Volume 60 Number 10 
      Produced: Thu, 19 May 2011 12:12:26 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Another Tazria/Metzora query 
    [Shayna Kravetz]
Baking bread for refuah 
    [Bernard Raab]
Bris on Shabbos - Carrying Knife 
    [Carl Singer]
Halacha when threatened with rape (2)
    [Chana Luntz  David Tzohar]
Inquiry on correct philosophical approach to multiple reasons for cust 
    [Bernard Raab]
Pictures of women 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Rapes, misunderstandings, and bills in the U.S. Congress 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Selective justice? (4)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Orrin Tilevitz  Mickey Rosen  Irwin Weiss]


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Thu, May 19,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Another Tazria/Metzora query

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote (MJ 60#04):

> It struck me on Shabbat that the korbanot (sacrifices) brought by the zav
> and zavah (those suffering from pathological genital discharges) are
> identical to those brought by yoledet dalah (a poor woman after 
> childbirth): two doves or two pigeons. Can anyone suggest why wealthy
> zavim/zavot are not expected to bring a more substantial offering like a
> wealthy yoledet?

No one seems to have responded to this.

I suspect, although I have not seen commentaries to support it, that 
to suffer from a discharge is sufficiently embarrassing per se that 
no one needs their ego to be further lowered by bringing bigger 
sacrifices.  On the other hand, to be a yoledet, while dangerous, is 
also praiseworthy and joyous; to bring a larger sacrifice, if one can 
afford to, seems apt.

Kol tuv,
Shayna in Toronto


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, May 13,2011 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Baking bread for refuah

I received this message from my daughter:

There seems to be an ever-growing practice of asking people to bake bread so as
to take challah with a brachah for the refuah of a choleh.  There is even the
specific request for 40 people to sign up to bake for a specific sick person's

I asked the woman in town, who for a year has been organizing 40 bakers each
week for a woman's refuah, and she has no idea of the origin of this.

Can anyone help us here?

Thanks -- Bernie R.


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Bris on Shabbos - Carrying Knife

Gershon Dubin  <gershon.dubin@...> wrote (MJ 60#09):

> Carl Singer <carl.singer@...> wrote (MJ 60#08):

>> Gershon Dubin's comment is somewhat less than generous in characterizing
>> my words as speculation or opinion!
>> The gemorah specifically states what I said above.  The logic being that
>> Bris occurs before Shabbos in the Torah. The Shulchan Orach obviously
>> disagrees.

> Please provide the citation that the Gemara gives this logic in permitting
> carrying the knife on Shabbos.

It is Rabbi Eliezer's opinion, stated in Perek Rabbi Eliezer d'Mila (Shabbos
130a). However, the Rabanan disagree, and the halacha follows the majority.

*Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
Colonel, U.S. Army Retired
70 Howard Avenue
Passaic, NJ  07055-5328
see my website www.ProcessMakesPerfect.net



From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Thu, May 19,2011 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Halacha when threatened with rape

Sammy Finkelman writes (MJ 60#08):
> I think that according to Halacha, at least in theory, a woman - and
> also a man -  is supposed to resist to the point of death, at least if
> this is a full fledged arayos, like if a woman is married, although a
> person can resist to the limit and still be overcome and live.

This is completely wrong.  The fact that a (married) woman is not required
to resist to the point of death is close to explicit in the Torah:Devarim
22:26 - to the maiden (na'arah) do not do a thing, there is not to the girl
a sin worthy of death, because just as a man rises up against his neighbour
and kills him so is this matter.

It is generally understood that the na'arah here to be referring to a
na'arah m'urasa, ie an engaged maiden (equivalent to married halachically
with regard to relations with others).

Indeed, it is from here that we learn the din of rodef.  The Mishna in
Sanhedrin 73a states that these are those that we save even by killing the
rodef, one who runs after his fellow to kill him, or after a male [to rape
him] or after a na'arah m'urasa, but one who runs after an animal, or one
who violates the sabbath or to worship idols, we do not save by killing.

And lower down in the gemora it asks from where do we learn this, and quotes
Devarim 22:26 that I cited above as the proof text.

Now of course the question then arises, given that we know that there are
three types of averos that we are commanded to be killed rather than commit,
and one of them is gilui arayos [sexual immorality] how does this square
with the Torah ruling above.  And the answer given particularly by Tosphos
(see eg Yevamos 53b d"h "ain ones", and Ketubos 3b d"h "ulidrosh" and
Sanhedrin 74b d"h "vha") is that brought by Martin Stern (MJ 60#09), ie that
there is a distinction between being active and passive, that being passive is
just like being like the earth [karka olam], and it is the active that one must
avoid even if it involves being put to death.  And so the Rema brings in
Yoreh Deah siman 157 si'if 1 "and this is davka when they say to him to do
an act, like they say to a man to perform a sexual act or they will kill him
but if they force a woman by raping her", or the other cases he brings there
which do not involve an act "they do not need to be killed" (ie resist to
the point of death).

Kind Regards


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Thu, May 19,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Halacha when threatened with rape

It would seem from the pshat in the Torah (Naarah meurassa. Deut22:23) that
a married woman, indeed any case of gilui arayot, must resist or at least cry
for help. The Gemarra (San.74) however takes a more lenient view. In
interpereting the case of Esther, the gemarra says "Esther karka olam "
literally Esther was fallow ground. Meaning just as the ground is completely
passive and is plowed and planted, Esther was passive and not obligated to
resist. On the other hand a man cannot be forced into comitting a sexual sin
of arayot . He must resist and choose death if need be.

There also is a difference if the act is comitted in public (a minyan of 10
Jews) in which case martyrdom is required, or in private where it is not.
This is in the case like a rapist who is acting out of his own pleasure. But
if a Gentile forces a Jew to commit a sin specifically to go against the
Torah one must choose martyrdom (RAMBAM Yesodei Torah 5) According to Tos. and
RAN intercourse with a Gentile is not considered arayot ("their sperm is like
the sperm of horses) therefore it is ya'avor val yehareg (see Halacha Berura to

David Tzohar


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Inquiry on correct philosophical approach to multiple reasons for cust

Russell J Hendel wrote (MJ 60#08):

> a) What are we gaining by holding on to these literal interpretations? 
> b) Why are we so certain that "obvious" explanations even though not cited
> explicitly (such as the "love thy neighbor" explanation) cannot be correct
> unless found in some source?
> c) Why does a religion which has two strands of learning - citation and
> creativity - now emphasize only the citation strand? 
> d) Why are only Gedolim allowed (and then infrequently) to come up with creative
>  explanations? 
> e) What are our real goals? 
> f) Are we gaining of losing respect by citing a physiologically absurd aggadah
> (fetuses knowing whole Torah).

I believe Dr. Hendel has hit upon a very real problem in contemporary Torah learning. Many rabbis 
seem to believe that any idea that cannot be supported by multiple citations is not worthy of 
presentation. Some years ago, one of our most-respected "black hat" yeshivas was offering to send 
young teachers into the community to teach Torah to adults. This was apparently financed by a donor to 
the yeshiva since there would be no charge for the classes. Our Yeshiva University-trained rabbi was 
aware that a number of our retired members were looking for a daytime shiur, and so he arranged for 
the yeshiva to send us a teacher one morning a week. Our group was educated but generally not 
yeshiva-trained, at least not beyond elementary grades. The young rabbi who came was intelligent and 
well-spoken. After a few weeks, however, it became clear that his hashkofoh (philosophical approach) 
was going to be a major problem. He relied heavily on Midrashic interpretations. When one of these flew 
in the face of simple common sense, I challenged his interpretation, and asked him to support it in 
some logical way. His response was that Midrash was on the same level as Torah she-bichsav (written 
Torah) and it needed no further support. When my classmates and I reported this exchange to our 
rabbi, he was quite upset. For the Midrash in question, there was an alternative explanation that would 
be better fit to normal expectation. But more generally, he maintained that Midrash is intended to 
provide metaphorical or symbolic support for the text, and need not be regarded as literal reality. As I 
have learned more Midrash over the years, I am grateful for this insight, which enables me to avoid 
unnecessary uneasiness over much that is difficult to square with modern sensibility. Needless to say, 
our morning shiur did not survive much longer, Unfortunately, as Dr. Hendel so incisively points out, 
the emphasis on citation is a major impediment to new insights--chidushim--in learning. 
Nevertheless, there are some, very few, but some, rabbis (and non-rabbis) who do venture forth with 
new ideas. His suggestion of "Love Thy Neighbor" as an explanation for Shalom Zachar (or Nekavah) is a 
worthy addition to the pool of new ideas. If enough people think it worthy, perhaps it will stick. The 
upside to our newfound communication capability, is that anyone can propound a new idea and have it 
read by countless others all over the world. If your idea has "gadlus" it will survive even if you are not 
(yet) regarded as a Gadol! "The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas." (Alfred Whitney 

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Pictures of women

Richard Steinberger writes in MJ 60#08:

> One chareidi newspaper in the US cut out Hilary Clinton from a photo showing
> the presidential Ops room during the attack on Bin Laden.  The question has
> been raised: where does it say in Poskim that you cannot have a photo of a
> woman in a newspaper?

> Any opinions?

There are not any Poskim anybody knows and certainly not anything printed a long
time ago.

Here are two articles about this:

http://www.5tjt.com/local-news/10399-the-vanishing-secretary - which
seems an abridgement of: :


It doesn't seem to give the names of any of these poskim or even where
they came from, how old they are, and how long they've been saying this.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Rapes, misunderstandings, and bills in the U.S. Congress

Further to my posting in MJ 60#08:

What we are probably dealing with here is a case where neither the
proponents nor the opponents of a bill were being open, truthful and
honest. This type of thing may be a bigger problem than we think.

What the proponents probably had in mind was something like the case
of a 15 year old girl who had been impregnated by a 20 or 23 year old. State law
would call that rape. And they didn't want abortions for those rapes to be paid
for by public funds or anything that could be considered  Medicaid etc to pay
for because it wasn't rape-rape.  Similarly, they limited incest abortions to a
case where the woman was under 18 and they focused on danger to the *physical*
health of the woman.

The opponents of the bill were maybe counting on the proponents to not
want to be explicit as to what they wanted to do (which proved correct) so they
started making wildly misleading claims about the bill. They started saying that
the bill was redefining rape (which it couldn't do - it wasn't that kind of a
bill) or maybe that maybe the bill sponsors had a limited definition of rape and
didn't believe a drugged woman or one held at gunpoint should be considered to
have been raped, and started asking the sponsors (mis)leading questions about
what the word forcible was intended to exclude, when they probably knew full
well more or less what the word forcible was intended to exclude. And they
started saying that maybe the bill's sponsers had no problem with incest.

Meanwhile Jeanette Friedman got caught up in this propaganda game, only learning
about the whole thing after the bill's opponents had forced the withdrawal of
the language.

Now it turns out the opponents continued claiming that it was still in
the bill. My guess is that the official text hadn't been amended yet.
They pretended this was a problem. When actually it would have been a
problem to remove it before they marked up the bill. They pretended
they believed the proponents were being dishonest and were going to
keep it in the bill.


It was apparently later really definitely stripped out.

But in early May the opponents were back with the claim that the
proponents (=Republicans) were trying stealithily to "redefine rape."


Of course nobody was redefining rape anyway. The only thing at stake right now
was money for Planned Parenthood (which is supposed to be charity but seems to
want to spend any money) and other abortion providers who might have to provide
the service for free.

The complaint is that the commmittee report states that HR 3 will "not
allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of
statutory rape" adding that "the bill itself doesn't say anything like
that, but if a court decides that legislators intended to exclude
statutory rape-related abortions from eligibility for Medicaid
funding, then that will be the effect."

Of course in making this argument the opponents reveal they know exactly what is
and what is not at stake

Here is an Interesting point: When the campaign for legalized abortion began
around 1962 one of the examples of a pregnancy where it was bad to outlaw
abortion was that of a child with birth defects. That has disappeared from the
list of abortions which they consider most justified in the United States of
America, which is now rape, incest or saving the life/health of the mother.

Apparently according to the May 3 article, the Republicans are
claiming that the Hyde Amendment always excluded statutory rape while
the opponents of the bill deny this. It seems to me this is a question
of fact - what was the practice all this time? was it one thing at
first and then did it change at any point? It does not seem to me that
honest people should be arguing over this. Also people should not be
repeating the propaganda points because that's what they are.


Apparently anti-abortion groups were accusing abortion providers of
possibly planning a vast explansion of the number of abortions paid for
with federal funds by counting as rape any women under 16 or whatever
the age of consent was in a particular state. The history has
apparently not been like that. Statutory rape had to be reported.
Maybe there was some kind of issue of whether or not there had to be a
police report. Whatever is going on behind the scenes nobody is being


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Selective justice?

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote (MJ 60#09):

> A comparison of the treatment by the US court of Dominique Strauss-Kahn with
> that of John Demaniuk in Germany is disturbing. The former was refused bail
> even though the chance of such a high profile person disappearing is
> minimal. The latter was released on bail pending appeal against a CONVICTION,
> which is unlikely to succeed, for being at the very least an accessory to
> the mass murder of thousands at Sobibor and whom many sympathisers might
> well wish to help escape.
> Is the fact that both Dominique Strauss-Kahn and John Demaniuk's victims
> appear to be Jewish at all relevant?

Actually, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is more like Roman Polansky than John
Demjanjuk (born Ivan Mykolaiovych Demianiuk) in that he appears to
have been on his way out of the country when he was caught and would
have European backers who would make sure that he would not be
extradited. In this particular case, it would appear that he would
jump bail and forfeit the money (which would be paid by the IMF and
not himself) rather than stand trial.

It is the likelihood of the attempt to flee as well as the probability
of the success of that attempt that is the prime matter for
consideration in setting or denying bail. For example, France made
sure that Roman Polansky escaped justice for more than 30 years and is
still ensuring that he avoids being arrested for the crime of which he
was convicted.

I do not think that the identity of the victims is relevant. However,
the Europeans would regard the fact that Strauss-Kahn's victim was a
"mere hotel maid" as justifying letting him go.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Selective justice?

Martin Stern points out (MJ 60:09) the disparate treatment of Dominique
Strauss-Kahn in the U.S. and John 
Demaniuk in Germany and asks whether the fact that both Dominique Strauss-Kahn
and John Demaniuk's 
victims appear to be Jewish at all relevant?

The comparison and the question are unfair. Post-war, German courts generally
sentenced Nazis, who 
clearly had murdered many Jews, to short prison sentences--five years or less.
That's what Demanjuk got 
As wrong as that was--and the victims' Jewishness may well have had something to
do with that--letting 
Demanjuk free until he begins his sentence is perfectly consistent with that.
And he presents a zero flight 
risk. By contrast, New York State regards the crimes of which Strauss-Kahn is
accused as very serious--a 
Class B felony, I believe--which is subject to a sentence of up to 25 years
under section 70 of the penal 
code. And--Martin is wrong on this point--Strauss-Kahn presents a substantial
flight risk: he has no 
reason to stay in the U.S., every reason to try to leave, and if he manages to
get out, given his political 
stature it is likely that the U.S. won't get him back. So the denial of bail is
entirely justified and I, for one, 
do not think for a minute that his Jewish had anything to do with it.

Orrin Tilevitz

From: Mickey Rosen <mrosenpsi@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Selective justice?

Martin Stern asks: "Is the fact that both Dominique Strauss-Kahn and 
John Demaniuk's victims appear to be Jewish at all relevant?"

I think that this is a great example of looking for anti-Semites under the tree.
These are two cases. The 
first is a French alleged rapist who is a real flight risk to France where it is
considered OK for men of power 
to engage in this sort of activity. In fact the French Press is outraged at the
treatment this distinguished 
Frenchman is getting. The second case is not under the jurisdiction of a US
court so the laws are different.

We should not imagine that because a Jew is involved, "they" are out to get us.
"He" may be out to get 

Mickey Rosen
Michael Rosen Associates, LLC
213 949 2208

From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2011 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Selective justice?

With regard to Martin Stern's post (MJ 60#09), in which he compares the "no
bail" status of Dominique Strauss-Kahn to the post conviction bail while appeal
pending status of Demaniuk:

The biggest difference is that the tribunals are in different places and operate
under different judicial systems.

I can't speak to the German court system. But in the US, a foreign national with
a passport and the means to flee is considered to be a "flight risk". It's not
that he can't be found. It's that he might not be able to be brought back for trial.

Roman Polanski is a wealthy guy who fled the US, albeit after a conviction (I
think), and he was out on bail. That was many years ago and he hasn't served any
time in the US Jails due to his escape. He fled to France (I think). This isn't
to say that the judge had Mr. Polanski in mind, but the Dominique Strauss-Kahn
was on a plane when arrested, after all.

So it isn't "selective" justice. It is different justice. Or, maybe not justice
at all, depending on your thoughts and opinions.

Irwin E. Weiss, Esq.
Baltimore, Maryland


End of Volume 60 Issue 10