Volume 6 Number 71

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Acceptability of Hashem as a witness -- Loshon Ha'Ra
         [Stiebel Jonathan]
Benching gomel for someone else
         [mike Gerver]
         [Rick Turkel]
Goats in Eretz Yisrael
         [Yehoshua Steinberg]
Heart Transplants
         [David Sherman]
Types of Employees
         [David Sherman]


From: <stiebel@...> (Stiebel Jonathan)
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 93 18:20:11 +0200
Subject: Acceptability of Hashem as a witness -- Loshon Ha'Ra

I see it more as a case of Loshon Ha'ra (evil speech) l'toelit (for a
purpose).  Regardless of how many people tell you or how reliable they
are one can't act upon it until the information is known first hand.
But, one must be careful -- based on the advice.

R. Leff points out (probably from the Rabambam Hilchot Nashim) that
women having more bina [ability to intuitively construct new from known]
than da'at [ability to apply and live what is logically known].  This
can cause a less straight-fact-based interpretation of a given event.
But, it is the straight-facts that the court wants.

Jonathan Stiebel


From: <GERVER@...> (mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 93 01:39 EST
Subject: Benching gomel for someone else

Barry Rodin, in v6n56, mentions saying gomel for his wife, and asks about
the propriety of changing the wording of the bracha to "shegamal l'ishti
kol tov." Several years my son put his hand through a glass door and
had to be rushed to the hospital for stitches. The next shabbat, at
the Bostoner Rebbe's shul, I asked him if I should bench gomel for my son,
and was told that I should not, since it was problematic benching gomel
for someone else, perhaps because of this very problem with changing the
wording of the bracha.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <rmt51@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 93 13:17:00 EST
Subject: Gelatin

The most recent KosherGram (the newsletter of the Layman's Association
of the Vaad Horabonim of Greater Detroit), Vol. XIV, No. 2, contains the
following report:

    "ELYON MARSHMALLOWS, certified O-U pareve, are the first reliably
    Kosher real marshmallows available in thirty years.  They contain
    KOLATIN brand Kosher gelatin, which is made from glatt Kosher beef
    hides and according to the Poskim is considered pareve....

    "Consumers should be aware that Kolatin is the _only_ gelatin
    produced from Kosher-slaughtered beef....  This should not be
    confused with the gelatin used in various yogurts, desserts and
    marshmallows bearing a K and listed as "Kosher gelatin," or even
    "Kosher beef gelatin," which is derived from non-Kosher animal
    sources (swine or non-Kosher-slaughtered beef) and is not

My question is this: if this new product is considered pareve even
though its original source is animal, then why does it matter how the
animal was slaughtered?  In other words, if it's far enough removed from
the animal source to no longer be fleishig (i.e., passed through a stage
during processing where it was yavesh k`ets [as dry as wood] or lo raui
l'achilat kelev [not fit for dog food] or whatever), what difference
does it make whether or not the animal was slaughtered according to
halacha, or, for that matter, whether the animal was a steer/cow or a

Thanks for any forthcoming answers.  Chag kasher v'sameach.

Rick Turkel         (___  ____  _  _  _  _  _     _  ___   _   _ _  ___
(<rmt51@...>)         )    |   |  \  )  |/ \     |    |   |   \_)    |
(<rmt51@...>)     /     |  _| __)/   | __)    | ___|_  |  _( \    |
      Rich or poor, it's good to have money.       |


From: <steinbrg@...> (Yehoshua Steinberg)
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 93 21:18:07 -0500
Subject: Goats in Eretz Yisrael

<babkoff@...> (babkoff avraham)
>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).

Both the Mishna and the Tosefta (hal. 4, BTW) use the phrase, _ein
megadlim_, "it is forbidden to _raise_" such animals. The Mishna then
clarifies that such it is permitted in "deserts." The Gemara quotes
a Beraita allowing it in _churshin_ (Rashi: forests) as well.

>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 Tosefta (again, hal. 4) mentions that the named sage did raise
a goat, but his peers considered this a sin (the commentators explain
that he could have removed to the nearby Judean desert), and he himself
admitted this on his deathbed.

>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",

With all due respect to Gulack, no such explanation is found in any 
of the traditional commentators. Rashi on B.K. gives the reason as:
"for the sake of settling Eretz Yisrael" as mentioned in an earlier
post. The Tur (C.M. 409) begins thus, "because _behemot dakot_ are
wont to graze in the fields of others and thus cause damage..."

>and even
>compared them to thieves (Tosefta Sanhedrin end of Chapter 5).

This is also found in the Tosefta in B.K. previously cited, but
again, has no apparent connection to the Roman IRS.

>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.

Again, there is no traditional source to support this (see Sh. Ar. 
C.M. 409).

>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.

Ellon seems to have read some of the traditional commentators.

As to my original question about modern responsa on this issue, R.
O. Yosef deals with the question in Yabia Omer on C.M. in 3:7 and 
4:6. In the former, he forbids the practice in general, and in the
latter he permits it in cases of sickness and for weak children.
Rabbi Zvi Pesach Frank ZT"L (Rav of Jerusalem), on the other hand,
permitted it (Har Zvi on C.M.).

Re: Warren's question about sacrificial lambs, etc. See Tosefta (op.
cit.), where raising these animals is permitted 30 days "before
the holiday." They also could have been raised in the deserts or
forests, as Nachum Issur implied.

Yehoshua Steinbrg


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 93 11:57:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Heart Transplants

> A final note is that Rabbis Tendler and Bleich are on opposite sides of
> this issue

I attended the AOJS (Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists)
convention at the Homowack last August.  One morning was spent on an
absolutely fascinating debate on this issue, with Rav Tendler on one
side (I forget who was representing the other point of view).  The AOJS
videotaped the session; anyone who is seriously interested in this topic
could probably get a copy of the tape from them.  I couldn't begin to
put forward the positions properly, so I won't try, except to note that
Rav Tendler was strongly putting the position that Rav Moshe Feinstein
zt"l, who was his father-in-law, had in fact issued a ruling permitted
organs to be removed from someone who has suffered "brain-stem" death.

The presentation was introduced by a doctor/professor who explained the
medial and biological background to the concept of brain-stem death, so
that we all understood what the discussion was about.

There are few halahic issues today that are really life-and-death
issues.  A psak on whether one may do X on Shabbos is halachically,
religiously and spiritually interesting, but of no great physical
consequence.  This issue is a real one: the prohibition against removing
organs that Rav Auerbach has expressed has a major and measurable impact
on the availability of organs for transplant.  (Israel is in danger of
being dropped from the European organ-bank because of its chronic "organ
deficit", cause in part by the low supply of organs from Israel due to
the halachic problem.)  It's a problem that causes genuine anguish on
both sides: if Rav Tendler is "right" and you don't use an organ you
could have used, you're preventing someone from living.  But if Rav
Auerbach is "right", you may be (halachically) killing the person from
whom the organ is taken.  There are no easy answers.

David Sherman


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 93 12:13:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Types of Employees

> From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
> That is the simple law as far as a "sachir yom" is concerned. "Sachir
> yom" is an employee who gets paid for doing what the owner tells him to
> do.  There are other (albeit similar in principal) laws, that deal with
> a "kablan".  A "kablan" is one who is hired for a specific task, and
> after that task is completed, all formal ties between the parties are
> severed.

This sounds very much like the distinction between "employee" and
"independent contractor" that we have in (Canadian) tax law.
Is there a discussion of these terms in the Gemara that someone
could point me to?

David Sherman


End of Volume 6 Issue 71