Volume 66 Number 07 
      Produced: Tue, 25 Oct 22 16:43:24 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Eating at other people' homes 
    [Chana Luntz]
Federal judge places temporary stay on N Y gun ban 
    [Joseph Kaplan]
Rav Schwab (was Rav Schwab on the Role of Women) 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Rav Schwab on the Role of Women 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
What Should the Nature of Mail-Jewish be? (2)
    [Prof. L. Levine  The Moderating team]
Yash for kiddush (2)
    [Prof. L. Levine  David Ziants]


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 24,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Eating at other people' homes

Joel Rich  wrote (MJ 65#94):


> What is your pulpit rabbi's policy concerning eating at his parishioners'
> What halachic considerations should go into such a policy?

Fascinating that everybody immediately jumped to the question of kashrut. How
about some other halachic, or at least derech eretz, considerations - here are
some starters:

a.	Rambam Hilchot Deot perek 5 halacha 2:  When a Chacham eats the little that
is fitting for him, he should not eat except in his own house on his own table,
and he should not eat by an Am Ha'Aretz [ignoramus] and not on their tables that
are full of "vomit and excrement" [Yeshyahu 28:8], and he should not multiply
his meals in any place and he should not eat at meals where there is a large
gathering, and it is not fitting for him to eat except at a seudat mitzvah
[mitzvah meal] like an engagement or wedding feast, and this is when a Talmid
Chacham marries the daughter of a Talmid Chacham, and the early righteous and
pious ones did not eat from a meal that was not theirs.

b.	Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah hilchot mila (regarding a seudat mitzvah) siman 265
si'if 12: We are accustomed to make a meal on the day of the circumcision. Rema:
and we are accustomed to gather a minyan for a circumcision meal, and it is
called a seudat mitzvah [mitzvah meal] and anyone who does not eat at
circumcision meal is like he is an outcast to heaven ... And specifically when
there are found there decent people, but if there are found there people who are
not decent, he does not need to eat there .). Further we are accustomed to make
a meal and feast on the night of shabbat after the birth of a boy, that they
enter by the baby to taste there, and this is also a seudat mitzvah.

c.	Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim (laws of breaking bread, meals and grace after
meals) siman 170 si'if 5: One who enters into a house [as a guest], all that
which the master of the house will tell him he should do.

And if we are going to talk about hilchot kashrut, surely the place to start is
with the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch and work from there:

(i)     Rambam Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot perek 11 halacha 26: One who is a
guest by a homeowner in every place and every time that he brings for him wine
or meat or cheese or a piece of fish behold this is permitted and he does not
need to ask on it even if he does not know him but he knows that he is a Jew
only, but if he has a chazaka [legal presumption] that he is not kosher, and
does not investigate in these things, it is forbidden to be hosted by him, and
if he violates and is hosted by him he should not eat meat or drink wine
according to his words until an kosher person has testified on them.

(ii)    Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 119 si'if 1: One who is suspected of
eating things which are forbidden whether he is suspected on a Torah prohibition
or suspected on a rabbinic prohibition one does not rely on him, and if one is a
guest by him he should not eat from him of things on which he is suspected. 
Rema: There are those who say that it isn't just one who is suspected but even
one whom one does not know [she'ain macirin oto] that he is machzik b'kashrus
[has a legal presumption of kashrus] it is forbidden to BUY [emphasis mine] from
him wine or other things that there is in them a suspicion of prohibition but in
any event if he is a guest by him he may eat with him (Beit Yosef in the name of
the Rambam perek 11 of Machalot Assurot and perek 3 din 21).  And see the rest
of the siman there.




From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 24,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Federal judge places temporary stay on N Y gun ban

In the discussion about guns in shul, Stuart Pilichowski asked (MJ 65#06):

> Are you asking if it's a question of sakanat nefoshot (putting yourself in
> danger) by going to a synagogue that doesn't allow guns?

I would add that the question of sakanat nefoshot (putting yourself in danger)
cuts both ways. There's the danger of a terrorist breaking into a shul in which
skilled armed congregants might be able to help save lives. And there's the
danger of a terrorist breaking into a shul in which unskilled armed congregants
might add to the number of, God forbid, lives lost.



From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 24,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Rav Schwab (was Rav Schwab on the Role of Women)

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 66#06):

> In any case, if he (Rav Schwab) is referring to the Haredi-style of Judaism,

I have to take issue with his implying that Rav Shimon Schwab, ZT"L, was
Hareidi. Rav Schwab was a unique blend of the Torah Im Derech Eretz and the
Lithuanian Yeshiva approaches to Yahadus. Although he never finished the 9th
grade in the Hirsch school in Frankfurt, he acquired on his own extensive
secular knowledge. This is something that many Chareidim do not have. Indeed, I
have been told that many Chareidi boys' yeshivas in Israel offer little to no
secular studies.

I have written several articles about Rav Schwab, and, WADR, may I suggest he
read them. They are:

1 Memories of Harav Shimon Schwab

Letter to the Editor, The Hamodia, March 16, 2005, page 7


2 Rav Shimon Schwab, ZT"L: Recollections of His Years in Baltimore

The Hamodia Magazine, February 20, 2008, pages 12 - 17


3 The Life of Rav Shimon Schwab (Part I)


4 The Life of Rav Shimon Schwab (Part II)


5 The Life of Rav Shimon Schwab (Part III)


6 The Life of Rav Shimon Schwab (Fourth of Four Parts)


7 Rav Shimon Schwab: Values and View


Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 24,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Rav Schwab on the Role of Women

R. Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 66#06):

> Prof. Levine, after posting a quote from R Schwab about Jewish women (MJ 66#05)
> asks:
>> how many women today, even observant women, would agree with these statements.
> In my experience , having discussed this general topic with many MO women over
> the decades and from reading things they've written, my sense is that while
> most would agree with some parts, they would not agree with its overall thrust.
> And I know that I don't.

In response to my email on this topic (MJ 66#05) an Orthodox woman wrote to me:

"What a beautiful concept - weaving the family and generations together."

Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 24,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: What Should the Nature of Mail-Jewish be?

I would like to start a discussion about what this list should be and what
guidelines it should have for accepting submissions. As far as I know, this list
presently has two moderators - Martin Stern and Ari Trachtenberg. Based on how
some of my submissions to the list have been deemed unsuitable for the list, it
is clear to me that they have fixed opinions regarding what should and should
not appear on the list.

The usual reason given for rejecting some of my posts is that they are not in
Mail-Jewish format or that they do not lead to discussion. Quite frankly, I am
not really sure what Mail-Jewish format is. I also question the emphasis on
discussion. I feel that the list should also have an educational component.
Another issue that was raised with me is that the list should focus on halacha
and not on hashkafa.  My own personal feeling is that halacha is for poskim, and
hashkfa is a topic for discussion.

Perhaps it is also time to add more moderators to the list with views that
differ from Martin's and Ari's.

I do hope that the present moderators post this email and that participants will
share their opinions. In my opinion this would lead to a most valuable discussion.

Professor Yitzchok Levine

From: The Moderating team
Date: Tue, Oct 25,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: What Should the Nature of Mail-Jewish be?

In response to Prof. L. Levine's critique in this issue, we would like to
clarify that the "Mail Jewish format", in our eyes, refers to submissions that
are largely written by the contributor, possibly with terse references to
articles in the printed or online literature.

Clarity of exposition is one of our prime requirements, and we eschew long
alphanumeric sequences in URLs, or collections of citations with little
contributor involvement.

The aim of mail-jewish, in our eyes, is to stimulate active discussions among
the readership, and not just to serve as yet another clearinghouse for external

As always, we would welcome comments and feedback.


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 23,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Yash for kiddush

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#05):

> My thanks to Meir [Shinnar] for this explanation. However, I cannot see why it 
> would justify deliberately using schnapps rather than wine under present-day
> conditions where it is more expensive than grape juice, which would qualify as
> wine but was not readily available in earlier generations.

This was analysed by Rabbi Ari Enkin who wrote:


"Some suggest that the practice of reciting kiddush over a shot of alcohol
evolved due to the scarcity and expense of wine in certain parts of Europe.
Since the situation has changed, many authorities assert that we should revert
to the practice of making kiddush exclusively upon wine. Nevertheless, the
custom of using chamar medina for kiddush is a strong one, not likely to ever

Let me start by praising Rabbi Ari Enkin for producing another excellent Torah
article. Regardless of the Halachic technicalities relevant to this issue, I
would stop kiddush on liquor if I were able to, because I believe it is a bad
spiritual influence and also because some Jews have health problems that make
drinking liquor on an empty stomach almost suidicidal.

Professor Yitzchok Levine

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 24,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Yash for kiddush

Meir Shinnar (MJ 66#06) writes concerning the use of whisky (or whiskey) for
daytime kiddush on Shabbat and Yom Tov:

> Of course, people who don't have the custom are under no obligation to adopt
> it. However, the use of hamar medina (drink of the country) for kiddusha rabba
> and havdala is very old in Ashkenaz, and abolishing it quite problematic
> chadash assur min hatorah :)).

I don't think that the issue is using hamar medina and what halacha says (I
would need to look it up where it is mentioned in the classic halachic works -
but I am sure that this is one of the sugiot in Mesechet Pesachim) that this is
a bidi'avad (not the ideal) and wine (or grape juice) is very much the
preferable choice. Thus there is a debate on what is preferable for havdala
during the 9 days of mourning in the month of Av.

The big issue is if kiddush is being said on a goblet which does not contain
enough of the drink (86cc minimum), then according to my posek at the time when
I asked him, he said that I could not be yotzei (fulfil the obligation) even

Those who permit this, base themselves on a Ta"Z (Turai Zahav) who interprets
the minimum amount as the amount one is normal satiated by, which is a very
small amount with this type of alcoholic drink. The posek I asked, is a Gra'ist
(follower of the Gaon from Vilna), who very much rejects this minority view.

David Ziants


End of Volume 66 Issue 7