Volume 65 Number 59 
      Produced: Sun, 17 Jul 22 15:40:48 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

    [Stuart Wise]
Aveilut for non-Jewish parents 
    [Martin Stern]
Do Hasidic Rebbes have Semicha? 
    [Avraham Friedenberg]
Ectopic pregnancy and transplantation 
    [Alan Rubin]
Israelis Living Overseas 
    [Joel Rich]
Non-Coercion (was Coercion) 
    [Joseph Kaplan]
Odd way to argue (was Israelis Living Overseas) 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla (6)
    [Martin Stern  Yisrael Medad   Leah Gordon  Chana Luntz  Stuart Pilichowski  Stuart Wise]


From: Stuart Wise <stuart.wise@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 15,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Abortion

Leah Gordon wrote (MJ 65#57):

> Did you not hear of the 10-year-old rape victim who had to be
> rushed to a neighboring state because Ohio was so ridiculous in its laws?
> (Which, by the way, include an order to "transplant" ectopic pregnancies, 
> which is impossible to do.  Bozos who are the victims of "abstinence only sex
> education" are now trying to legislate women's health issues.) ... 

I don't know if she is up to date about that Ohio case or where she got her
information, but Ohio law would allow for the abortion so it is questionable why
they went to Indiana. Worse, however, are the circumstances under which all this
occurs. In the latest news today, apparently the rapist was living in the same
home as the girl and the mother, who was interviewed, would not press charges,
leading one to conjecture maybe he was the mother's boyfriend. The mother says
everything they say about the alleged rapist is a lie.

To everyone else on this subject: If you don't like states that won't let you
have an abortion, then there are plenty of places where you can have it done. I
guess I figured most of the people who posted here were observant Jews but,
based on some of the comments advocating or defending it, I get the impression
that it contains a far-left liberal group. I was always under impression that
Orthodox Jews value life but to read what these people write, who totally ignore
the baby growing inside the mother's womb, I guess I may have been wrong.

Stuart Wise


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Aveilut for non-Jewish parents

Subsequent to the recent death of her (non-Jewish) mother, Ivana Trump, VINnews
carried an interesting article by Rabbi Yair Hoffman discussing the halachic
situation of Ivanka Trump.


> ...
> Her daughter Ivanka had undergone a geirus a number of years ago.  Some may be
> asking the question as to whether she may or should halachically sit Shiva, or
> arrange for kaddish.
> The Tur, the Shulchan Aruch and the Ramah in Yore Deah Siman 374:5 rule that a
> ger does not sit shiva on a parent because the conversion renders the child as
> a child who was just born and the familial relationship in terms of the laws
> of mourning was severed.
> However, this is interpreted by many commentaries to mean that they are not
> obligated to mourn. ... If she wishes to do so, she may observe the laws of
> Shiiva and that of Shloshim. ...
> There is a Rashba on the Gemorah in Brachos 16a that Rabban Gamliel received
> tanchumim on the passing of his servant Tevi.  This is a proof to the
> aforementioned positions.

I am not sure whether this is a proof since Tevi was an eved kena'ani who
keeps mitzvot like a woman (i.e. is exempt from those positive ones which
have a fixed time). He was therefore considered to be, at least, a partial
convert rather than a full-fledged no-Jew.

> This author had heard it on good authority that the former Ivana Zelnikova may
> have been halachically Jewish and could be considered a safaik in this regard.
> If this is true, then she should definitely sit shiva out of a safaik.

Again, I am not sure whether this is correct. Aveilut is not de'oraita so
this would be a safeik derabbanan which one would rule lekula (leniently).
At most, she would be permitted to observe forms of aveilut rather than
'definitely sit shiva'.

> This author had posed a number of such questions in regard to geirim to HaGaon
> haRav Dovid Feinstein ztl who had responded that a Ger should make
> considerable effort to ensure that his father or mother not be cremated but
> rather buried in the ground.  He also ruled that arranging for the recitation
> of Kaddish or reciting it himself definitely benefits the soul of the
> deceased.

These latter rulings are not strictly contingent on aveilut. The first
follows from concern for the 'tzelem Elokim' in every human, not merely
Jews. The second is based on the general concept of 'chesed' which Chazal
rule we should do also for non-Jews. In theory Ivanka's connection to her
biological mother is irrelevant and they would be incumbent on all Jews
subject to practical limitations.

Martin Stern


From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Do Hasidic Rebbes have Semicha?

The question came up a few weeks ago at a Shabbat meal: do some, most, or even
all Hasidic Rebbes obtain a formal Semicha (for example, the Rebbes of Satmar,
Bobov, Belz, Ger, Vizhnitz, etc.)? Is there a requirement that someone in any of
these (or any of the many other) dynasties actually take a formal farher/bechina
before becoming a Rebbe?

Avraham (Alan) Friedenberg
Be'er Sheva, Israel


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 07:17 AM
Subject: Ectopic pregnancy and transplantation

I am a Histopathologist or what in the US is called a Surgical Pathologist.  I
examine biopsies and surgical resections for a living. A frequent specimen
coming through the lab is that of a fallopian tube that has been removed because
of the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. These are removed because ectopic
pregnancies present as surgical emergencies and the tube has to be removed to
save the woman's life.

We examine these specimens grossly and under the microscope. What we usually
have is a very dilated tube containing mostly blood clot with varying amounts of
placental tissue, ie chorionic villi. Sometimes we see an intact gestational sac
but again there will be a large amount of haemorrhage. In my experience of over
35 years it is extremely rare to see any remaining fetal tissue in these specimens.

It is truly mind boggling that law makers should take the fantasy of
transplanting ectopic pregnancies seriously and makes one doubt their competence
to serve in that capacity. By the time an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed the
fetus is usually dead or dying and the mother will die without urgent surgical

Alan Rubin


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Israelis Living Overseas

Yitzchok Levine wrote (MJ 65#58):

> I have always found it strange that those who have made Aliyah want others to do
> the same, yet are unconcerned about the large numbers of Israelis who leave
> Israel.
> Shouldn't this be at least as important concern as making Aliyah?

Sure, everyone has their own story. To me the question was: What will I answer
HKB"H when he asks,"Why didn't you try to come home? Was I unclear about the
centrality of eretz yisrael?"

I think about the R' J Sacks (as a university student) story of meeting the
Lubavitcher Rebbe  who asked him a question. When Rabbi Sacks began his response
with "in the situation I find myself in", the Rebbe interrupted him with "one
does not find oneself in a situation, one puts oneself in a situation"

Joel Rich


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Non-Coercion (was Coercion)

Ari Trachtrnberg wrote (MJ 65#68):

> In my view, [the way those refusing to be immunized were treated] was no
> different from the way that Blacks were treated in this country in the 50s,
> when racists made all sorts of specious fear-based arguments (like that Blacks
> spread different diseases) to deny Blacks housing and jobs.

I would note one major difference between the ways Blacks were treated and those
refusing to be immunized were/are treated. Blacks could do nothing about their
situation. They couldn't change their color. Those who refuse immunizations have
the power to change their status and get immunized, as did hundreds of millions
of people (perhaps billions) world-wide. Those who made that decision had the
right to do so but must live with the consequences. I don't feel at all sad for
those who made that decision.



From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 05:17 AM
Subject: Odd way to argue (was Israelis Living Overseas)

In defending himself from an attack by David Olivestone (MJ 65#56) that

> he seems to be doing his best to discourage aliyah

Yitzchok Levine writes (MJ 65#58):

> I have always found it strange that those who have made Aliyah want others to do
> the same, yet are unconcerned about the large numbers of Israelis who leave
> Israel.

That, on the face of it, would seem to be an odd way of arguing.

Levine shifts blame (from himself to "those who have made Aliyah"), raises a
side issue (Israelis leaving), asserting with no proof (others are unconcerned)
and paints it negatively (strange) instead of responding to the matter at hand:
discouraging Aliyah.

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 07:17 AM
Subject: Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla

David Ziants wrote (MJ 65#58):

> Today, during Shabbat morning tephilla, someone put a shul tallit on top of
> one of the big siddurim for the sheliach tzibur, which are kept in a prominent
> place in the shul.
> As a child and youth growing up in a suburb of London, England - as I was
> learning the basics of halacha, I was taught that to put an item on top of a
> siddur (except a chumash, or n"ach) is considered disrespectful to the siddur.
> So after the tephilla, after everyone had left the shul, I went back in to see
> about correcting this configuration. (We are talking about a relatively small
> Israeli neighbourhood shul where, of course depending on the situation, any
> member can "interfere".)
> So, the Rav of the shul was still there, and I pointed this out to him. He did
> not think that this was an issue and he challenged me to find a source that it
> was indeed an issue. When I said I found it uncomfortable seeing the tallit on
> top of the siddur, he gave me permission to move the tallit to the side of the
> siddur. BTW, we are talking about a siddur which uses explicitly the four 
> letter name of G-d rather than the two yuds of the siddurim of previous 
> generations. It seems though, that this is not relevant here.
> ...
> None of the sources distinguish between a siddur and other siphray kodesh. I
> also understood that a siddur needs to be given more respect than other 
> siphray kodesh because this is (at least in principle) from the anshay 
> k'nesset gedolaand predates the mishna and talmud.
> So, later on this Shabbat, when I returned for his shiur, I mentioned to the
> Rav what I had learnt - especially pointing out what is written in my source
> "e"  above. The Rav, says that this only applies to the way one is allowed to
> stack books of the Tanach, and does not apply to a tallit on top of a siddur
> (nor stack any other item on top of a siddur).
> So, was what I was taught as a kid, a misunderstanding on my part, an error
> due to the misunderstanding of my teachers, or maybe a stringency that is not
> documented, i.e. still part of "Torah Ba'al Peh" that is not written?
> Or, does anyone have a source for my understanding of the halachot regarding
> this (which I can show my shul Rav)?

While I do not recollect any ruling regarding putting a tallit on top of a
siddur, there is a problem with putting it on top of one's tefillin, which might
be a more helpful place to look, though tefillin are tashmishei kedushah
[inherently sanctified] whereas a siddur is only tashmishei mitzvah [something
only used for mitzvah purposes].

However I think that David may, more likely, have misunderstood a passing
comment from one of his teachers.

Martin Stern

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 08:17 AM
Subject: Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla

David Ziants (MJ 65#58) writes a long and detailed review of an issue (a tallit
on a siddur) based on his childhood memory of what he 'learned' in a suburb of
London, England.

Is it not possible that he, indeed, was under a mistaken impression all these years?

Yisrael Medad

From: Leah Gordon <leahgordonmobile@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla

In response to David Ziants (MJ 65#58):

I learned the same thing, and I have also been in positions where I saw fellow
Jews be disrespectful in terms of physical etiquette to sifrei kodesh.  I was
appalled once to see a visibly Orthodox Jew sit down on the edge of a table on
which there was a chumash.  I thought there were rules against both sitting on
tables and sitting on surfaces with sifrei kodesh.

I will let others cite the sources (I quibble only with David's mention of "men"
with greater libraries instead of "people"), but I was upset to read that
David's shul rabbi gave any pushback at all regarding moving the tallit.  I
would have thought that our reverence for texts is one of the few common threads
among all "types" of Jews.

--Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla

In response to David Ziants (MJ 65#58):

My kids in England were taught similarly.

The issue regarding the order of stacking books can be found in the Shulchan
Aruch in Yoreh Deah siman 282 si'if 19, but as your Rav says, this seems a first
glance to only deal with sifrei Torah, Chumashim and the other books of the Tanach:

"It is permitted to place a sefer Torah on a sefer Torah and to place chumashim
on neviim and ketuvim, but not to place neviim and ketuvim on chumashim, and not
chumashim on a sefer Torah. Rema: but ketuvim on neviim or the opposite is
permitted ... "

See by the way the argument between the Taz and the Magen Avraham there about
whether you can use one sefer to support another sefer to bring it up to the
right height for learning because of questions of bizayon [disgrace] of the sefer.

The Aruch HaShulchan in discussing this in Yoreh Deah siman 282 si'if 22 writes:

"A thing with light kedusha" cannot be placed on something with stringent
kedusha, and the reverse is permitted. And so if the kedusha is equal "it is
permitted to place one on another - if not so where would we find the place for
all of them? And therefore it is permitted to place a sefer Torah on a sefer
Torah, and so similar to this. And to place Chumashim on Neviim, that the
kedusha of Chumashim is greater than of Neviim. And it seems to me that this is
with Chumashim that are written on parchment for the sake of the kedusha of a
Sefer Torah, but are divided into five parts, and there is not in it the kedusha
of a complete sefer Torah for the matter of reading it in the congregation  but
when it is not written for the sake of the kedusha of the sefer Torah, and all
the more so when written on paper, and all the more so with printed Chumashim"
their kedusha is equal with neviim and all holy writings...

Now while this view that all forms of printed sefarim are equal in kedusha is
specifically the view of the Aruch HaShulchan and many others disagree, the idea
that whatever has a lesser kedusha cannot be placed on that with a greater
kedusha as articulated by the Aruch haShulchan here accords with the assumption
of just about all poskim in explaining the Shulchan Aruch referred to above and
discussing correct practice.  The question of where a siddur falls within the
hierarchy if you do not accept the Aruch HaShulchan's understanding that all
printed sefarim are equal is not 100% clear.  Matters discussed include the fact
that the Siddur contains numerous verses from the Torah, as well as often the
whole book of Tehillim.  But it should be reasonably clear that siddurim are
considered tashmeshei kedusha [used for kedusha] and not just tashmishei mitzvah
[used for a mitzvah] as they are generally buried on being worn out (a sign of
kedusha rather than mitzvah), In contrast to a tallit which is
characterised as tashimishe mitzvah [used for a mitzvah].

I suggest you point your Rav to the Kaf HaChaim Orech Chaim siman 25 letter
101.  which discusses the situation that -

"There are those who are accustomed when they take off the tephillin shel rosh
[the head tephillin] to place them on the siddur - holding that the kedusha of
tephillin is more stringent than the kedusha of the siddur ... "

And then proceeds to bring the views of those that hold this is forbidden
because the siddur has a greater kedusha than the tephillin and those that
hold that it is permitted because in fact the kedusha of the tephillin is
greater than that of the siddur.

What I think all parties would agree with, however, is that a tallit does not
have anything like the kedusha of tephillin, and hence even those that permit
the tephillin to be placed on a siddur would agree that a tallit may not be so

Kind regards


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla

In response to David Ziants (MJ 65#58):

I was taught pretty much the same "idea" in my yeshiva ktana in Brooklyn.

It's not strict halacha, but rather, in my mind, it's how the rebbe taught their
tattalach a hashkafa to Yiddishkeit.

It's similar to kids kissing their kippot when they pick them up off the floor.
Certainly not halacha, but rather a way of practicing a way of life and a
respect thereof.

Certainly not worth getting into an argument or spat over.
Stuart Pilichowski

Mevaseret Zion, Israel

Phone 972- 527-222-827

From: Stuart Wise <stuart.wise@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 17,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Tallit resting on top of a siddur tephilla

In response to David Ziants (MJ 65#58):

Given that it is one holy object atop another, I am not sure what the issue is.
 If you saw a box of tissues or a pair of glasses, I would just move it without
making an issue about it. But a talis with its tzitzis also has kedusha and
perhaps in this case one kedusha is not greater than the other.

Stuart Wise


End of Volume 65 Issue 59