Volume 6 Number 46

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bannim and Sinat Chinam [Children and Baseless Hatred]
         [Stiebel Jonathan]
Feld brothers update (from Rabbi Y. Levin)
         [Israel Pinkas and Avi Feldblum]
Hagomel After Childbirth (5)
         [Aryeh Frimer, Asher Goldstein, Lon Eisenberg, Ben Pashkoff,
Avi Bloch]
         [Bob Werman]


From: <stiebel@...> (Stiebel Jonathan)
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 20:28:20 +0200
Subject: Bannim and Sinat Chinam [Children and Baseless Hatred]

The Mahara"l in Perek 11, Nesach Yisrael [eternity of Israel] opens with
the mishna R. Yehuda vs. Rabbi Meir.  "You are children of Hashem..."
R"Y says yisrael are called banim when they act as banim. R"M says
independant of their actions they are banim.  He brings proof: banim
maskilim (without wisdom of torah), banim ain emun bahem (hotim
beshgaga-- sinning unknowingly), banim mashchitim (hotim b'mazid--
sinning with knowledge), banei kel chai (dveykim lgamri b'ovoda zara--
clinging to idolatry).

Kol Yisrael Yesh L'hem Chelik l'olam haba. (All of Israel has a portion
in the world to come.)  (Based on the logic we say: At first yes, but
one can loose it.) Some say: That certain actions cause them to loose
the title Israel.  Does it also cost them the title Banim?  (Mashma
sh'lo. [seems not] Because Avraham was chosen without telling of his
righteousness.  Bechira s'aino ta'lui b'davar. [Hashem's choice of him
was not dependant on his action.]  Or perhaps, mi sh'lo ... aino mi'zera
shel avraham avenu? [Someone lacking a certain quality (hesed?) is not a
descendant of Abraham.  What does this really mean?  Source?])

The Meshich Chochma points out that when Israel is united (even heaven
forbid) worshipping idols: "ain midat hadin pogat bahem."  (They aren't
brought to judgement.) But, baseless hatred is worse.  Just look at the
temple.  The temple proves. The first temple was rebuilt, the second
hasn't yet.  Only when the world was filled with Gezel [violent theft]
did hashem destroy it.  The division caused the people to be judged as
individuals.  A single person worshipping idols is ka'ret.  It is
therefore asked why did Hashem make a miracle at Yam Suf?  (They had
split up into four groups and had worshipped idols in Egypt.)  From here
we ask: Perhaps divided sons aren't called sons?  (ie. it is clearly
worse than ovoda zara [idolatry]!)

Perhaps, ain hachi nami, they loose the title of clal [people?] -- and
with it banim?

Omed b'she'ayla. [I don't know the answer.  What do you all think?]

-- Jonathan Stiebel
The Meshech Chochma is "HaMayim L'Hem Choma..." (Parshat BeShalach).


From: <hem@...> (Israel Pinkas and Avi Feldblum)
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 93 08:02:35 EST
Subject: Feld brothers update (from Rabbi Y. Levin)

Rabbi Levin asked me to rely the following information:

The Feld brothers hearing was (finally) held this morning, Friday 19 Feb
1993.  The major charge(s), Conspiracy to Commit Murder, 2 counts each,
were dropped.  Lesser charges were not dropped at this time.

Bail was reduced to US$100,000 each, down from $500,000.  (This should be
good news to those who loaded money or pledged home equity.)

[Along that line, Ken Shlian told me that the money will be returned by
check. If anyone from this list wired money for the bail from AT&T FCU,
please get in touch with Ken, as he does not have your name, address,
etc. Ken's number is: 908-572-3502. Avi Feldblum - Mod.]

Their passports were returned, and they were granted permission to travel
to Israel, on the condition that they formally agree to return to trial.
(This reuires them to sign a notarized document stating that they will
return to the trial.  The primary purpose is that extradition is automatic
when the defendant signs one of these and then fails to return.)

Rabbi Levin also stated (and gave me permission to quote hime) that he
believes that this is the first step towards total aquittal.

-Israel Pinkas


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 02:35:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Hagomel After Childbirth

Women and Birkat HaGomel:
      Zvi Basser wants info regarding Women saying Birkat HaGomel and I
refer him to my Article on  "Women and Minyan"  (Tradition, 23(4) Summer
1988,pp 54-77; see especially the discussion on pages 63-64){copies of
the review are available upon request}. Bekitsur (In brief), all the
major Poskim require women to say Birkat HaGomel (Birkei Yosef OH 219:3;
Eliyahu Rabbah 219:12; Seder Birkat HaNehenin (Grasha"z) 13:3; R. Yaakov
Emden, Siddur Sha'arei Shamayom, Birkat HaGomel 2; Pithei Shea'arim 28
to Sha'arei Efraim 4; Ben Ish Hai Ekev 5; Hayei Adam 65:2; Resp. Tzitz
Eliezer(Waldenberg) 13:17; Pnei Barukh(Goldberg), Bikur Holim Kehilkhato
2:33; Yehaveh Da'at (R. Ovadya Yosef) IV:15; Arukh Ha-Shulhan 219:10 and
many more). Regarding the fact that the Mishnah Berurah (219:3 at end)
and other poskim note that their women were not wont to say this
Beracha, both Rav Waldenberg and Rav Fisher (The Posek of the Eidah
Haredit - cited in Pnei Barukh) say that our women do say Birkat
haGomel.  Indeed, I was in Ezrat Nashim Hospital over Shabbat and had
a long discussion with a very fascinating 90 year old Hareidi Woman who
lived in the Ir Ha-Atikah (Old City of Jerusalem) before 1949 and in
Ge-Ulah since who stated that it was very common in her circles for
women to say Birkat hagomel.
       The question now becomes one of Mechanism, since a Minyan is
required:1)The Knesset hagedolah (OH 219) says that a woman should stand
on her side of the Mechitzah and say it aloud so that the men can hear.
This view is cited Le-Halacha by the Be'er Heitev (219:1), Mishna
Berurah (219:3) and nearly all the poskim I cited above. This can be
done during keri'at HaTorah just before an Aliyah, but this is not
         2) Alternatively, one could get together a few friends after
Davening to say Birkat hagomel. In the case of a Birth, it can be said
as part of the Brit in the case of a boy, or at the Kiddush or Zeved
haBat for the Daughter.
         3) one intersting point which I discuss in the above-mentioned
article is that many poskim maintain that women count for a Minyan when
it comes to Birkhat haGomel. (Encyclopediah Talmudit IV, Birkhot Hoda'ah
p. 318; Halikhot Beitah (R. David Auerbach  - this is probably THE best
book on Women and Practical Halacha published. Unfortunately it has not
been Translated to English. It is "Party Line" stuff but no unnecessary
frumkeit) 13, 17,13 and 24, and petah ha-bayit 24; Halikhot Beit Yisrael
(Fuchs, translated to English) 14:41; Derekh Yeshara (R. David Avraham)
2:12 notes 38 and 39; A guide to the Jewish Women and Girl (Eisenberg)
p. 38; Ha-Isha Ve-Hamitsvot (Ellinson) Vol. I, 12:13 notes 11 and 13;
Rav Yichiel Avraham Zilber (personal Communication 1981).

From: Asher Goldstein <MZIESOL@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 08:43:26 IST
Subject: Hagomel After Childbirth

Regarding Zvi Basser's query on women saying birchat hagomel--the gomel
blessing--after childbirth, there have been women in my minyan in Neve
Shanaan section of Haifa who have said it,from behind the mehitza, of
course.  Perhaps that's one of the reasons our minyan is known as the

From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 08:24:00 IST
Subject: Hagomel After Childbirth

Zvi Basser writes:
>While we are talking about blessings, it seems from rishonim and
>acharonim that a woman who has given birth should bench gomel in a
>minyan.  However, many poskim say "lo nohagim" and indeed it is not the
>custom here to do this...

In our community (Ramat Modiim), it seems to me that most women _do_
recite HaGaomel after giving birth, in a minyan.  When I lived in
Highland Park, the same was true.

What I've always wondered is if men recite HaGomel after crossing the
ocean (normally by plane), which seems to be the normal practice, why
don't women?

From: <BEN@...> (Ben Pashkoff)
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 93 07:52:07 -0500
Subject: Hagomel After Childbirth

IN MJ 6:45, Zvi Basser writes concerning women and bench gomeyl after 
giving birth:

" It seems today that no one says it -- but perhaps we should."
I do not know much about Toronto, but I have seen, and heard of several 
instances where women came the the beit knessset [shul] on Shabbat and 
benched gomeyl.

These were in both Ashkenazi and Sephardi places. In particualr, I
remember in a local Sephardi shul, the Rav called the father for an
aliya, made a mi sheberach, named the daughter, and hushed the entire
congregation in order that the birchat hagomeyl could be heard by all as
the mother made it.

My wife suggests that perhaps it has fallen into disuse in places with
no eruv [ symbolic wall around town, allowing one to carry on Shabbat -
Mod.] and the woman may not be able to get to a shul on Shabbat for
several weeks.

(:-)) Personally I think that the best way is to make Aliya (bench
gomeyl once for the plane trip), make a shechianu [] on being in Eretz
Israel, have another child here, and make a gomeyl on this kid. (:-))

From: <avi@...> (Avi Bloch)
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1993 16:46:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Hagomel After Childbirth

In Vol. 6 #45, Zvi Basser writes about women giving birth not bentshing
gomel. Zvi claims that "It seems today no one says it." This isn't true,
at least not in the circles I travel in. When I was in high school, my
rav invited the class over to his house in honor of the birth of his
grandson.  His daughter was there, and since we had a minyan, she
bentshed hagomel.  In my yishuv, most of the woman bentsh gomel after
giving birth, usually at Shabbos mincha, right after the Torah reading.
A lot of my friend's wives also bentsh gomel. So this halacha is far
from "ne'elam min ha'olam", i.e., disappeared from the earth.

Avi Bloch


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Thu,  18 Feb 93 20:55 +0200
Subject: Taka

In the last mail.jewish, someone asked about a la'az, probably meaning
cloth, written tet-aleph-kaf-he, possibly Arabic.

I was reminded of the French La'az, given by Rashi, meaning patch, or so
I thought.  I looked in Joseph C. Greenberg [z'l]'s _Foreign Words in
the Bible Commentary of Rashi_ revised edition, 5752.  On page 41, he
notes the la'az, on Shmot 21:25 for Habura as tet-aleph-kuf-aleph,
tache, meaning a spot.  In Vayikra 13:3 for baheret, he gives
tet-yod-yod-aleph, a spot.  In Jirmiyahu, 2:22, tet-aleph-yod-yod on
nichtam, spot.  And in Jirmiyahu, 13:23 for havarveret, he gives tet-
kuf-shin, spots.

I hope this is of some help.  French, not Arabic, Rashi in origin,
spot[s] and not cloth, it seems.  Does that fit?

__Bob Werman    <rwerman@...>    rwerman@vms.huji.ac.il


End of Volume 6 Issue 46