Volume 7 Number 28

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyos for Reform Jews
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
         [Gedaliah Friedenberg]
Closing of a kosher restaurant in Washington, DC
         [Barry Levinson]
Datelines and Shvuoth
         [Danny Skaist]
Gentile permitted to marry his daughter
         [Abi Ross]
Shaving on Chol HaMoed
         [Dr. Moshe Koppel]
Sitting for Prayer
         [Seth Magot]
Washington D.C.
         [Sam Gamoran]
Yom Yerushalayim
         [Howie Pielet]


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Thu, 6 May 93 04:17:23 -0400
Subject: Aliyos for Reform Jews

Joseph Greenberg asks if I would allow Reform Jews to receive aliyos.
Yes. The prevailing psak is that anyone who believes in God and knows
he is uttering a blessing unto him may receive an aliya.
        BTW, while I understand where those who take umbrage at the
comparison between murderers and homosexuals are coming from, I
respectfully submit that this distinction is not true in Torah, which
regards any of the Big 3 as equally reprehensible. Our Torah senses
have been dulled by Western permissiveness.


From: <friedenb@...> (Gedaliah Friedenberg)
Date: Wed, 5 May 93 12:43:22 EDT
Subject: Churches

I heard that one should spit when passing a Church.  The person who
told me this said that he heard this at his Yeshiva Day-School in

Is this true?  What is the reason?

[I suspect that it may be due to a mistranslation of the line in Alenu -
shehem mishtakhavim le'hevel v'rake - that they bow to emptiness and
nothingness. The Hebrew work for spit - reek, is similar to the word
used for nothingness - rake. This seems to have generated a custom to
spit when they said that statement, which could have extended to doing
so when they passed the Church as well. Mod.]

I would have asked this on SCJ, but I do not want to give non-Jews an
knee-jerk reaction to my question.

Gedaliah Friedenberg


From: Barry Levinson <70571.1330@...>
Date: 06 May 93 16:45:54 EDT
Subject: Closing of a kosher restaurant in Washington, DC

I was in Washington, DC, earlier this week, and was distressed to learn
(by calling the GWU Hillel) that the kosher Chinese place Hillel used to
host (Hunan Deli, or something like that) closed as of April 27.  I
presume that means permanently, as opposed to for the semester, since I
was there last year in the summer.  Too bad--it was good food, too.

I also visited the new Holocaust Museum while I was there.  It's pretty
well done, for the subject matter, but might have tried to relate the
events to the ongoing genocidal wars elsewhere.  The Holocaust was
unique (and will remain so, one prays), but all should learn some mighty
important lessons to apply in future.  It does not appear that the cafe
attached to the administrative wing is kosher.  This offends me.


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Sun, 9 May 93 08:00:31 -0400
Subject: Datelines and Shvuoth

To bring up an old topic with a new twist.

While looking through minhagim of s'fira, in "Sapher Haminhagim (Chabad)", I
came accross an interesting item in minhagai Shvuoth.
Based on;
1) There is no prescribed date for Shvuoth in the torah.
2) Every *individual* person has the obligation to count 49 days, and make
the 50th day shvuoth.
Therefore, anyone Crossing the International Dateline(s) would make shvuoth
on HIS 50th day, and not when the community does.

The case of shvuoth seems to be different then the other ones discussed,  We
accept that the Jewish community knows what the day and the date is.  Even
if we return to our point of origin we have still counted one day more or
less, then the community.  We know that it the 5th or 7th of sivan, but
there is no reason why shvuoth can't come out on the 5th or 7th.

any comments?



From: Abi Ross <ROSS@...>
Date: Sat, 8 May 93 18:12:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Gentile permitted to marry his daughter

Regarding Rechell Schwartz' question is a gentile allowed to marry his
daughter: This is discussed in Sanhedrin, 58,2. (Two opinions).  From
Rambam (hilchot mlachim, 9, 5 and lechem mishne, hilchot isurey biah 10)
it seems that he is "posek" (arbiter) it is allowed.  
Abi Ross


From: <koppel@...> (Dr. Moshe Koppel)
Date: Sun, 9 May 93 12:03:07 +0200
Subject: Shaving on Chol HaMoed

I'm catching up on mljewish after an all-expenses-paid vacation in
beautiful downtown El Aroub, so forgive the lag.

First, a curious item concerning the responsa (Orach Chaim 1:13) of the
Nodeh BeYehuda on shaving during Chol HaMoed. As is well-known he
permitted being shaved by an impoverished barber. The whole responsa is
a curious one since he is clearly bending over backwards to find a
'heter' but his motivation remains unclear. Interestingly, the Chasam
Sofer writes in a responsa (Orach Chaim 154) that the Nodeh BeYehuda
actually had a hidden agenda, namely, to ensure that people who shaved
with razors would do so daily. The motivation for this is the view,
attributed by the Chasam Sofer to the Nodah BeYehuda, that the Torah's
prohibition on shaving applies only to hairs of some minimal length not
achieved within one or two days of shaving. In fact, this view (based on
the Mishnah in Nidah 52b) is explicitly rejected by the Nodah BeYehuda
in a different responsa (Yoreh De'ah 1:80).  (For an interesting
discussion concerning the prohibition on shaving with a razor and its
consequences concerning electric shavers, see the article by Shabtai
Rapaport in the latest edition of Crossroads [the English version of

Several recent posts raised issues concerning what can be termed
'meta-halacha', namely, what precisely is the relationship between Torah
as given at Sinai and its subsequent manifestations as latter-day
halacha. In particular, someone raised the issue of the origins of
machlokes [multiple views]. These are very basic and difficult
questions, of course, which have spawned a rather large literature.
Significantly, this literature is largely on the 'maskilish' fringes
(Krochmal, Frankel, Weiss,etc.) of the classical Torah literature, while
the classical sources deal with such question much less than one would
expect. This reflects the fact that the unfolding of halacha is meant to
take place *un-self-consciously*, much in the same way that language
evolves through the un-self-conscious efforts of its speakers. (Can you
hear the egg shells cracking under my feet?) Nevertheless, the Mahretz
Chayes identifies three basic sources for meta-halacha within the
classical Torah literature. (Biographical note: Rav Zvi Hirsch Chayes
[5566-5615] was a highly-respected posek and the rav of Zolkiew,
Galicia. He was a close friend of Nachman Krochmal who also lived in
Zolkiew and who was among the first of the brilliant maskilim. Rav
Chayes' writings themselves are classics of meta-halacha which are
firmly within the 'frum' tradition.) These three sources are: 

1. The iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon, written in 4747 [=987], is a history
of the mesorah from Sinai until his day. (It is available in English and
Hebrew translations from the original Aramaic by N.D.  Rabinowich,
published by Moznaim.)

2.The introduction of the Rambam to his commentary on the Mishnah.
Covers all the basic questions. ABSOLUTELY MUST READING FOR EVERY JEW.
(A new translation into Hebrew from Arabic with lengthy dicussions by Y.
Shilat is available from Ma'aliyot Press [that's the hesder Yeshiva in
Ma'alei Adumim].)

3.Responsa 192 of the Chavos Yair.  This is the least well-known, of
course. The questioner asked how Tosafos in Eruvin 21b d.h. 'mipnei..'
could disagree with the statement of the Rambam that all halacha given
at Sinai is perfectly preserved and not subject to dispute or faulty
recollection. The Chavos Yair responds by forcefully supporting the view
ascribed to Tosafos and in the process brings 84 (!)  counter-examples
to the Rambam's statement. For a talmid chacham interested in these
questions there is surely no better project than to put out an annotated
version of this responsa along with a summary of the many attempts at
defending the Rambam's view.

Moshe Koppel


From: <MAGOT@...> (Seth Magot)
Date: Fri, 7 May 93 14:43:21 -0400
Subject: Sitting for Prayer

Is there an acceptable or unacceptable way to sit when saying
prayers, such as daily shacrit.  For example could a person sit
crossleged on a chair, or on a floor?  Can a person sit normally in a
chair with their shoes off? etc.

Seth Magot


From: <shg@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Fri, 7 May 93 17:14:31 -0400
Subject: Washington D.C.

Many thanks to the various people who wrote to offer hospitality for
Shabbat preceding Memorial Day.  It looks like we are all set up.

Here's some information about the Holocaust Museum that I found out
while setting up our trip:

There is no charge for admission but you do need a ticket (for crowd
control).  Tickets are free (I am told they give out some each morning
at the museum but with our limited tourist schedule I didn't consider
this a worthwhile way to spend time) or you can order them by phone from
the D.C. area Ticketmaster Phonecharge.  The service charge is $3.50 per
ticket.  The phone #s are 202-432-7328 or 703-573-7528.  I had a hard
time getting through on the 202 number and found the 703 number a bit
easier.  Expect to spend 5-10 minutes on hold waiting.

There were no tickets available for Sunday May 30th but we did get
tickets for Memorial Day May 31st 2:30PM.  If anyone would want to go
Isru Chag they did have tickets for Friday afternoon.

I'll try and post some impressions to mail-jewish when we get back.


From: <pielet@...> (Howie Pielet)
Date: Fri,  7 May 93 15:17:06 CST
Subject: Yom Yerushalayim

A little earlier this time: What is the halachic status of Yom
Yerushalayim?  What are appropriate observances?

As I understand: Yeshivat/Kibbutz Sha'alvim were on the border.  After
the war, they found documents that the Jordanian military across the
border had orders to kill them all.  As a result of this specific
deliverance, a Sha'alvim march to the Kotel is a highlight of Yom

Howie Pielet   Internet: <pielet@...>  (East Chicago, Indiana, USA)


End of Volume 7 Issue 28