Volume 61 Number 62 
      Produced: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 15:33:58 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Ain Bishul Achar Bishul 
    [Carl Singer]
Chanukah Candle Conundrum (2)
    [Poppers, Michael  David Tzohar]
Limitations on sexual activities WRT BDSM 
    [Gadi Simcha]
Mechitzah (2)
    [Steven Oppenheimer  Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 17,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Ain Bishul Achar Bishul

A well known, if not universally clear, concept is that there is no cooking
after cooking -- thus a food item, once it is cooked, has a different status
than a raw food item.
Halachic cooking is often defined as using heat to make a food palatable.  Some 
thus assert that a microwave does not "cook" food by this halachic definition.

Now the question:  For those who so assert, what is the status of microwave-
prepared food re: "ain bishul achar bishul" ?

Carl Singer


From: Poppers, Michael <Michael.Poppers@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 17,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Chanukah Candle Conundrum

In M-J V61#61, Yisrael Medad asked:
> ... what is the Halacha if [one] had set up the candle with not enough oil
> or an inadequate wax candle, such that the minimum time elapse of 30 minutes
> would not be fulfilled?

Considering SA OC 672:2 and 675:2 [Code of Jewish Law, laws re Chanukah --MOD] (as
well as MA [Magen Avraham --MOD] 673:12 re the halachah of "kavsa, ein zaquq
lah" [once extinguished, he does not need it --MOD] noted by Yisrael), seems to
me (and need I add that we are merely discussing possibilities in learning --
for an actual p'saq, consult your local Orthodox rabbi) that deliberately
setting up the chanukiah with less than the amount of fuel sufficient to meet
the minimum time shiur [measure --MOD] is not considered hadlaqah [lighting
--MOD].  As such, one has not yet fulfilled the mitzvah and should relight at
least one neir [candle/flame --MOD] with sufficient fuel (and, if he has the 
means, all the neiros of that night); and I would guess that one does not make 
another b'rachah that night even if one improperly made a b'rachah upon a neir 
knowing it had insufficient fuel.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Chanukah Candle Conundrum

Yisrael Meidad asked if one put less than the shiur of oil in
the candle is one still yotzei from the mitzvah, or do we still say
hadlaka osa mitzvah vekavta ain zakuk la. The simple reading of
MB 672:2 (the phrase which begins "hilkach") is that there must be a shiur of oil 
in the candle before lighting (see also Biur Halacha there). In fact, if for any 
reason the channukia is set up in a way that it will not be lit for the shiur
zman of approximately half an hour after sunset (for instance, where the
wind will blow out the candles), you are not yotzei, and we do not say
hadlakah osah mitzvah.

David Tzohar


From: Gadi Simcha <lhavdil@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 17,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Limitations on sexual activities WRT BDSM

I'd like to know what issurim might govern BDSM (bondage, domination,
sadism, and masochism) practices.

For example:

- For a married Jewish couple who practice BDSM privately only - for
example, pain play (spanking, whipping) and bondage (one partner tying up
the other for sex).  For the sake of argument, they practice taharat
hamishpacha and are shomer negiah.

- For the same couple who meet monthly with other like-minded people to
discuss the "scene" - that is to say, public talk about the practices of
BDSM in an ordinary setting (usually a restaurant) with other practitioners.

- For the couple above to participate on online forums discussing BDSM.
 The prevalence of pornography on these sites is unavoidable.

- For the couple to read or watch BDSM pornography together.

- For either of the couple to post nude or near-nude photos of themselves
on an online site (similar to Facebook, but with a BDSM focus).  The site
is careful to restrict membership to adults.

- For the couple to additionally attend BDSM parties where there is public
nudity and public BDSM play.

- For the couple to play sexually (or to have sex with each other) at a
party where they can be observed by others (all consenting adults).

- For the couple to "open" their relationship to occasional other sex

I will answer any questions if clarification is needed.  Many thanks.



From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 17,2012 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Mechitzah

In MJ 61:61, Michael Rogovin wrote:

> Orrin may not like that idea, as he is free to like what he wants.
> But I strongly object to characterizing that as an "attack" on mechitza."

The above refers to the issue of moving the ezrat nashim into a portion of
the area that was previously used as the area for men to daven.  This may
or may not be viewed as an attack on the principle of mechitza.  However,
taking away a part of the heichal from the men's section to create a new
ezrat nashim or to expand an existing ezrat nashim is halachically no
simple matter.  The responsa literature varies from outright prohibition to
halachic maneuvering such as roping off the area for non-use for a period
of time and then selling the area in order to then make use of the area as
an ezrat nashim.

What is the kedusha status of the ezrat nashim?  While the Chayei Adam is
of the opinion that there is no special kedusha in the ezrat nashim, the
majority of poskim are of the opinion that the ezrat nashim does have
kedusha, albeit less than the men's section.  Hence the difficulty in
usurping part of the men's section for use as an ezrat nashim.

I don't have the time at present to present a more thorough halachic
review, but novel ideas, even if based on reasonable need, need to consider
the halachic ramifications.

(Michael's use of the term "strongly object" was amusing because it
reminded me of the movie "A Few Good Men" in which one of the lawyers says
"I object" and the judge says "overruled."  The lawyer persists and says, "I
strongly object" and the judge says "OVERRULED!!"  If you have seen the
movie,  you will see why it is so funny.)

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Mechitzah

Joseph Kaplan and Michael Rogovin object (MJ #61:61) to my characterizing certain 
women's rejection of synagogue balconies in favor of a minimal mechitza downstairs 
as an example of an "attack" on the notion of mechitza, saying that instead it 
represents an approbation of the notion of a halachically-acceptable mechitza in a 
way calculated (in Joseph's words) to "meet their needs".

It is not clear to me how they can so conclude since neither, AFAIK, knows which 
shuls I was referring to. In fact, in one of them my impression is that the women 
involved viewed the step as a half-measure, an acceptable compromise, when what 
they really wanted was egalitarian mixed seating. In any event, even assuming that 
the balcony is not halachically better than the presented alternative, the 
attitude that a synagogue's longstanding traditions--both of the synagogues to 
which I referred have existed for close to a century--should be broken to satisfy 
some newcomers' supposed "needs" raises the same concern Martin Stern has been 
raising in connection with his synagogue.


End of Volume 61 Issue 62