Volume 7 Number 5

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artificial Insemination (II)
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff]
Hagadas (2)
         [Michael Allen, David Kaufmann ]
Hallel and Sfirah
         [Mike Gerver]
Internet nodes
         [Moshe Raab]
Non-Jews at YomTov meals
         [Bruce Krulwich]
Pidieon HaBen
         [David Isaacs]
Taklit Sh"ut
         [Joseph Greenberg]


From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 11:48:18 +0200
Subject: Artificial Insemination (II)

I did some further research (a quick "look see" at home last night).

1. The "Minchat Yitzchak" I refered to is responsa #5 ("siman heh"), and
interestingly, has a personal endorsement from the late R. Yoel Teitlebaum,
the late Satmar Rebbi. As a matter of intrest, it seems that the response
was "ordered" or "tailored" (not in the substantive sense, CH"S) per
the Rebbi's request! Another interesting point is that at the end of the
response, he brings an example from a g'mara that relates to a case where
two lesbian woman got impregnated (one from the other), by transfering
semen from one to the other (semen was obtained from one's husband).
The result there, is that it's considered "z'nut" (lewdness?), and 
is grounds for divorce. (That relates back to several issues ago where
lesbianism was discussed).

2. R. Eliezer Waldenberg states UNEQUIVECALY that AI is forbidden, and
in fact renders the wife prohibited upon her husband, and causes her
to forfiet all financial marital rights. That is in response #51.
Response #93 (in the same volume), is the judgement where a woman, 
who was impregnated via AI, without her husbands consent or knowledge,
was forced to recieve a get (divorce bill?), and was not awarded
a THING by the court.

3. Another source who seems to be in agreement with Reb Moshe, is the
"Mishneh La'Melech", "Hilchot Ishut", chapter 15 sub sec. 4 (or 5- again
the memory fails). According to him, the Ben Sira story proves that
intercourse is necessary in order to render a child a mamzer.

4. An interesting point, is that the "Minchat Yitzchak" seems to create
a form of "constructive intercourse" in AI procedures! What I mean is 
that he says something to the affect, that: "how can you say it is not
forbidden intercourse, when in order to preform the procedure, the woman
must lie there splayed in front of the doctor...etc." Interesting
point, don't you think?

5. For all of us skeptics out there (myself included), who no doubt
at least raised an eyebrow when first hearing of the Ben Sira story
(which is more or less a strong basis for Reb Moshe's ruling), I
must say the following:

Even if the story is no more than a myth (and I myself tend to think
that it is no more than a myth, for both biological, as well as
historical reasons), the issue is MOOT! The G'mara, and later poskim
treated it as if it were real. That doesn't mean we must, what it DOES
mean, is that if the G'mara and Rishonim didn't ask the obvious: Well
if Ben Sira was the fruit of a father-daughter impregnation, then he 
must be a mamzer- Since that point was NEVER raised, wheter it happened
or not, tends to show an attitude in chazal, whereby coitus is a sine
qua non-necessary element- if one is to render an offspring illegitamate.

I hope that my skeptism doesn't cause anyone to jump down my throat
on this one.

All the best, Shabbat Shalom, and...

"A Froilichen Yom Ha'Atzma'ut"!

                         Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <allen@...> (Michael Allen)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 11:48:22 -0400
Subject: Hagadas

We used the ArtScroll Family Haggadah this year and were very happy with
it.  The text is large and easy to read.  We paid $2.00 (well, $1.95 :-)
each for them.  There is also a "family" (read "inexpensive enough to
have multiple copies for the seder") version of the ArtScroll Children's
Haggadah (about 4-5 $), which has very engaging art work and a
simplified translation.

From: David Kaufmann  <david@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 02:04:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Hagadas

In regard to Haggadahs with English and good art, a new one was recently
printed by Merkoz, the publishing branch of Chabad. The translation is
excellent and the pictures breathtaking. (Available from Merkoz, 770
Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, 11213). We carry several types of haggadahs at
the bookstore here, but the pictures in this one are better than the
Artscroll (which is quite good in its own right).

David Kaufmann INTERNET:	<david@...>


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1993 1:47:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hallel and Sfirah

Sara Svetitsky, in v6n98, asks what the significance is of the fact (if
it is a fact) that one says hallel more often during sfirah [the period
between Pesach and Shavuot] than during any other 49-day period in the
year, even though sfirah is supposed to be a period of partial mourning,
in memory of the students of R. Akiva who died in a plague. To the
extent that you are including hallel said by many people on Yom
HaAtzma'ut and Yom Yerushalayim, an interesting explanation was given to
me some years ago by Rabbi Don Brand, who was quoting someone else [I
forget who, I'm sorry to say]. He said that events such as Yom
HaAtzma'ut and Yom Yerushalayim, which occurred during sfirah, are rents
in the fabric of mourning, so to speak, days when (according to some
opinions) the usual laws of sfirah (not getting haircuts, not getting
married) do not apply. As such, they represent the beginning of ge'ulah
[redemption], and point toward a time, in the not too distant future,
when all of the laws of partial mourning during during sfirah are
nullified. Even if you are of the opinion that hallel should not be
said, and haircuts and weddings should not be had, on Yom HaAtzma'ut and
Yom Yerushalayim, it is certainly the case that the mourning aspects of
sfirah are not supposed to be permanent. In the future, sfirah will be a
joyous period, when it will be appropriate to say hallel many times.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Moshe Raab <72167.1444@...>
Date: 23 Apr 93 17:32:40 EDT
Subject: Internet nodes

Are there any Internet nodes or gateways in Israel for private individuals 
to have access to forums such as this and e-mail? In the US it is possible 
through some private BBSs.


From: <krulwich@...> (Bruce Krulwich)
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 11:58:06 CDT
Subject: Non-Jews at YomTov meals

After spending some time looking through some sources (Shulchan
Aruch/Mishna Berurah, Kitzur SA, Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa), I am
unable to find a source for the idea expressed in previous M.J. messages
that it is permitted to invite a non-Jewish guest to a YomTov meal if
you prepare all food in advance (i.e., treat it like a Shabbos).  The
Halacha sources I saw seem clear that it's assur [prohibited] to invite
a non-Jew to a YomTov meal.  The only heterim [leniencies] I saw were
regarding sending food to a non-Jew's house, feeding a non-Jewish
worker/employee/servant, and if a non-Jew shows up at your house

Can anyone give sources for the idea that it is permitted to invite a
non-Jew by cooking in advance?


Dov (Bruce) Krulwich


From: att!attmail!gbsmail!disaacs (David Isaacs)
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 15:20:12 -0400
Subject: Pidieon HaBen

This coming Sunday I will be preforming IY'H the Pidieon HaBen (redemption of
my first born son).  I have everythin I need; Silver, Cohen, and Nusach (text 
of the service).  Just one question.  Since their no longer a Bais Hamigdash
(temple) and Avodah (Temple service),  is this still a Biblical Mitsvah or is
it Rabbinic?

[It is told over that the Vilna Gaon used to redeem himself to every new
Cohen that he met, as he felt that no one was a 'vadai cohen' i.e. known
positively to be a cohen, so he was always in a state of safek - doubt
as to whether he had been properly redeemed. This would indicate that he
considered it a Biblical rather than Rabbinic Mitsvah. Mod.]


David Isaacs


From: <Joseph_Greenberg@...> (Joseph Greenberg)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 10:30:28 EDT
Subject: Taklit Sh"ut

Does anyone on mj have the CD rom of Sha'aylot and Teshuvot (reponsa)
that is published by the Bar-Ilan project? If so, can you provide some
details about the quality of the data, and the interface that has been
implemented? I was recently asked about it (in terms of a
recommendation), and the price has recently been reduced. Also, what is
the speed like?
   For that matter, I would be interested in hearing about any "Jewish"
CD rom that people have and/or use on a somewhat regular basis.
   Lastly, I was involved with an organization last year called Communal
Computing (which then changed it's name to the Society for Computing in
the Religious Environment or something like that). They used to publish
a newsletter that discussed computers and religion, for both individuals
and religious organizations (they had separate publications for Jewish
and Christian orgs). Sometime last year, this group ceased operations.
Also last year, I became aware of an electronic newsletter that
addressed these issues, but I can't seem to find anything more recent
than sometime in mid-1992. Is there any interest in continuing (or
starting) either of these types of review/discussion formats? I would be
interested in discussing this with any of our readers, particularly
since most (if not all) of our readers are already somewhat

   <Joseph_Greenberg@...>    - or


End of Volume 7 Issue 5