Volume 64 Number 23 
      Produced: Wed, 17 Apr 19 16:50:26 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Anonymous Donations 
    [Joel Rich]
Blessing on Seeing a Scholar. 
    [Immanuel Burton]
Measles vaccinations (2)
    [Irwin Weiss  Martin Stern]
Not wearing glasses in public (4)
    [LDHaber  Chaim Casper  Mark Steiner  Immanuel Burton]
Smoking Drugs 
    [Joel Rich]
The names of the korbanot 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 17,2019 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Anonymous Donations

>From a teshuvah of R' Aviner:

Anonymous Donation

Q: I want to donate books to my Shul in memory of a loved one. Am I obligated to
write in the book the name of the person for whom it is donated?

A: No. Hashem knows.

My reaction:

Interesting use of the word obligation - how would others on Mail Jewish
understand it?. 

Perhaps another question would be are you obligated to put your name in the
book? As I understand it, it may be that the synagogue has rights to switching
if you don't.


Joel Rich


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 15,2019 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Blessing on Seeing a Scholar.

Included in the section of miscellaneous blessings in a lot of Siddurim are
blessings on seeing a Torah scholar and on seeing a secular scholar. My father
asked me recently if I'd come across a blessing to be recited upon seeing a
Torah scholar who has forgotten his knowledge. I have a vague recollection of
having heard of such a blessing before, but I can't recall the phrasing, and
none of the 15 or so Siddurim that I looked in had this blessing.

Does such a blessing actually exist? If so, does anyone know what the text is?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 14,2019 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Measles vaccinations

A friend of mine is a non-Orthodox pediatrician.  Some of his patients are
Orthodox.  He administered the MMR (measles, etc) vaccinations to the children
of a person we will call Orthodox woman #1.  My friend, the doctor, signed
papers with the childrens' names and the mother's name, indicating that the
immunization was given in order for Orthodox woman #1 to present the document to
the day school her kids go to.  So far so good. My friend the doctor gets a fax
from the school.  They sent him a paper which had his name on it, but the names
of some children who were not his patients, with the name of Orthodox woman #2
on them, the mother of these other kids. Apparently, Orthodox woman #1 provided
the paper to Orthodox woman #2 who was able to alter the document to put her
kids' names on the document, even though her kids were not vaccinated.  This, so
that the children of Orthodox woman #2 could go to the school. My friend, the
doctor, was rather horrified and called me for legal advice (I am a lawyer). It
is hard for me to believe that Orthodox woman #1 would facilitate the fraud of
Orthodox woman #2, and be a party to jeopardizing the health of the community in
this fashion. (I am betting that Dr. Ben Katz, among others, will be outraged by

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz (MJ 64#22) notes that a number of the leaders of our
community have issued a statement regarding the need to keep exposed persons
away from the community.  That is fine, but it should likewise be noted that
Rabbi Moshe Hauer and Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, two Gedolim in our community have
said that not only is it permissible to get immunization for your children, it
is asur (forbidden) not to do so.

Irwin Weiss

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 14,2019 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Measles vaccinations

Sammy Finkelman wrote (MJ 64#22):

> ...
> They also find it difficult to accept that the vaccine is truly necessary,
> when they being asked to consent to it. They reason that, if agreeing is
> mandatory, why do they need to read warnings and then query what they are
> being asked to sign away. Other questions are:
> 1. Why is measles, which most children used to recover from unscathed, so much
> more important than other diseases?
> ...

I can understand this question, having had measles some 70 years ago before
vaccinations were available. As I remember it was not such a terrible ordeal
though I was, for some reason, kept in a darkened room until I recovered -
in fact chicken pox was much more unpleasant. Of course, some children must
have developed serious complications, or even died, but I cannot recall
measles being then generally considered as life-threatening like, for
example, polio which was also quite common in those days.

It is certainly correct to vaccinate against any potentially serious illness
to avoid even the slight risk of complications, and this is probably
halachically mandated. Those who refuse to do so are, at the very least, not
fulfilling their civic duty to help protect those who cannot be vaccinated
for genuine medical reasons.

However, I get the feeling that the current epidemic in which many, but by
no means all, who contract the disease are ultra Orthodox Jews, has aroused
a level of hysteria in the general public which is not inhibited from
scapegoating what, for them, is an alien community. I fear that this
perception might contribute to the resistance of the former who, in any

> just don't trust conventional secular wisdom very much

and probably feel, unjustifiably in this case, that they are being targeted
for no good reason.

Martin Stern


From: LDHaber <lahaber@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 14,2019 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Not wearing glasses in public

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 64#21):

> An acquaintance (I'm deliberately being vague) informed us that her son who is
> learning in Israel now removes his glasses when walking in public so as not to
> (chas v' challilah) see women who may not be dressed to his standards of 
> tsnius. Apparently, his friends do the same.

This is really a half measure, in my view. 

Rather than not wearing one's glasses, a shot of Lupron [an antiandrogen that
suppresses testosterone production, sometimes used to reduce sexual urges in
paedophiles - MOD] would prove much more effective in reducing one's interest in
those women not dressed in accordance with his standards of tsnius. Once the
Lupron takes hold, the ladies could prance around in the altogether without
giving a young man's yetzer hara a rise.

From: Chaim Casper <info@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 14,2019 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Not wearing glasses in public

In response to Carl A. Singer (MJ 64#21):

Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan (aka the Chofetz Chaim and the Mishneh Brurah) can be
seen walking with his head down so that he will not see anything improper (e.g.
non-zniut) on YouTube: 


Methinks the young lad and his peers are doing in a slightly different way what
others have done in other times and places.
Best wishes for a Hag Kasher v'Sameah, a most meaningful Pesah!
B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL

From: Mark Steiner <mark.steiner@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 14,2019 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Not wearing glasses in public

In response to Carl A. Singer (MJ 64#21):

According to the Gemara (Sota 22b), there are seven perushim (Pharisees).  Most
of them are hypocrites but not all.  One of the hypocritical paroshim (probably
the correct pronunciation) is the "parosh kizai", the bloodletting Pharisee,
meaning a man who closes his eyes so as not to look at women, bangs his head
against the wall (as my grandmother used to say in Yiddish), and the blood flows..

From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 15,2019 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Not wearing glasses in public

In response to Carl A. Singer (MJ 64#21):

Sounds like someone has been taking inspiration from the Chumrah Song (at about


or that they need Peril Sensitive Sunglasses (which turn completely black at the
first sign of danger, thereby preventing one from seeing anything that might
cause alarm):


Seriously, though, is there a problem with merely seeing what one considers to
be an immodestly dressed person, or only with looking at a person in that state?
(Seeing implies something accidental or inadvertent, whereas looking implies
maintaining the gaze intentionally.)

Immanuel Burton.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 17,2019 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Smoking Drugs

>From another teshuvah of R' Aviner:

Smoking Drugs

Q: I am a teacher. Should I tell my students that before I became a Baal
Teshuvah, I smoked drugs and now - Baruch Hashem - I am far from that place?

A: No, lest they say "We can smoke drugs now and then do teshuvah".

My reaction:

This is another classic type 1 / type 2 error case of when asked to make a
decision do we do it based on the good of the whole or of the individual? How
many people will say "We can smoke drugs now and then do teshuvah" versus how
many people who might have left will realize that there is hope for them


Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 16,2019 at 06:01 AM
Subject: The names of the korbanot

I have always felt that the conventional translations of the names of the
korbanot might be misleading.

The name "chatat" is usually translated as "sin offering" yet quite a few of the
cases where it is brought seem to have little to do with sin per se, for example
the "chatat hayoledet" brought by a woman who has given birth. Though attempts
to link it to some impropriety on her behalf, such as vowing during labour to
abstain from future marital relations because of the pains she was suffering at
the time, they do not seem to me to be very convincing and, on the contrary,
rather forced ex post facto rationalisations.

This is even more apparent with the "asham", usually translated as "guilt
offering", of which there are six varieties listed in in Eizehu mekoman (Mishnah
Zevachim, chapter 5) included in shacharit - "asham gezelot", "asham me'ilot",
"asham shifchah arufah", "asham nazir", "asham metzora" and "asham talui". Of
these, only the first three relate to sins that incur some definite guilt which
might require atonement, while the last is merely a "temporary cover" until it
can be clarified whether a transgression has actually been committed, in which
case a chatat has to be brought, or not and no atonement is needed at all. The
other two are part of a purification process, any linkage to wrongdoing being
purely homiletic.

I would like to hypothesise that the names of the korbanot are conventional and
refer to the process by which they are offered rather than to their apparent
etymological meanings.

Any comments?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 64 Issue 23