Volume 6 Number 84

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature (2)
         [Gerald Sacks, Lon Eisenberg]
Double head covering
         [Dmitry Khaikin]
Explaining Killing the First-Born (Children)
         [Howie Pielet]
Heart Transplants (2)
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff, Seth Ness]
Photographic Reconstruction of Hard-to-Read
         [Clifford Felder]
Ta'anis Bechorim [Fast of the First Born]
         [Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth]


From: Gerald Sacks <sacks@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 09:48:14 -0500
Subject: Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature

Someone recently asked my rav about disposal of literature published by
the Conservative movement containing the Shem [tetragrammaton].  He said
that it can be thrown out.  He cited a gemorah that says that a
letter-perfect Sefer Torah written by an apikores [unbeliever] should be
burned.  CYLOR, of course, but I would think that kal v'chomer
[extrapolating] the Shem as written by missionaries lacks any kedusha
[holiness] whatsoever, and may be destroyed.

From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 09:48:20 -0500
Subject: Disposal of "Messianic Jewish" literature

In response to Victor S. Miller:

I've heard (but have no good source) that if the 4-letter name appears
in literature of Reformed Jews, that literature can even be burned
(perhaps, since they are obligated to think of G-d as demanded by the
Torah, and don't)!  But if a non-Jew (I assume the "Messianic Jews" are
non-Jews) write it in their literature, it must be placed in a genizah.

Does anyone have any sources to confirm or refute this?


From: Dmitry Khaikin <dkhaikin@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 93 12:41:25 -0500
Subject: Double head covering

I have recently heard that somewhere in Shulchan Aruch it mentions the
laws of double head covering. Does anyone out there know where exactly
it mentions that?

Chag Sameach,


From: <pielet@...> (Howie Pielet)
Date: Thu,  1 Apr 93 09:39:23 CST
Subject: Explaining Killing the First-Born (Children)


I'm not sure that I ever thought through clearly that Makas Bchoros
(Killing the First-Born) included killing '_children_'.  We certainly
never emphasized that concept to our boys.  Consider identifying the
plague as 'killing of the first-born', and leave the word 'children' out
of it.

Howie Pielet   Internet: <pielet@...>  (East Chicago, Indiana, USA)


From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 93 14:59:00 +0200
Subject: Heart Transplants

In Vol.6 #74, Hayim Hendeles brought the opinions of: "...the two greatest
poskim of our time...[who] have both ruled quite emphaticly and vehemently
contrary to Rabbi Tendler's opinion".
It should be said that to the best of my knowledge, the chief Rabbinate of
Israel issued a "p'sak" - ruling either last year, or two years ago, where-
by it was stated, that for the purposes of HEART TRANSPLANTS brain death
was sufficient, although in each individual case a representative of the
Rabbinate MUST be involved in any decision.
On the other hand, concerning liver transplants, they stated, again to 
the best of my knowledge, that " the time was not yet ripe".
This ruling, I seem to recall, was based to a great extent on R. Moshe's
contention, that the reason the entire issue is questionable, is because
the doctors are also "killing" the recipient! (See Torah Sh'beal Peh, where
in one of the issues, R. J.D. Bleich discusses this). Today, they said,
since the success rates are so high amongst heart recipients, it can no
longer be seen as a questionable procedure, which is not the case,
unfortunately, concerning liver transplants in Israel.
In other words, brain death was considered sufficient!
Another authority who agreed to this, was former chief Rabbi, R. S.Goren,
who stated CLEARLY that brain stem death was sufficient to fulfill the
Talmudic requirement of cesession of breath. (I saw him on T.V. a few
years ago where he said this in front of the entire country).
"Chag Kasher V'Same'ach" - Happy And Kosher Pesach...
                       Nachum Issur Babkoff

From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 93 19:18:04 -0500
Subject: Heart Transplants

hayim hendeles writes

   > someone writes.... 
     >>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.

>I think it ought to be pointed out that Rabbi Tendler is the only
>person (at least according to what I have heard and read) who believes
>that Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l did in fact issue such a ruling. Other
>prominent Rabbanim believe that Reb Moshe zt"l never issued such a
>ruling, and bring proofs to this from some responses that Reb Moshe did

seth says...
    Rav moshe himself however seems to think that he did write this
responsum, which you can see for yourself in igrot moshe, yoreh deah, sect
3, number 132.

>Furthermore, the 2 greatest Poskim of our own generation (Rabbi
>Auerbach shlit"a, and Rabbi Eliashav shlit"a) have both ruled quite
>emphatically and vehemently contrary to Rabbi Tendler's opinion.

seth says...
   rav eliashiv yes, but as seen in the translation of rav auerbachs
teshuva i posted a couple of weeks ago, he is certainly no longer in the
camp of those emphatically and vehemently opposed to brain death, and in
fact in certain circumstances acknowledges brain death as halachic death.
Also, lets not unilateraly declare who the greatest poskim of our
generation are.

>Unfortunately, Rabbi Feinstein is no longer with us to clarify
>his opinion on this matter.

>There was an article on exactly this issue several months ago
>in the Jewish Observer, with Rabbi Tendler putting forth his
>positions, and a rebuttal to it from some other prominent Rabbis.

>Hayim Hendeles

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Clifford Felder <CFFELDER@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 10:51:28 +0200
Subject: Photographic Reconstruction of Hard-to-Read

	Photographic Reconstruction of Hard-to-Read
                Texts from Old Sifre Kodesh

Recently a friend contacted me about ways of making old books of
Jewish Law, particularly commentaries and Midrashim written long
ago, more accessible to a wider Jewish audience. These books are
quite rarely found and little known, because, with their old carved
type-faces, they are very hard to read. Therefore, few Torah
scholars ever bother with them, despite their potentially great
importance to a full understanding of Torah.

To remedy this situation, this friend would like to utilize modern-
day photographic, electronic and other techniques to fix up the
old, hard-to-read type faces, in order to make them much easier to
read, so more people will use them. However, his resources and
sources of information about this are quite limited. Therefore, I
suggested posting an entry to the Mail.Jewish list, hoping that
some of its readers might know where he might turn to get more
information about this subject. Anyone with information about this
subject that might be of use is invited to submit it, either to
this list or to me personally at <cffelder@...>
Todah Rabah.


From: <METH@...> (Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth)
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 93 08:43:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Ta'anis Bechorim [Fast of the First Born]

My "Mesorah" [tradition] is that Ta'anis Bechorim was accepted by the
first born as a Pidyon [redemption] or Kapparah [atonement], for many of
them in Egypt deserved to die as the Egyption first born did (indeed,
80% of the Jewish population had just dies during Makkos Choshech [the
plague of darkness].

As far a Siyyum is conerned, I believe it was instituted not because it
is prohibited to fast in Nissan (I don't think _all_ fasts are
prohibited, e.g. Ta'anis Chalom [fast on seeing a bad dream]), but to
make preparations for Pesach easier on the Bechorim.  This is a halachik
convenience similar to the Pruzbul, and the explanation for such
Rabbinic "leniencies" was ably described in a recent post.

I am a Bechor, and use the Siyyum mechanism.  However, there were two
years in my life where, for technical reasons, I was unable to make the
Siyyum, and did indeed fast on Erev Pesach (:-(

By the way, my son is also a Bechor.  The Mishnah Berura (sorry, don't
have the citation) holds that in such a case, since the father is
filling his _own_ obligation by attending the Siyyum, it is the _mother_
who must attend the Siyyum for her son [Note: It is a custom that, even
though a <13 boy is not obligated in Ta'anis Bechorim, that his father
attend the Siyyum to exonerate the child.].

My wife was never happy with that psak, and in fact I never heard of
such a custom in "der alter heim" [the old country] (we are chassidim).
Sure enough, I found a citation in the Ta'amei Haminhagim (sorry, no
reference again), which brings a (chassidishe) posek who does not hold
of this psak.

Yesh al mi lismoch.

A Freileche Pesach to all.


End of Volume 6 Issue 84