Volume 7 Number 14

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

AI, Doctor's role:
         [Gavriel Newman]
Artificial Insemination
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff]
Pig Genes in Tomatoes.
         [Bob Werman]
Rav and Lubavitcher Rebbe
         [Josh Rapps]
Salute to Israel Day Parade
         [Isaac Balbin]
Scanning Hebrew
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
         [Yosef Bechhofer]


From: <GXNPS@...> (Gavriel Newman)
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 13:10:57 -0400
Subject: Re: AI, Doctor's role:

I know of no halachik basis for assuming that there is anything
comparable about dr's examinations and intercourse, simply based on the
assertion that: the position looks similar. It doesn't hold water.  Biah
(copulation) is very specific: it requires penetration by one sexual
organ of another, and one can accept no substitutes.

Nachum's ooriginal discussion of the Ben Sira and other Gemarra cases
makes the excellent point: it matters not whether you believe that this
or that is possible, or did or did not occur: the Rabbis envisioned our
test tube days, and presaged them by discussing 'bath tub babies' and
'wet sheet babies'. The conclusion was also quite clear: in order to
evoke classifications of mamzer, there had to have been intercourse
between the genetic donors.

AIH and AID are treated quiter differently in halacha, the major sources
still being Rav Moshe's (zt"l) teshuvot. Another interesting question
that arises midst all of this, that we have not yet discussed: what of
AIH during vesset (menstrual period)? Although this seems unlikely, it
is not at all unlikely that the person who ovulates early in her cycle
(during shiv'ah tehorim- seven clean days) cannot conceive after mikvah
visit, but can before. This is a difficult matter, for though no
classification of consequence pertains to the child, there is still no
halachik source that will OPENLY matir (permit) such, unreservedly (to
my humble knowledge, please correct if need be).
	Lastly, what of doctored AIH? Where manipulations are performed
with the husband's semen, not altering the DNA makeup, but providing the
'go' power?

Gavriel Newman, <GXNPS@...>


From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 93 10:18:17 +0200
Subject: Artificial Insemination

I would like to respond to both Seth Ness, and Ellen Krischer from MJ
Vol 7 #8.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my first two postings, although from the
sources and explanations, I can't see how I was misunderstood.

The issue I was discussing was AI from a non-spousal donor. I think the
material I brought was very clear about that. Why else would the issue
of "mamzeirut" (illegitamacy), and the requirement (or not) for
forbidden coitus be an issue, if the donor was the legal husband?

That is NOT to say that there are not grave hallachic concerns even
where the donor is the legal husband. One such concern has to do with
the question if the obligation of: "p'ru ur'vu" ("be fruitful and
multiply") is fulfilled by a husband who impregnates his wife via AI.
Some poskim say NO. The consequences of that, is that either side may
sue for divorce on the grounds of infertility, even where AI would be a
plausible solution! (Although I seem to recall, that if the wife agrees
to undergo the procedure, and the husband declines and sues for a
divorce, the woman is granted ALL her marital rights, and is NOT
considered to be a "mekach ta'ut"-wrongful purchase).

As for Ellens second question/remark on the "Minchat Yitzchak"'s
creation of a "constructive infidelity" (my term), that it assumes
(often incorrectly) that the procedure is preformed by a male doctor; I
too, found it strange, but on second thought considered, that it doesn't
matter if the procedure is preformed by male or female, because lying
splayed out, even in front of another woman, is considered improper and
in violation of "tsni'ut" (modesty), unless it is for "piku'ach nefesh"
(like child birth). Since AI is NOT "piku'ach nefesh" (life saving
measure), there is NO justification (in R. Weiss's opinion) for a woman
to expose herself in such a manner, and the lack of modesty alone would
possibly be grounds for divorce, possibly (according to his school) to
the point where the husband is COMPELLED to divorce his wife! This is
definitely the opinion of the Jerusalem Court I quoted last time,
althogh they of course refered to a non-spousal donor.

All the best, and Shabbat Shalom...

                              Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 93 06:13:59 -0400
Subject: Pig Genes in Tomatoes.

I am told that there is now a new variety of tomato in the States that
has been improved with the addition of genetic material from a pig [I
presume through a plasmid].  If anyone can supply details, this would
surely be an interesting Halachic problem.

I have spoken to Rav Levi-Yitchak Halpern about the problem and he too
has heard something about it and is willing to psak on it if he can get

Any help out there?

Remember that even if the chemical nature of the material is so pure as
to be independent of its source it may still contain the code for
essential pig qualities, the quiditas of pigness.

__Bob Werman


From: <jr@...> (Josh Rapps)
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 93 01:14:22 -0400
Subject: Rav and Lubavitcher Rebbe

I have heard that after World War 2 Lubavitch got a hold of several
manuscripts from Brisk including one or several from Reb Chayim, the Rav
ZT'L grandfather. Eventually the manuscripts were returned to the Rav,
who gratefully offered to reciprocate and be Makir Tovah if ever the
Rebbe would like. The Rav showing up at the 80th birthday Farbreng was
through the Rebbe shlita calling in the "marker", which the Rav was
happy to "pay up" on. Interesting, eh?

-josh rapps


From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 21:42:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Salute to Israel Day Parade

I have a sociological comment.

The boycott is quite understandable and natural. 

Given the fact that this is the first parade including Gays, Orthodox
Jews can be expected to fight such and every NEW manifestation of To-evo
(abomination) with all their might.

If Reform was born yesterday, and this was THEIR first parade, there
would have been a similar boycott.

I say:

Thank G-d there are Jews who shudder and shake whenever a new and
official public association with abomination lands on its desk.

Thank G-d that unity and tolerance is not misunderstood as meaning
acceptance of a public association with abomination.

Thank G-d that the desire to promote any Mitzvah, be it Zionism, or
Shabbos or whatever, is not important enough in its own right to
de-sensitise Jews to flagrant association with a group that has made
abomination its banner.


From: Meylekh Viswanath <viswanath@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 22:03:16 -0400
Subject: Scanning Hebrew

Recently Yosef Branse mentioned his difficulty "scanning" Hebrew texts,
as one might read a newspaper, article, etc.

Henry Abramson mentioned that for him, the difficulty factor was related
to the fact that Hebrew is written from right to left.  I have the same
problem as Yosef, with Hebrew.  In my case, though, it is the newness of
the alphabet, because I have similar difficulty with Tamil, Malayalam
and Armenian, all of which are written from left to right, like English,
and none of which I have had occasion to use sufficiently frequently .

I also have difficulty with Yiddish (although less so), which is right
to left, like Hebrew.

In other words, the main factor for me is newness of the alphabet, with
the degree of difficulty mitigated by experience with the alphabet.
Experience with the language itself is not important for me: Tamil is my
mother tongue, and I hear Yiddish all the time/speak it some of the



From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 93 00:53:26 -0400
Subject: War

        Sources that deal with the permissibility and mandates of
legitimate wars include the Ha'amek Davar of the Netziv, Bereishis 9:5,
the Gemara in Shavuos 35b, Tosafos D.h. DiKatla and the Maharsha there,
the Maharatz Chiyus there, and the Teshuvos Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim
208. In the newer editions of Rabbi yehuda Gershuni's Mishpat HaMelucha
there is an expanded discussion of Warfare beginning on page415. There
is also a very important Tzitz Eliezer as to why the Halacha of Pikuach
Nefesh is suspended in the battlefield, vol. 13, no. 100.


End of Volume 7 Issue 14