way they were letting me go home then, and even
though they then stopped, they wanted another 24 hours clear of contractions
before they would let me home.  Only problem was, Wednesday night was first
night Shavuos, the start of a three day yom tov.  Now the likelihood was (as
indeed it transpired) that the hospital would discharge me Thursday midday,
first day Shavuos.  And while waiting in the corridor for an hour till
Shabbas goes out is one thing, waiting in the corridor at 33 weeks pregnant
for two and a half days, without access to food (the kosher food that the
hospital provides is only for patients, not once you are discharged),
somewhere to sleep etc is a decidedly different story.  And even if my
husband had been able to run around and find me food for two and a half days
that could be eaten cold (remember no access to heating facilities even if I
could have used them) and survive out of a fridge (ditto), would I really
have been able to sit on the floor in the corridor or in A&E with my bag of
food and no bedclothes or anything?  And this hospital is an hour and a
half's walk away from our home as my husband walks, but at 33 weeks and
already looking like a beached whale, there was no physical way I could walk
home (and of course my husband would struggle to come and visit me, because
he had to be home with the other kids).

So, what were we to do?  Of course, as is always the way when you have a
very urgent shiala that needs answering in a very limited space of time, the
Rav you usually go to cannot be found, so my husband rang up somebody that
friends of his use, because that was whom he could get hold of to discuss
the question.  What this Rav said (but our Rav later concurred) was that I
should get the hospital (ie non Jewish) staff to phone a taxi (which they
are happy to do at our hospital and in fact there is a taxi company run by a
frum fellow here that has some sort of associated company that only has non
Jewish drivers on shabbas and yom tov and that people tend to use when
needing taxis in emergencies, so I took the card with that number to give
them), let the taxi driver open the door for me (which you're average taxi
driver will do anyway, especially if you are 33 weeks pregnant, but which
these guys know to do), set the money aside at home near the front door so
we could just point to it when I got home and he could just take and go home
that way.  

The point of all this is was to avoid any issurei d'oraisa [torah
prohibitions] but it is probably fair to say that most people being
discharged from hospital are in the category of a choleh she'ain bo sakana
[a sick person who is not in danger] (which is how the relevant rabbanim
regarded me at 33 weeks and just out of hospital) and therefore one can ask
a non Jew to do things for them that they themselves may not do (hence the
use of the hospital staff and the taxi driver).  Obviously every case is
different, and needs to be worked through to fully answer Leah's question,
but as you can see, it is fair to say that being discharged from hospital is
not necessarily the same as being stuck at an airport and indeed that there
may be solutions if one is discharged from hospital on shabbas other than
camping in a corridor or A&E.




From: Abe Brot <abe.brot@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Pikuah-Nefesh on Shabbat

About 40 years ago, when I lived in the USA, I had two friends who were
Orthodox Rabbis, and by coincidence, both their wives were pregnent. One
rabbi studied the laws of pikuah-nefesh from A to Z, so that he would know
whether to drive his wife to the hospital, or ask a non-Jewish neighbor to
take them, how to park after delivering his wife to the emergency room,
should he turn off the lights afterwards, what about turning off the
ignition, etc., etc.

The other Rabbi told me that he didn't do any planning, and if his wife
enters labor on shabbat, he will do what needs to be done and whatever he
does incorrectly will be b'shgaga (not intended) and not b'meizeed

I am not a Rabbi, but I think the second Rabbi had a healthier attitude to
this problem.

Avraham Brot


From: Leah S.R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 14,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: PS on humming/education

In regards vol. 59 #79 and my complaint about students humming, I had a
"smiley" and then a "winking smiley" indicating that I was joking, that
somehow got edited out.  No one should please think that I was serious to be
kvetching so much.



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 59#79):

> In (MJ 59#78) Jeanette 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.
> 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.
> ls 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 am happy to learn that post-grad university students in Talmud receive
government grants in Israel. I suspect, however, that there are some significant
differences between such students and full-time Torah students in yeshivot: I am
guessing that not every applicant for such a post in a university is accepted;
and once in the program, the student is expected to produce some periodic output
to prove his (or her) diligence and progress in their studies. The student might
also be expected to handle some teaching or assistant duties for his or her
professor. Unfortunately, none of this is true for most full-time yeshiva
students, at least here in America. I would be surprised, and thrilled, to learn
that that is not the case in Israel. Those who study Torah without a program of
demonstrated accomplishment and an end-goal, are engaging in pure
self-indulgence. However satisfying this may be to an individual, the community
should not be expected to support it.

Bernie R.

From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

Mordechai Horowitz, discussing chareidim, writes (MJ 59#80): 

> 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.      

I don't recall seeing a single Israeli chareidi who ran to the US during the
Gulf war. (They would have had a difficult time leaving, since their legal
status is not draft-exempt, but draft-deferred, requiring permission to leave
the country.)  Ponevez, Chevron, Slobodka et al., remained as full during the
war as they were before.  Perhaps Mr. Horowitz refers to Americans who came to
learn in Israel, but I doubt that he has a scintilla of evidence that they came
back "to watch the war on CNN."  They would be more likely to have returned to
the American yeshivas whence they came, and were learning there.  The assumption
that they weren't bespeaks a willingness on the writer's part to see only
negatives when it comes to chareidim.      

As for the modern Orthodox yeshivos, most of their American students were high
school graduates who were spending the year learning in Israel.  Many of them
went through a program which involved registering in Yeshiva University and
paying their tuition through YU, rather than directly to the Israeli
institution.  I can attest from personal experience that while most remained,
many came back;  YU was not going to return the tuition for the spring semester,
and I succeeded in negotiating on their behalf to have that tuition credited to
the following fall semester.     


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 15,2010 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

Mordechai Horowitz wrote (MJ 59#80):

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

I agree totally. I have taken to calling the Kollel world as the "Modern
Orthodox", and we "regular" working Jews as representing "Traditional Judaism".
What they are doing is a modern innovation.

Bernie R.

From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Stipends for Torah students

Michael Rogovin says (MJ 59#80):

> 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.

I would just add that in Israeli university a student going for a PhD can get a
fellowship for up to 5 years from department/grant money and one extra year from
outside grants. This is done to prevent perpetual students. However, in kollel one
can get support forever. If one looks in the Kesef Mishneh, the rationale for a
student accepting money is that he can eventually contribute to society as a
rabbi/dayan/teacher etc. Is there any justification for collecting money forever?

Eli Turkel


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Tefillas keva [fixed] = exact wording?-

Sammy Finkelman stated (MJ 59#75):

> Keva actually is an adjective and not a noun, so it doesn't mean any 
> of the things proposed.

Qeva is a noun meaning permanency.  As in "aseh torat'kha qeva," or 
(modernly) tz'va qeva, which means the regular army.

The adjective is qavu`a, qevu'ah, qevu'im, qevu'ot.



From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 16,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: The frumkeit of our generation

I posit that an important element in our (self?) assessment of the current
generation is menchlechkeit. Thus I'd like to see more discussion of behavior
and the mitzvahs bayn Adam L'chavayro.

We all can list numerous examples of kindnesses we have witnessed, and also
numerous examples of rudeness, and even worse:  "lie, cheat and steal."
(Some of the latter fall also bayn Adam L'Makom.)

Unfortunately, much of this discussion may be anecdotal re: outstanding
examples both of "compliance" and of "violation"

I'd be interested to know how much time and emphasis is spent in our schools
and yeshivot re: midos, for example.

If we have 15 minutes left at the end of a shiur -- should those 15 minutes
be spent learning hilchos of Kashrus or hilchos of loshan horah.



End of Volume 59 Issue 81