Volume 61 Number 63 
      Produced: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:41:19 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

"disciplinary aliyot" 
    [David Ziants]
Ain Bishul Achar Bishul (4)
    [Jeremy Conway  Leah S. R. Gordon  Carl Singer  Josh Backon]
Chanukah Candle Conundrum 
    [Sholom Parnes]
Do not Show Them Favour  
    [Chana Luntz]
Mechitzah (2)
    [Joseph Kaplan  Michael Rogovin]


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: "disciplinary aliyot"

Approx. 25 years ago, when I was single and renting in different parts 
of Jerusalem a few years at a time with no real permanence in the 
neighbourhoods I lived, there was not a big incentive for me to pay any 
shul membership. This was especially as I did not always have a fixed 
shul and used to hop a lot, and there was a particular year I was away 
for Rosh HaShanna and Yom Kippur so there wasn't the RH/YK seat issue - 
at least where I lived.

In one of the shuls I often went to that year, I started becoming less 
anonymous, and the gabayim noticed I was there often and I wasn't a paid 
member. When I received g'lilla, an honour they usually give to guests, 
twice in the same week (and it was the same gabay who gave it to me so 
there was not a communication issue), I received his hint and paid them 
a membership!! (I was able no negotiate half price being a single.)

David Ziants
(now) Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Jeremy Conway <jeremy.conway@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Ain Bishul Achar Bishul


In response to Carl Singer's query in MJ Vol 61#62, bishul refers to cooking in
water, or, according to some, deep frying in oil.  Heating by any other method
is not bishul.

Yechiel Conway.

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Ain Bishul Achar Bishul

Carl Singer wrote:
> 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" ?

Not to be difficult, but why should it not count as heat?  True, in a
microwave oven, the water molecule motion is what causes the heat, but how
would that make it different from e.g. metal conduction or air convection
causing heating?


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Ain Bishul Achar Bishul

Yechiel Conway responded [see above --Mod.]:
> In response to Carl Singer's query in MJ Vol 61#62, bishul refers to cooking in
> water, or, according to some, deep frying in oil.  Heating by any other method
> is not bishul.

Even accepting this restrictive definition, this still begs the question:  if
something is prepared in a manner that one does NOT consider cooking, then what
are the issues re warming it on Shabbos.   It would seem that ain bishul ....
wouldn't apply.

From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Ain Bishul Achar Bishul

Carl Singer asked (MJ V61 #62)...[as quoted above by Leah --Mod.].

This was discussed in an article in Techumin (Volume 8, page 31).
It basically depends on a difference of opinion between the Mechaber
(ein bishul achar tzliya/afiya [there is no cooking after roasting/cooking
--MOD]) and the Rema (yesh bishul achar tzliya/afiya [there is ... --MOD]).

I used to think that cooking in a microwave was categorically different in
terms of end results [and there would be bishul achar bishul if first 
cooked in an oven and then in a microwave], but after accidentally incinerating 
a carrot in the microwave about a year ago (the carrot literally burst into
flames), I agree with the Pri Megadim in Mishbetzot Zahav OC 318:6. In other
words, the food originally cooked by the microwave **is** cooked and there may
not be bishul achar bishul if reheated in a microwave, though there probably
would be an issur d'rabbanan [Rabbinic prohibition --MOD]. Needless to say there
would be an issur d'oraita of cooking RAW food in a microwave on Shabbat as per
Rav Moshe Feinstein.

Last but not least: it occurred to me a few years ago that Richard 
Pashley's research (2003) on degassed water (which can also be obtained by
continuously boiling water for a few minutes):
where oil and water suddenly can mix may explain some interesting concepts not
only with regard to Ein Bishul Achar Bishul but also in Hilchot Basar v'Chalav
[the laws of meat and milk --MOD] in Yoreh Deah. If there are any chemists with
smicha on MJ, I think they should read the above paper and then re-read Yoreh
Deah from Siman 91 to Siman 94. You'll have an epiphany.

Josh Backon


From: Sholom Parnes <sholomjparnes@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Chanukah Candle Conundrum

Aside from the Halacha that has been quoted in the response, it would seem
logical that one must have sufficient oil or candle length.
Otherwise, why use oil or candles at all? Just strike the match and you
have fulfilled the obligation.


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 19,2012 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Do not Show Them Favour 

I wrote (MJ vol 61 number 51):
>> It is not at all clear what the Shulchan Aruch held regarding (c), 
>> because those who argue for (c) argue that the Shulchan Aruch (in the 
>> form of the Kesef Mishna) understands an entire nation which renounces 
>> idol worship as being in the category of gerei toshav, and that the 
>> halachic requirement for the kabala before beis din (which was 
>> discontinued with the Yovel) is only needed for the requirement to 
>> support such people, not for their status when taken on as a whole nation.

And Barak Greenfield replied (MJ61#61):
> Indeed there are those who hold that, but the Shulchan Aruch isn't
> one of them. In the Beis Yosef 249 he explicitly states that it applies
> to Yishmaelim. The Kesef Mishna which you refer to is his explanation
> of what he thinks the Rambam's position might be.

Rav Hertzog states explicitly in Tchuka L'Yisrael al pi HaTorah, "behold
there is to us these two pillars of Torah, the Ra'avid and our master the
Shulchan Aruch who agree to one opinion, that a non Jew who does not worship
idols even though he has not accepted before beis din of Jews, is not
prevented from dwelling in the land of Israel".

I agree that Rav Hertzog does not explain the basis on which he reconciles
the Kesef Mishna I quoted with the Beis Yosef you quote.  Perhaps he is
distinguishing between the giving of gifts, which is the subject of the Beis
Yosef;  and having a stake in the land, which is the main subject of the
Kesef Mishna.  However, that seems unlikely, since that Kesef Mishna also
refers to the giving of gifts, as well as living in the land.  More likely
(but this is again me speculating) he understands the Beis Yosef there as
explaining the Tur (which can readily read into the language), and that if
faced with a machlokus Ra'avid and Rambam (as he understands him) versus
Tur, the Shulchan Aruch will, based on his rules of poskening, rule like the
Rambam/Ra'avid combination.  It is not uncommon for the Shulchan Aruch to
state a view in the Beis Yosef, and then not follow it in the Shulchan Aruch
based on the majority major-poskim rule that he discusses in his
introduction to the Shulchan Aruch.

I agree that Rav Kook does not so much appear to understand the Kesef Mishna
as stating his own opinion, but rather as giving this as the opinion of the
Rambam.  I.e. Rav Kook appears more to rule in accordance with the Rambam (as
understood by the Kesef Mishna) and the Ra'avid.  Whether he understands the
Beis Yosef you quote as merely explaining the Tur, or whether he holds that
the opinion in the Beis Yosef is in fact in contradiction to the opinion
stated in the Kesef Mishna as being the opinion of the Rambam, and that an
opinion in the Beis Yosef on its own does not carry weight against that of
his understanding of the Rambam and the Ra'avid, is not clear.

I agree it is a complicated question - which I was, in my brief summary, not
discussing in full.  But as you can see, there are those who argue for (c),
such as Rav Hertzog, who do indeed understand the Shulchan Aruch himself as
having held like this Kesef Mishna, which was all I was reporting.

>> I don't know about you, but I can't think of any anonymous gifts I have 
>> given to anybody (let's talk about Jews for a moment) that would not 
>> fall within darchei shalom or being acquainted with the person.  
>> Remember we are not talking about gifts to tzedaka

> Tzedaka is mutar only because of darchei shalom, which means that
> it can't be anonymous,

Here we get into another matter of dispute - what is the nature of darchei
shalom.  You are assuming here a narrow view, which is that darchei shalom
is all about gaining a direct benefit for a Jew.  If, however, you follow the
wider view of Rav Unterman (Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel 1964 -1972) (See
Shevet Meyehuda Chelek Gimel siman 70) that darchei shalom is a key mussar
[ethical] teaching of the Torah, and like the Rambam Hilchos Melachim perek
10 halacha 12, that the proof texts on which the rabbis relied are "the good
of Hashem is to all, and he has mercy on all his works" [Tehilim 145:9] and
"that all its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths of peace"
[Tehillim 3:17], i.e. the fundamental motivation driving darchei shalom is
about imitating HaShem, being like him and following in his ways, and just
as HaShem gives tzedaka, so we too should give tzedaka - this whole question
disappears.  Note this also answers Frank Silbermann's question (in MJ vol
61 number 51).  If you follow the wider view, there is a distinction
between tzedaka (which is what HaShem does and hence we should do, based on
requirements of darchei shalom) and mere gift giving (which is capricious,
and HaShem does not do), and just as Hashem gives tzedaka to all, so too
should we.

But even if you hold the narrow view (which again R' Neustadt assumed,
without acknowledging that there are other views), i.e. that darchei shalom
means that somehow the Jew or Jews need to get back some benefit when giving
tzedaka - the question then becomes - anonymous to whom?  Once the giver is
not anonymous to the tzedaka collector, then that would seem to be all that
is needed.

> or at least it can't be obvious that a Jew is giving the gift.

I assume you mean that it needs to be obvious that a Jew is giving the gift.

> There is a teshuva in Igros Moshe which I can't locate right now
> that permits giving to organizations that benefit our society. So
> I suppose an anonymous charitable donation to another country
> could be a problem.

Again, even with this very narrow view, I can't see how this is the case if
the charity collector knows about the donor, even if the recipient doesn't.
So it would seem, even based on the narrow view, you need a situation where
the person is totally anonymous, and not known to be Jewish, both to the
collector and the recipient. 

> In any case, we're analyzing the halacha itself, not how commonly
> the issur arises. 

Fine, in which case, if it is merely a theoretical halachic discussion, it
would be better to bring the widest possible list of sources, including
those who hold to broader understandings of darchei shalom.  It would also
be fairer to point out that this particular aspect of the issur is mostly

> Rav Neustadt's observation of general laxity with regard to this halacha
> referred specifically to the "chen" (no praise) aspect, not the free gifts
> aspect, which is where you're having trouble finding practical examples.
> Laxity in the praise area is clearly quite commonplace.

I confess that was not how I read his piece - but OK, let's assume that Rav
Neustadt's practical issue with this is the praise aspect.

> And in any case, what is your point? The Rambam clearly wouldn't have
> considered Aristotle to have the status of a ger toshav,


> i.e. being part of a nation that had rejected paganism, the way
> the Kesef Mishnah explains the Yad.


> So what are you implying? That the Rambam didn't hold from
> the issur of lo sechoneim?

That the Rambam didn't hold by Rav Neustadt's understanding of lo sechoneim
when it came to praise.  Couldn't because of the way he praised
Aristotle.  Because, as we all agree, Aristotle could not be considered by
any stretch of the imagination a ger toshav.  So, either the Rambam is over
on lo sechoneim, or he didn't understand it like Rav Neustadt.  I would go
for the latter.  

>> I included the term "Torah only" in quotation marks, to show I am 
>> referring to the hashkafic [philosophical] position that holds itself 
>> up as against the "Torah im derech eretz" or "Torah u'madda" hashkafic 
>> position and therefore likes to call itself "Torah only".  Rabbi 
>> Neustadt is clearly operating out of a particular hashkafic position...

> I can't tell whether you are arguing for the appropriateness
> of interjecting one's hashkafa in psak or whether you think
> Rav Neustadt is doing so inappropriately.

Neither.  I was trying to give a label to a particular derech [literally
"way", but I would more naturally translate that as philosophical framework],
and I did not think I was doing so inappropriately.  Let me give a Talmudic
example.  When people identify Rabbi Eliezer as "shamuti hu" - i.e. a follower
or from the derech of Beis Shammai - is this inappropriate?  That was all I
was trying to do - pointing out that the halacha he was espousing fell
within a certain derech.  Usually derachim, in today's world, are not
identified by a given name or house, as it was in the times of the Talmud,
but by a title or concept.  The one that the people who rule like Rav
Neustadt tend to use, as best I can tell, is Torah Only.   I am happy to
drop the label if it is not helpful - I thought it was, because there are
distinct philosophical and halachic approaches today, as there were in the
days of Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai.  My fundamental objection to Rav
Neudstadt's piece was, that unlike Beis Hillel, but like Beis Shammai, he
does not also teach, or teach first, the opinions he does not agree with.
Not that he does not have a valid derech on his own (we have no bas kol
[heavenly voices] today).

> Either way, I think that reasonable people can discuss a particular
> halachic issue without resorting to ad hominem attacks.
> "He's chareidi/a 'daas-torah-nik' so perforce he's anti-heter mechira
> so that's why he's machmir on lo sechaneim" is unworthy, not to mention
> logically very far-fetched. 

And that was not what I was saying.  What I was saying was that if he holds
this particular view of lo sechaneim when it comes to Eretz Yisrael, then he
is anti-heter mechira - it flows directly from the ruling.  

> Besides, what do Torah im derech eretz and torah umada have to do
> with lo sechoneim? 

The concept of Torah im derech eretz and Torah u'mada is about taking and
integrating the best of the non-Jewish world into our Jewish lives - taking
the beauty of Yafet (the non-Jewish world) and having it dwell in the tents
of Shem (the Jewish world), as Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsh puts it.  That
involves, of necessity, praise of Yafet - i.e. the essence of the idea is that
the non-Jewish world has beauty that is worthy of praise, and not only
should we praise it, we should incorporate it into our lives.  

If you want a sublime expression of precisely this attitude it is here at -
http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/745805 where you can find a
translation of Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsh's speech Delivered at the
Celebration of the Israelitischen Religionsgesellschaft's School in
Frankfurt am Main on November 9, 1859 on the Eve of the Schiller Festival in
praise of the non-Jewish Romantic poet, dramatist and historian Friedrich
von Schiller (1759-1805).  Look how he starts off:  "If the genius would
step into our midst, of whose legacy our young friends have just presented a
few sparse echoes to us, and, my friends, if we as Jews and Jewesses met
Schiller .."

Read this article - and then tell me with a straight face that Rav Neustadt
would not rule that this whole speech was completely forbidden (and the
whole concept of a Schiller festival in a religious institution noch) based
on lo sechaneim.

Does anything Rav Neustadt is objecting to as commonplace today come close
to this expression of praise for Schiller?

But what RSRH is doing here in this speech is the essence of torah im derech
eretz, as he understood it and defined it.

So again, as with the Rambam, either you need to say that RSRH is over on 
[violating --Mod.] the issur of lo sechaneim, or you need to say that lo 
sechaneim can be understood (and, if you regard RSRH as a Jew and Rav of good 
standing, RSRH understood) as something different to the way that Rav Neustadt 
understands him.

I really feel I am not stating anything very radical in stating that Rav
Neustadt does not appear to be a follower of the derech of RSRH as
demonstrated in this speech.

You can do a similar analysis of the writings of R' Norman Lamm, or for that
matter R' Yosef Ber Soloveitchik.  Pull out the places where they praise the
non-Jewish thinkers that most influenced them, and whose concepts and ideas
they then go on to incorporate into their weltanschauung.  These people have
no hesitation in acknowledging their debt to such thinkers.  How does this
differ from the praise to which R' Neustadt objects to and which you regard
as commonplace?

> It seems that you're just throwing out the names of hashkafos that
> could be viewed as more on the "left" to oppose Rav Neustadt's "right",
> but obviously these are completely unrelated to the discussion at hand.

I hope it is now a little easier to see how these hashkafos are not in fact
unrelated, but indeed fundamentally believe in incorporating a level of
praise of the non-Jewish world in a way that Rav Neustadt rules is forbidden
based on lo sechaneim.





From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 18,2012 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Mechitzah

One item that has not been mentioned in the discussion of moving from a balcony to 
a mechitzah on the main floor of the shul is the difficulty that some women, 
usually older but not always, have with climbing the stairs to the balcony.  I 
wonder what solutions exist that allow women who cannot climb the stirs to come to 
shul other than letting them daven without climbing stairs.

My shul has no balcony and, indeed, one can enter the shul and the sanctuary 
without climbing any stairs at all.  Its doors and aisles are also wide enough to 
make it wheelchair accessible.  I remember chatting after davening with a female 
guest who is confined to a wheelchair who was telling us how wonderful it was to 
be just a regular congregant who could enter the shul and sit and daven without 
the need for anyone to help her or make special arrangements.  Of course, had we 
only a balcony she would have had to stay home.  The same is true for many of the 
older women in the shul or those who are handicapped in some other way.   So Orrin 
(MJ 61 #62) is right in one way; I don't know what shul he was referring to and 
perhaps the women there are all rabid feminists who want to do away with mechitzah 
completely.  But there are many men and women who are strongly in favor of not 
having balconies and fight to have mechitzot on the main floor in order to meet 
what I hope most would agree are legitimate needs of women (including being able 
to see and hear the service they are trying to participate in).


From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 19,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Mechitzah

Steven Oppenheimer writes (in M-J V61#62):
>    ...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.
I can't respond to the intricacies of the halachot about this, but I
assume that the issue of kedusha would only apply in a synagogue that is
used only for davening. Many or most synagogues built today are constructed
with the tanai (condition) that they can be used for a variety of purposes
(speeches, social gatherings, concerts, etc.). This would, I think, render
the issue of varying uses of the Men's section vis-a-vis the women's
section moot, but perhaps others could clarify. In any case, I find it
difficult to comprehend how taking away space that might otherwise be
unused by men and turning it over to women is a reduction in holiness, if
in fact that is the case. What I see as more common is men taking over the
ezrat nashim, preventing women from using their space, even when there is
plenty of room on the men's side.

As to the reference to A Few Good Men, I strongly object to the suggestion
that I was influenced by the language in that movie. Usually I quote from
The Princess Bride or Monty Python. But they are all classics.

Orrin Tilevitz writes (in the same digest):
>    It is not clear to me how [Michael] can so conclude since neither,
>    AFAIK, knows which shuls I was referring to.
Unless motives are stated explicitly or are otherwise clear from other
statements made by the persons involved, I am always suspicious of
attributing motives, particularly such strong ones, to people asking for
halachically permissible changes. Judaism has tolerated many far-more-
significant changes to ritual, synagogue design and daily practices, than
the location of the ezrat nashim in the balcony or on the ground floor.
Sometimes there was a fight, sometimes not, but no one questions many of
these things now. If we are going to question women's motives, I can just
as easily question male objector's motives as being more misogynist than
pro-tradition/halacha. I would prefer not to do so and think that these
women (and the men that support them) deserve no less. In any case, even if
some of these women would prefer egalitarianism, the fact is that the
request itself is not an attack on the idea of mechitza at all, so my
comment still stands.

Michael Rogovin


End of Volume 61 Issue 63