Volume 62 Number 51 
      Produced: Mon, 15 Jun 15 01:43:06 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Brisker Theory of Everything 
    [Joel Rich]
Non-Orthodox Ethics 
    [Joel Rich]
Nutrition among US Chareidi girls (2)
    [Yisrael Medad   Michael Poppers]
Question for parents on Parsha Pinchas bar/bat mitzva kids (2)
    [Martin Stern  Carl Singer]
Synagogues in the Second Temple Era 
    [Robert Schoenfeld]
Tazria / Metzora 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, May 28,2015 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Brisker Theory of Everything

1. The gemara (Ketuvot 5b) discusses whether causing a certain type of blood
flowing is considered a Sabbath violation. The first attempt to resolve the
question turns on whether "mifkad pakid or chaburei mechbar" (is the hymeneal
blood stored up or is it the result of a wound?). Rashi there (please look)
seems to define this as a physical question. Is this acceptable or must we say
Rashi was leaving out the "obvious" philosophical/halachic question (i.e. the
physical was known, it's a question of how to categorize it halachically)?

2. That gemara continues to try to resolve the question and is willing to
entertain the possibility that the halacha is like Rabbi Yehuda (vs. Rabbi
Shimon) in mekalkeil (destroying) and like Rabbi Shimon (vs. Rabbi Yehuda) in
davar sheino mitkavein (the result was not the one intended). If these two
issues were interconnected, could the gemara entertain this possibility?

3. If the answer to 2 is no, must we assume that when the Shulchan Aruch said
he would decide the psak based on majority of 2 of the big 3 (Rif, Rambam,
Rosh), did he really mean this as a primary tie breaker, or only when he did not
have a clear understanding of the underlying philosophy that resulted in their
final opinions.

4. Is it possible that R'YBS limited his "canon" to only a few major rishonim (in
contradistinction to R" A Lichtenstein) because the more data points included in
trying to determine the underlying theoretical construct, the more likely a
single errant point would skew the results?

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 12,2015 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Non-Orthodox Ethics

I recently read Peter Singer's "The Most Good You Can Do". There's a question
I've had that it raised with me again and I'm wondering if anyone can recommend
any piece that has dealt with it. Assume one is a hardline evolutionary
psychologist and believes that all our morals or ethics are based on an
evolutionary advantage they provided in spreading our gene pool. If that one is
self-aware of this as the source of ethics, why should one feel bound to these
ethical values and not simply just act in whatever way maximizes one's own
personal happiness as one experiences it?

Joel Rich


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 23,2015 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Nutrition among US Chareidi girls

On Irwin Weiss' comment (MJ 62#50) regarding Iran and coverup dressing fashion
as a possible causative, if one would find an article on, say, Bedouin or, for that
matter, other desert-dwelling females, that points to that MS problm, then there
would be strong case. Otherwise, just a guess, it would appear to me.

Yisrael Medad


From: Michael Poppers <the65pops@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 23,2015 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Nutrition among US Chareidi girls

In MJ 62#50, Irwin Weiss commented:

> I am not a medical doctor, but would assume that sunshine helps with vitamin D
> absorption only if the sun hits the skin. Thus, if a person wears long dresses
> so that the skin of the leg is not exposed, and garments which cover the arms
> all the way down to the wrists, then there is only a minimal exposure to the
> rays of the sun.
> ...
> Perhaps one of the physicians on mail jewish can comment.

Perhaps exposure of the face and hands is sufficient?

Online documents like

imply that it could be for a girl of Eastern European heritage dressed modestly,
living in one of the US areas where such girls might live, so long as she is
outdoors for a decent amount of time, but there are too many factors for a
general "it is..." or "it is not sufficient."


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 23,2015 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Question for parents on Parsha Pinchas bar/bat mitzva kids

Michael Rogovin wrote (MJ 62#50):

> I think that at age 12-13 it is perfectly appropriate for children to know
> about sex...

I am inclined to agree with Michael on this. Those of us learning daf hayomi
will have been learning in Yevamot and Ketubot about various sexual practices.
In our shiur, there are a few pre-bar mitzvah boys from chareidi homes and I
wonder what they can make of these matters in the absence of any previous
explanation of the basics.

Martin Stern

From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 27,2015 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Question for parents on Parsha Pinchas bar/bat mitzva kids

Michael Rogovin wrote (MJ 62#50):

> I think that at age 12-13 it is perfectly appropriate for children to know 
> about sex. One need not know every detail but that men and women can be 
> intimate and that the appropriate context is marriage and in private seems a 
> sensible approach. At this age few children even in more right wing circles 
> are so sheltered that they don't see what is happening around them no matter 
> what parents hope for. Trust me, second graders can get quite an education on 
> school buses. And not always accurate or in the right context. Sex can be 
> base or beautiful. Pretending it does not exist causes more harm than dealing 
> with ithonestly. Bar and bat mitzvah age children are neither naive nor
> fragile.

To me what is key is that it is the parents' responsibility (and prerogative) to
make that determination individually for each of their children.  What I think
or what Michael thinks is irrelevant. Certainly community standards and perhaps
other outside influences or "pressures" may impact the parent's decision(s) --
but that's something parents need to take into account.

Carl Singer


From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 23,2015 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Synagogues in the Second Temple Era

There were many.  They generally had an ell shaped arc with the scrolls 
stored in the dead end of the ell.  Typical is the one at Masada, but there 
are many other examples throughout Israel.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 26,2015 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Tazria / Metzora

Can anyone explain why the B'nei Eretz Yisrael wait until Behar/Bechukotai
before splitting the sedras (and thereby coming in line with the B'nei Chutz
La'aretz) rather than doing so at the earliest opportunity with the much
longer Tazria/Metzora?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 62 Issue 51