Volume 6 Number 11

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another Hypothetical Situation
         [Pinchas Nissenson]
Ashkenazi and Grasshoppers (2)
         [Deborah Sommer, Danny Skaist]
Automatic Lights on Shabbat
         [David Sherman]
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Looking for a Story in the Gemara
         [Avi Bloch]
Martian Mikvaot
         [Josh Klien]
Non-Halakhic Marriages
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Procreation and Brachot
         [Aryeh Frimer]


From: Pinchas Nissenson <62608@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 16:33:06 -0500
Subject: Another Hypothetical Situation 

Imagine one has constructed a contraption consisting of a glass box
inside which there is a cat. In addition there is is photoelectric
switch that is activated at random by some certain input of light
that reaches it. The switch in turn will release a hammer that
strikes and breaks a jar containing poisonous gas that will certainly
kill the cat.
The question then is one responsible for the death of the cat
regardless on which day / time the switch was activated ?
And if he / she is responsible does that  mean that one cannot use
timers on shabat ??

 Phone: (403) 220-5441  FAX: (403) 282-9361


From: <dway@...> (Deborah Sommer)
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 11:37:56 -0500
Subject: re: Ashkenazi and Grasshoppers

Zev Farkas wrote in m.j #6 that even not eating the proffered grasshoppers
would be a problem if you wanted to eat any of the other food, comparing
it to eating the peas and carrots next to the pork chops.  Wouldn't this
be more analagous to an ashkenazi visiting a sephardi during pesach, when
he isn't allowed to eat the kitniyot, but may eat the other food, even 
though it was cooked in the same pots?

Debby Sommer 

From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 93 04:22:25 -0500
Subject: Ashkenazi and Grasshoppers

>From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
>am assuming that the grasshoppers are indeed prepared using heat).  sort
>of like the question of whether you can eat the peas and carrots sitting
>on the plate next to the pork chops...

No! Unlike pork chops, the grasshoppers are there b'heter, in full
accordance with the torah and halacha. It is more like whether on
pessach you can eat the peas and carrots and leave the rice.  We accept
the pots and utensils of those that use kitneyos (legumes) on pessach
b'heter, the same should be true for grasshoppers.



From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 93 00:29:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Automatic Lights on Shabbat

Laurent Cohen asks:
> This makes me think about a question I had once: imagine you spend
> Shabbat in a hotel and say on friday night you go to the toilets. When
> you turn the lock you realize you put the light on. What can you do
> then?  can you go out knowing you will put the light off or do you have
> to spend all shabbat there?

Perhaps, in such an extreme case, you can rely on the fact that the
light going on or off is a side effect of what you are intending to do,
rather than your objective?  I once asked a rabbi what to do in a more
common situation: you forget to unscrew the light bulb in your fridge
before Shabbos.  His reply was to try to open and close the fridge door
as little as possible over Shabbos.  (I.e., he did not say that one must
not open the door and therefore must eat crackers and canned tuna and
drink tap water all Shabbos.)  The rabbi in question is the rabbi of a
large Orthodox shul, who is known as being on the lenient side.  Of
course, CYLOR.

David Sherman


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <FNBENJ@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 93 15:52:46 -0500
Subject: Grasshoppers

I just want to get this straight:  Has anyone actually met any Yemenite
Jews who consume grasshoppers?  I live in Rehovot, with a large number
of Yemenite Friends and neighbors, and I've seen NO sign of it.  Just
how current IS this picture of the lingering tradition of kosher

Ben Svetitsky    <fnbenj@...>


From: <avi@...> (Avi Bloch)
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 16:42:36 -0500
Subject: Looking for a Story in the Gemara

I'm looking for a story in the gemara about a rabbi who hid under his
rebbe's bed, while the latter was having sexual relations with his
wife. When the rebbe found out and confronted his student, he claimed
that this too is torah and he has to learn it.

Pointers, anyone?

Thanks in advance.
Avi Bloch		<avi@...>


From: Josh Klien <VTFRST@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 93 08:33 N
Subject: Martian Mikvaot

For a long time I puzzled over the Tosefta in Niddah 7:1 where it says
that R.  Eliezer ben Yose taught the halachot of mikve in Rome. Why
should he bother, I thought. Similarly, I wondered how Yehudit the
daughter of Yishmael, who married Esav, could be accepted by her in-laws
Yitzchak and Rachel (after all, Esau's marriage to Yehudit was
considered an improvement over his previous marital entanglements). Mike
Gerver's question about mikvaot on Mars crystallized matters for me.
Rome is also referred to as 'Edom', the name for the nation founded by
Esav. 'Edom' means 'red' and is linguistically identical to 'Maadim',
the name for Mars. Therefore, R. Eliezer was clearly relating halachot
of mikvaot on Mars, halachot that Yehudit had undoubtedly observed.  As
to Max's question about how to collect water on Mars: as geonim such as
Schiaperelli, Percival Lowell and Edgar Rice Burroughs were wont to
insist, surely the canals on Mars have a purpose. For that matter, the
CO2 content of Mars' ice cap would make the water of the mikve so fizzy
that it would truly be 'mayim chaim'. "Nothing is new under the sun", or
in any other part of the solar system.

Josh Klein  VTFRST@Volcani
(after philosophical discourse with Ben Svetitsky)


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 16:33:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Non-Halakhic Marriages

A friend of mine is doing a little research on the issue of non halachik
marriages and their affect on mamzerut, get etc. If anyone has seen any
articles relating to this subject please contact me. Thanks.
mechael kanovsky (<kanovsky@...>)


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 93 02:08:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Procreation and Brachot

        Freda Birnbaum suggests that the Sheva Brachot are in fact the
brachot before procreation. This is peculiar since there is no mention
whatsoever of procreation in the sheva Brachot. On the contrary, Chazal
emphasize companionship, joy, happiness, love, and friendship - but not
one word, not even a hint, about procreation. While, marriage is the
proper venue for procreation - it is not the sole purpose for marriage
or even the major purpose.
        Yisrael Sundick's suggestion that our desires stem from the
Yetzer Hara and therefore no bracha is required is, IMHO (in my humble
opinion), way off base.  The view that sex is bad - that marriage is a
concession to the Yetzer haRa - is Christian, not mainstream Judaism.
After all, within the framework of marriage there is a mitzva of ONAH -
which requires a husband to satisfy his wife sexually. This is not only
a matter of quantity but also of quality. A Talmid Chacham should have
sex relations on Shabbat because of the pleasure element which enhances
Oneg Shabbat.
        The Ramban in the Igeret ha-Kodesh (Letter of Sanctity),
strongly differs with the view that the body and its desires are bad,
while the Neshama is good. (A view which has made some inroads into
Judaism via the intellectual ascetics on the one hand and the
mystical/kabbalistic ascetics on the other.) In this letter, the Ramban
makes it clear that all parts of the body are "good" since they were
created by the Holy One, blessed be He. It depends on how they are used.
That is what chazal me when they say that we must serve G-d with both
our desires.   Eating is also a desire, yet if it is done to serve G-d,
it is praiseworthy. The same is true for sex, says the Ramban. If it is
as part of the marriage relationship, cementing the bond between the
couple then it is positive - if not it is negative. This letter of the
Ramban is must reading, very modern and is among the collecting writings
of the Ramban published by Rav Chavel.


End of Volume 6 Issue 11