Volume 7 Number 44

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

AI and Infertility
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff]
         [ Danny Wolf]
E-Version of Jerusalem Post
         [Zvi Lando]
Jewish Criminal Justice System
         [Rechell Schwartz]
Minhag for Pidyon HaBen
         [Steve Prensky]
Moshe Rabbeinu & Matan Torah
         [Steve Edell]
Shabbat song Anim Z'mirot
         [Barry Siegel]


From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 08:41:04 +0200
Subject: AI and Infertility

I would like to respond to Issac Balbin, Eliyahu Freilich and Zev

In MJ vol.7 #31, all three expressed an attitude, whereby the mental
health of the woman (or couple) could be of so much importance, as to
reach a level of "Pi'kuach nefesh" (life threatning situation) that
would tend to permit these procedures, and one even said (I think it
was Zev) that this may be an overriding consideration.

I humbly submit, that to R. Weiss (or Dayan Weiss), who viewed A.I.D.
as ARAYOT (forbidden sexual behavior) or at the very least quasi-
Arayot, this would not be an acceptable argument EVEN IF HE WAS CONVINCED

Need I remind you that although all commandments are suspended when
there is a life threatning situation, this DOES NOT apply to: Avodah
Zarah (idolatry), GILUY ARAYOT [sic.] and Shfichut Damim (blood-shed)?!

If R. Weiss felt that this was Giluy Arayot [sic.], then what difference
would it make if the woman was in danger? It is considered an activity
that renders her prohibited upon her husband (as an unfaithful wife)
why would R. Weiss be impressed with the "life threatning" situation
at hand? If she is in danger, she is obligated to lay her life down!
In R. Weiss's opinion, I submit, there is no difference between A.I.D.
and a town blackmailed to surrender their woman for mass rape! More
so. In a case of a town, the cause of trouble is from the outside.
Here one may argue, the womans condition is brought about by her
OWN feelings!

If a Rabbi wants to permit A.I.D. because it's "piku'ach nefesh", he
would FIRST have to reject R. Weiss's contentions ALTOGETHER (and
R. Waldenberg)! You can't rely on R. Weiss, and say that the 
difference is that NOW your'e dealing with "Piku'ach nefesh". In
my reading of R. Weiss and R. Waldenberg, it is evident to me, that
according to THEIR position, "Piku'ach nefesh" is IRRELEVANT!

Reject R. Weiss and R. Waldenberg, accept Reb Moshe's opinion of
principal (and the Mishneh La'melech) whereby it is NOT "Arayot"
because Arayot requires coitus, and then invoke "Piku'ach nefesh",
if your'e still wary about relying on Reb Moshe. (By the way,
in R. Waldenbergs responsa, he claims that Reb Moshe's permission
was a case by case permission, implying: A. "Piki'ach nefesh" is
probably an underlying consideration, according to Reb Moshe.
B. "Piku'ach nefesh" must be be proven as a MATTER OF FACT, and 

Again, I find myself in the strange position of having to clarify
an opinion, I'm not necessarily subscribing to. However, "derech
eretz" (curtesy) towards an important "posek" compells me to.

As a post script, I would like to refer to Eliyahu's remarks, where
he quoted the matriarch Rachel as saying that her barronness would
cause her to die. I wrote to Eliyahu personaly, but I feel that it's
important to point out here on the network, that his posting, IMHO,
was misleading. 

True Rachel said that if Ya'akov didn't "give her children" that she
"would die". However: A. Ya'akov wasn't impressed with her, in fact,
he got angry, and if I recall, some commentators at least, relate to
her as being overdramatic. B. More importantly, however, was how the
problem was solved! She adopted! Plain and simple. She gave her
bond-woman to her husband, and raised the two children as her own!
So you see, Eliyahu's "proof" that barronness equals "Piku'ach
nefesh", shows that adoption is an ample solution! Now I'm not saying
that that's true, I'm saying, be careful with examples you bring,
especialy biblical precedents, because they could show the opposite
of what was intended, as in this case! 

All the best and Shabbat Shalom...

                          Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <etzion@...> ( Danny Wolf)
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 08:56:44 -0400
Subject: Agunah

Daniel Lerner asks what is the objection to the NY "Get law" when in
Israel jail is sometimes used to coerce reluctant husbands.

First, jail is used with great hesitancy and is rarely used even in

Second, there is a halachic difference between justified coercion by
proper authorities (meaning halachically proper, i.e. a bet din) and
unjustified coercion by a halachically illegitimate body (see Gittin
88b).  The force of gentiles is only effective as backup or enforcement
of a Jewish court (see Tosafot there d"h Ubeovdei).  Just the coercion
of a secular court is problematic, especially if the husband is not
halachically mandated to grant a get.  Thuggery, when not at bet din's
behest, is an extremely problematic solution.

Danny Wolf
Yeshivat Har Etzion


From: <lando@...> (Zvi Lando)
Date: Mon, 17 May 93 23:34:36 -0400
Subject:  E-Version of Jerusalem Post

We wish to report that we will be sending out, to all those on internet
who reply to our previous Jerusalem Day Press Release from the office of
Jerusalem Mayor Mr. Teddy Kollek a special version of The Jerusalem
Post.  This version will include a Jerusalem Day interview with Mr.
Kollek and various news of the day.

I wish to add that the Jerusalem Post has received a license from The
Ministry of Communications here in Israel to hook up to Internet and
they are now looking into the possibility of "publishing" an electronic
daily version of their paper on the network.  The version we will send
out will include a few questions they wish to ask in order to further
this goal.

This first electronic version will, as I stated above be sent to all
those who reply by May 18th to the press release at Teddy Kollek's
internet address:


Thank you and Happy Jerusalem Day -

  *  Zvi Lando - Network Manager                  ***             *
  *  Israel                                     *  **             *  
  *  <lando@...>           *    **             *
  *  Tel: 972-2-964519                             **             *


From: <rrs@...> (Rechell Schwartz)
Date: Thu, 13 May 93 02:16:03 -0400
Subject: Jewish Criminal Justice System

I have a question about the Jewish Criminal Justice System.  I know that
capital crimes (punished by death by the bet din) and non-capital crimes
(punished by lashes) both require the presence of two male kosher
witnesses and forewarning of the perpetrator in order to effect these

It would appear to me that many crimes are committed suddenly before
anyone has a chance to warn anybody. Suppose a crime was committed, and
there were witnesses but no warning, or many women/Gentiles saw it, or
because of some other technicality, the criminal could not get death
penalty or lashes, even though there was ample evidence that the
criminal did indeed perpetrate the crime. Does the criminal get off
scott-free? While I know that in such a situation G-d would punish the
perpetrator (through Kareis), I was wondering if there was some
additional lesser punishment that is sometimes meted out in such
situations (e.g., jail or fines).

Also, suppose someone had wronged someone in a way that didn't
technically violate an avayra punishable through lashes or fines, yet
was nevertheless reprehensible (e.g., a teacher verbally abusing or
molesting a young child). What recourse would the victime have?

                            Rechell Schwartz


From: <PRENSKY@...> (Steve Prensky)
Date: Fri, 14 May 1993 15:43:30 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Minhag for Pidyon HaBen

Question on Pidyon HaBen

I recently had the privilege to do a Pidyon Haben.  It was brought to 
my attention that there is an opinion that the Kohen sits for this 
mitzvah, rather than stands as is customary for performing most 

I asked a rav and he was unaware of such a minhag and couldn't find 
any reference to it.  Furthermore, he had never seen it done this way.  

Has anyone seen a Pidyon HaBen where the Kohen sits.  If so, is it a 
minhag of a particular group (e.g. Lubavitch)?

PS I'm told that the opinion is a Tosfot and is discussed in Adus 
L'Yisrael among other places that I don't have access to.

Steve Prensky


From: <edell@...> (Steve Edell)
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 04:54:20 -0400
Subject: Moshe Rabbeinu & Matan Torah

I was discussing with my 6-year old the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, and
I asked her, 'if someone was deaf, how did he hear Matan Torah'.  She
correctly answered that Hashem cured all the deaf, all the blind, all
people with wounds, etc.  (It's a famous Rashi, if anyone isn't familiar
with it).

Then, she asked a question that stumped me.  "If Hashem cured everyone
before Matan Torah, was Moshe Rabbeinu cured of his problem talking
(speach impediment)?

Is there anyone out there who can answer this??
-Steven Edell, <edell@...>


From: <sieg@...> (Barry Siegel)
Date: Mon, 17 May 93 09:09 EDT
Subject: Shabbat song Anim Z'mirot

I have a number of questions regarding the varied practices of reciting
Anim Z'mirot (The song found at the end of Shabbat Musaf Davening).

It seems that in my synagouge travels, some say it and some don't.
I have observed that generally larger Shuls say it while smaller 
"shteiblich" shuls don't.  Is this a generally correct assessment?   
This song is generally called the "Shir Hacavod" [Song of Glory] 
so why wouldn't all congs. want to recite it??

The Artscroll Siddur footnote ascribes this song to R' Yehuda HaChassid 
of the 12'th century and continues .. that most congs. recite it on Shabbat 
& Festivals.  However, the Vilna Gaon held that it should only be recited 
on Festivals, and some congs. only on Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur.

Some questions..

What is the reason for Shuls allowing a Katan [youngster] to lead the
davening if this song has such great holiness?  After all we even
open the ark during recital!

Are there any shuls that do say this, but don't allow a katan to lead? 

What are the reasons for not saying this Shir Hacavod [song of glory]?

What were the Vilna Gaon's reason for the above?  

Does anyone know of any Shuls that do not say this even on Rosh Hashanah 
& Yom Kippur?

What is the official or unofficial "Nusach Sefard" [as opposed to the real
Sefard] position on this?

Why are there so many different customs for this?

Are there any other customs for this song which I missed?

Alas, so many questions.

Barry Siegel  


End of Volume 7 Issue 44