Volume 6 Number 24

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

B'rachah on Procreation
         [Daniel Siegel]
         [Stiebel Jonathan]
Hatmana on Shabbat
         [Avraham Babkoff]
Havdalah Questions (2)
         [<turkel@...>, Yaacov Fenster]
International Dateline (2)
         [Yosef Bechhofer, Isaac Balbin]
Yetzer HaRa' vs. Alien Concepts (2)
         [Yaakov Kayman, Aryeh Frimer]


From: <Daniel.I.Siegel@...> (Daniel Siegel)
Date: Mon, 25 Jan  10:52:09 1993
Subject: B'rachah on Procreation

I think that Freda Birnbaum was closer to the mark than some of the
respondents think.  While it may be true that the Sheva B'rachot (the
seven wedding blessings) make no explicit mention of procreation,
nevertheless they immediately precede the most important moment of the
Nisu'in (wedding) itself which is yichud (unchaperoned private time for
the bride and groom).  And the intimacy which we now allow only
symbolically was originally quite real.

[Is this correct? Does not jive with my memories of the Gemarah? Are you
referring to an even earlier period? Any hints as to sources? Mod.]

And, while I usually agree with Aryeh Frimer and realize that he does
not enter a discussion without much forethought, I believe that it is
incorrect to minimize the importance of procreation in intimacy prior to
the fulfillment of the mitzva of p'ru u'r'vu (being fruitful and
multiplying).  For example, the Ramban also composed a meditation prior
to lovemaking which is cited in full in the Sh'nai Luchot Habrit in the
first volume, Sha'ar Ha'otiyot in the section called Sod Zivug HaKadosh
(the secret of the holy pairing).  In it, he clearly includes the wish
for (male) children.  In addition, the SheLaH himself explains the sheva
b'rachot as relating to intimacy and sees them at least as the blessings
which permit sexual relating (ki ayn ha'adam shalaym v'ayn mityachadim
ki im b'brachah - a man is not complete and two people cannot come
together without a blessing).  

Daniel Siegel


From: <stiebel@...> (Stiebel Jonathan)
Date: Mon, 25 Jan  10:51:30 1993
Subject: Blessing 

Perhaps blessing as increase could be understood as an increasing
Hashem's presence (awareness thereof) on this earth.  So, "blessed are
you ... who separated us and commanded us..." could be rendered:
Hashem's name is increased by his children doing what they are told.
(People say what wonderful laws...)  It is an unusual case where perhaps
we could give value to Hashem. (From Din Arev [guarantor on a loan]
someone who gives money to a third party on request is as though one
gave directly.)  I see this as a form of everyday kiddush hashem.

Regarding "Tanya amar rebbi yismael ben elisha..."  There is another
aspect, if Hashem is merciful to us and treats us lifnim mishurat hadin
[within the spirit of the law], it shows what a wonderful benefactor
Israel has.  Likewise, the name of the Divine is known in this world
through am yisrael. [people of Israel, source: R. Kook ZT"L] We are his
witnesses (c.f. Isiah, Mechilta) and increasing our number and status
strengthens Hashem's presence.

 -- Jonathan Stiebel


From: <babkoff@...> (Avraham Babkoff)
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 93 09:14:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Hatmana on Shabbat

Dear Moderator,
I have a question I was hoping you would "floor", since it has a very
practical application for my family.

[As mentioned in recent posting of the guidelines, questions of actual
Psak need to be refered to your local posek. However, the general issues
can be discussed here. As far as the submission below, I know we had a
general discussion on Hatmanah a while back, with a few main
participants. Maybe one of them would like to check if that discussion
is relevant to this question.  Mod.]

We recently purchased a kitchen oven in Bnei - Brak, and its specialty
is that it conforms with the needs of Orthodox Jews. For example: One is
permitted to cook "milchik" and "flieshik" simultaniously (in their
respective places, top and bottom), because there is total seperation
between the top and bottom compartments.

Another feature, is that the top compartment has a "built in" shabbos
"plata", whereby the floor of the top compartment maintains a permanent
degree of heat from the moment the shabbos switch has been thrown.  Our
question is, since there is such a degree of seperation between the top
and bottom compartments, would'nt that indicate that there exists the
possibility that leaving the built in plata on shabbos, MAY consti- tute
"hatmana"? I asked around here, and someone told me, that he once saw a
"t'shuva" (by a s'pharadi rav), that "hatmana" only exists where there
is DIRECT contact between the covered object (the pot) and the covering
object (sand, for example). But, if there exists direct contact from
only one side (the bottom of the pot, and the floor of the oven), that
would'nt be considered "hatmana".  Many thanks,
                           Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 93 10:57:57 +0200
Subject: Havdalah Questions

      Does anyone know the origin of the story that women can not drink
from the havdalah cup because they will grow beards. I have heard that
story since i was a young kid but was never able to track down the
origin. The Mishna Brura quotes the Shalah. The Shalah's reason is
that the whole havdalah ceremony is a remembrance of the first shabbat
of Adam and Eve. Since they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden
because of the sin of Eve therefore a woman should not drink from the
havdala cup. no connection with beards !!!


From: Yaacov Fenster <fenster@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 93 07:36:21 -0500
Subject: Havdalah Questions

My Yemenite Mother-in-law told my wife that drinking the "Havdala" wine is
liable to harm the fertility of women.

[Interesting in light of Eli's comments above. I can see the path from
Eve's sin and punishment to fertility easier than to beards. Mod.]

Yaacov Fenster			+(972)-3-9307239
<fenster@...>	DTN 882-3153


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 93 19:49:09 -0500
Subject: International Dateline

Dateline and Principles

1. It's hard to address a statement by Reb Moshe which cannot be
independently confirmed.

2. More importantly, the authority of Rishonim and the assumption
that their words are far more insightful than ours is one of the basic
tenets of Psak Halacha. An excellent brief discussion of this issue is
to be found in "Beis Yechezkel" by Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel vol. 2,

Just remembered this: In the Rubin edition of the Nefesh HaChaim p.
456 it is brought from Reb Aharon Kotler that the GR"A told Reb Chaim
of Volozhin that back until the Rema (R. Moshe Isserles) one may argue
on the basis of sevara [logic]; further back until the Rosh (14th
century) only with proofs. The Kuzari and Ba'al HaMa'or preceded the
Rosh. It is also brought there that Reb Chaim said that the Sha'agas
Aryeh was only widely accepted when he stopped speaking [against]

From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 93 19:20:16 -0500
Subject: Re: International Dateline

 From Yosef Bechofer:
  |         Two other points: when members of the Kollel community in
  | Australia do kiruv in New Zealand they refrain from melacha on Sunday;
  | according to Rabbi Tukachinski one must keep Shabbos on Friday when in
  | Hawaii.

There is not ONE Kollel community in Australia. There are three (full
time) (and all in Melbourne). It is true that when two or three members
of one Kollel (the Lakewood one) went to New Zealand, that at least two
of them refrained from Melocho. This fact however counts for very
little. Who did they ask? That is the question, and what was the
reasoning. It was not Reb Moshe. I will find out on Thursday. There have
been Lubavitcher Rabbonim that have held a post in New Zealand, as have
musmachim from Mercaz Harav. Are we to assume that their actions are
definitive of a group approach? No. Their actions were based on who they
asked.  It is only important to know WHY the psak was as it was.

For this reason, I found Reb Moshe's (lack of) psak absolutely
enlightening and earth shattering.


From: Yaakov Kayman <YZKCU@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 93 02:05:04 -0500
Subject: Yetzer HaRa' vs. Alien Concepts

I believe you may have misinterpreted Mr. Sundick's words about our
carnal desires stemming from the yetzer hara'. They need not imply that
sex is somehow bad at all. I HAVE seen in a sefer mussar (I'm sorry that
I cannot remember which, but it was VERY mainstream, and may even have
been the "Orchot Tzaddikim") that our desire stems from the yetzer
hara', and is one of those instances that a normally bad trait is of
great benefit. It is not the only such instance.

The "Meshal hazonah" brought by the Zohar, likens the yetzer hara' to a
harlot hired by a king to test the mettle of his son by tempting him. It
is understood that the king does not wish the prince to fall for this
temptation, but rather to overcome it. The point, as I understand it, is
that the yetzer hara' is yet another of many tools employed by Hashem.

Yaakov K.

From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 93 02:08:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Yetzer HaRa' vs. Alien Concepts

Dear Yaakov,
     I personally believe that the message of the Ramban in Iggeret
HaKodesh is that desires are neutral. They are sanctified if they are
used constructively and for divine service. They are evil if used
destructively, wantonly or abusively.
     The Yetzer Hara is not to be taken literally, but rather a
metaphore for mans struggle with his lusts and desires, which often
"get the best of him/her".  One is so preoccupied with the fulfilment
of the desire that he loses sight of the need to give them direction.
This is the meaning of "Kedoshim Tihiyu"  (Be thou sanctified) - to take
the neutral areas of life and used them in divine worship or as
formulated by Chazal: Kadesh atzmecha ba-mutar lach (sanctify yourself
through those areas which are neutral). It is a Jewish weltanschaung to
try to direct all of life's actions in some way towards divine service.
We do this formally through Berachot. But even the idea of tying ones
left shoelace (because we tie tefillen on our left hand) is an attempt
to link the trivial with the sublime and sanctified.


End of Volume 6 Issue 24