Volume 6 Number 65

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brain Death
         [Seth Ness]
Prohibition for Lesbians
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Questions re Converts
         [Yaakov Kayman]
Raising goats in Israel
         [babkoff avraham]
Refuah Shelama!
         [Yaakov Kayman]
Seth Magot's question about rules for extrapolating mitzvohs
         [Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth]
Shelo Asani Goy
         [Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth]


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1993 12:07:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Brain Death

joel goldberg writes...
> Seth Ness writes about the tshuva of R' S.Z. Auerbach forbidding heart
> transplants in Israel. Seth writes that he has been personally told that
> the problem lies in doing the tests on the brain, that these constitute
> moving the goses. I don't think that this is born out by the wording of
> the tshuva itself. The Tshuva starts off by saying "One who is very
> sick, on whom the doctors have already done all the tests, including the
> test of the blood flow and they are sure that the entire brain including
> the brain stem has already died, even so...[he is a goses and one can't
> move him or remove things from him.] In other words, the tshuva assumes
> that brain test have already been done.

Yes, this sentence does assume that the tests have been done, by someone
not shomer mitzvot. He's basically saying that he disagrees with rav
tendler that such a person is dead. He does explicitely state that a
shomer mitzvot person can turn off the respirator of such a person. If
there was no problem with the brain scans, then what would the difference
be between israel and the diaspora? Every step in the teshuva could be
done in both places.Also, its more about brain death then heart
transplants specifically.

> My own understanding of the problem is that hearts should be harvested
> from a living environment, good blood supply etc. and that turning off
> the respirator kills the heart, more or less. This also explains why the
> idea of restarting the machines after they have been turned off is
> relevant.

if the heart is restarted within 30 seconds and the respirator turned on
again there shouldn't be any problem medically with harvesting and using
the heart.

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 93 22:22:31 -0500 
Subject: Re: Prohibition for Lesbians

If I remember correctly the prohibition for lesbians is from the verse
"kemaaseh eretz mitzrayim lo taasu" (or something like that) and chazal
say that this verse is about two women being together. The prohibition
is not as strict as the one for male homosexuality i.e. for men the
punishment is death and for women it is only a "lav"
mechael kanovsky


From: Yaakov Kayman <YZKCU@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 02:27:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Questions re Converts

A reader has stated that Halakhah recognizes no kinship between a ger
and his/her non-Jewish parents (and this is true), and goes on to say
that neither does it recognize kinship between an unconverted non-Jew
and his/her parents (and this is only partly true, as maternal kinship
IS recognized), concluding that the ger (convert) has no more obligation
toward honoring his/her parents than would any non-Jew.

Now, considering that, to OUR great shame, the Gemara saw fit to include
(sorry folks, this is my first day out of the hospital after some pretty
scary surgery - for which I'll gladly say "HaGomel" whenever I can
manage to make it to a minyan - so, no sources, I'm afraid) the example
of the non-Jew Dama ben Nettina as THE DEFINITIVE EXAMPLE of how one
ought to respect one's FATHER (he forewent a huge sum of money offered
him for a jasper stone for the High Priest's breastplate, as the gem was
in a chest whose key was under the pillow upon which his father was then
sleeping -- not to worry, G-d doesn't overlook these things, and the red
heifer (para adumah) born to his herd later earned him even MORE money),

  one MIGHT want to conclude that such things aren't exactly black and
white, no?

Yaakov Kayman      (212) 903-3666       City University of New York
BITNET:   YZKCU@CUNYVM                  Internet: <YZKCU@...>


From: <babkoff@...> (babkoff avraham)
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 13:19:26 +0200
Subject: Re: Raising goats in Israel

In volume 6 #60, Warren Burstein qoutes:

>> Interesting sha'alah has come up. The Mishna (I believe B"K 79b) states
>> that one may not raise "behemot dakot" (basically, sheep and goats) in
>> Eretz Yisrael.

He then asks:

> I have always wondered where they got the animals for the Korban Pesach
> from (in the event that this ruling was made before the destruction of
> the Temple).  I would imagine that it would not be difficult to get
> the small number of sheep and goats required for communal sacrifices,
> but it would seem difficult to me to import sufficient sheep and goats
> for the entire population.

Before I elaborate, I suggest that you get ahold of: G. Ellon, "Toldot 
Ha'Yehudim B'Eretz Yisrael B'tkufat Ha'Mishna V'ha'Talmud", pp. 173-178.
He has a most comprehensive study of precisely that issue, and brings
opposing views to his own as well.

The first thing that we should pay attention to is that it is not exactly 
forbidden to raise goats (the prohibition was concerning "b'hema daka", to
be more accurate) in Israel. What was forbidden, was to allow them to GRAZE
in area's where wheat is grown. (Tosefta B"K, Ch.8 Hal.10; Bavli B"K,79b).

More so, in the period of R. Yehuda b. Bava (post "churban ha'bayit-pre 
Bar Kochva) the "CHASIDIM" - Rightous - kept their goats locked up at
home. In other words, there were goats to be found, but they had to be 
kept under lock and key (at least the chasidim were "makpid" - diligent -
as far as that "gzeira" - rabinic prohibition - was concerned). See 
Tosefta B"K, Ch.8 Hal.13.

The important thing, however, is the rational and the timing of this
seemingly strange "gzeira". According to Gulack, the "gzeira" was first
introduced in the period before the destruction of the Temple (II'nd),
and the rational was that the rebel factions, who by nature were
constantly on the move, resorted to goat and sheep herding, in order to 
exist in migratory and desert conditions. According to Gulack, similar
occurances in Egypt, resulted in a crackdown by the Romans on the entire
populace, and therefore chazal, who were concerned lest the tax burdens
accrued because of the rebel's actions and non payment of taxes take their
toll on the entire nation, forbade raising "b'hemot dakot", and even
compared them to thieves (Tosefta Sanhedrin end of Chapter 5).

Later on, after the destruction of the temple, and because of the 
economic straits the population was in, Chazal "softened" that edict,
and allowed goats to be raised in any area where there was no direct
concern about land depletion.

According to Ellon (not to be confused with Prof. Menachem Allon), the
"gzeira" was tentatively introduced a few years before the destruction
of the temple, although it was not actualy accepted by the population,
and after the destruction, some time before the Bar Kochva rebellion, 
became widely accepted, although never by the entire population. The
rational was, to specificly avoid soil depletion, and the justification
being that it would have been realatively cheap to import those types of
animals from Syria, and other boardering countries.

I hope that was of some assistance.

                               Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: Yaakov Kayman <YZKCU@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 02:00:17 EST
Subject: Refuah Shelama!

I was just in the hospital for 12 days. Zayin Adar IS a good day to go
in, after all!! :-)

Got home Thursday evening, in pain, but getting better. Who cares?!!!
After SIX HOURS of surgery in which 2 disks were removed from my neck,
and bone taken from my hip put in their place ("YEOW!!!" doesn't quite
describe the way my hip feels), I'm ALIVE and ABLE TO MOVE! AND the
surgery was successfull, according to the doctor!



From: <METH@...> (Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth)
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 93 22:09:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Seth Magot's question about rules for extrapolating mitzvohs

The general principles or gender applicability of mitzvohs are:

1.  Both genders are obligated in all prohibitive commandments (e.g.,
    murder, idolatry, immorality, kashrus, shaatnez).

2.  Women are exempt from all positive commandment which are time dependent
    (e.g. tefillin [daytime], lulav/succah [succos].

3.  Exceptions to 2 in which women ARE obligated include (a) those in which
    women played the key role (all positive mitzvos relating to Pesach
    [Korban Pesach, Matzah, Marror, etc.], Purim Mitzvos [albeit Rabbinical]),
    (b) Specific mitzvohs which women have accepted upon themselves (shofar).

Some positive commandments which are time dependent obligate women for special
reasons, e.g., women are obligated in Shabbos kiddush, since that mitzvah is
directly tied to the prohibitions of work on Shabbos (Zachor V'Shamor).


From: <METH@...> (Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth)
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 12:14:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Shelo Asani Goy

Elhanan Adler implies that R' Yaakov Emden has a text different from
what we are used to.  I just checked in my Siddur Beis Yaakov.  The main
text has shelo asani goi and shelo asani isha, then, in samller letters
"women say baruch sheasani kirtzono."

After the beracha of shelo asani goi, R' Yaakov says "it appears to me
that a woman should say selo asani goya [and] shelo asani shifchah,
however since this is not mentioned in the Gemara, it is better than she
should not mention Shem and Malchus [G-d's name and Kingship, i.e.
deleteHashem Elokeynu Melech Haolam].  Also [in the blessing of]
Sheasani kirtzono it is proper, in my eyes, that she should not bless
with Shem and Malchus."


End of Volume 6 Issue 65