Volume 7 Number 47

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kohanim as Medical Students.
         [David Garber]
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Zev Farkas]
St. Louis
         [Sam Zisblatt]
The Rav and Secular Knowledge
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
The desolation of Jerusalem in Nachem
         [Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth]
What to do with old books
         [Victor S. Miller]
Yetomim hayinu ein av
         [Lon Eisenberg]


From: <garber@...> (David Garber)
Date: Mon, 17 May 93 18:57 EDT
Subject: Kohanim as Medical Students.

   More than two months ago (in Volume 6, Number 54), Paul Nailand asked
about "Kohanim as Medical Students", and I have since read on the topic, 
and offer the following (sorry for the delay):

   Concerning this issue, I found two main sources: A T'shuva of Rabbi   
Shlomo Goren (when he was the chief rabbi of Israel) [The response is in 
"Kol Hakatub Lechaim", a memory book for Rabbi Haim Tubias z"l, pages
496-511], and in the item "Kohen" in the Medical Halachik Encyclopedia
[written by Rabbi Stainberg], pages 201-209.

   Rabbi Goren says that there are four shitot [=views] in the subject of
Tumah of the Kohanim:

Rambam: Kohen can't even touch another "Met" [=dead body] even if he
carries a dead relative (the Kohen can hold his relative because "Kohen
mitame lekrobim" [=Kohen can become Tameh because of his relatives]).
He added [in Hilchot Tuma'at Met, chap. 1, Halacha 12] that even if the Met
is non-jewish, the Kohen can't touch him.

Ramban, Rosh: If the Kohen holds his Met (meaning - a Met that he may hold
- a relative), he can also hold another Met. But, when he leaves the
Met, he can't hold another Met again (even if it is in the same day).

Rabainu Tam [in explanation of the Gemara Nida 57a]: Even if it is 
prohibited for the Kohen to be Tameh in the same day, Mederabanan
[=the sages] a Kohen can go into a cemetary for the purpose of burrying his
Met, even if this will result in his becoming Tameh from another Met (As 
long as it is in the same day, because if it occurs on the next day, he
would have to add another day to his Tumah days [Tuma'at Met causes a seven
day Tumah period for the Kohen] and it is forbidden for the Kohen to become
unnecessarily Tameh).

Ra'aba"d [in his commentary on the Rambam, Hilchot Nezirut Chap. 5,
Halacha 15]: Each day that he is already Tameh, he can be Tameh from
another Met, until such time that he becomes Tahor (here there is a
confusing situation: Rabbi Stainberg says that the Ra'aba"d in his Responsa
book "Tmim Deyim" [Siman 236] had a contradiction if we compare
it to his commentary on the Rambam).

   A solution that Rabbi Goren offered, is to wear a chain (yes - a chain!)
that once belonged to a now deceased person or a chain that once touched 
a Met.  Why is this a solution?

   There is a rule that such chain, is considered to be, after touching the
Met, "Abi Abot Hatumaah" [=the highest level of tuma'ah - the same level of
tuma'ah as a Met].

   But, there is another rule by which a correlation is made between things
that "Nazir Lo Megaleach" [=(a) Nazir doesn't have to shave his hair for],
"Kohen Lo Muzhar Alav" [=(a) Kohen is not warned on]. We know that such a 
chain, doesn't cause the Nazir to have to shave his hair, hence, the Kohen
isn't warned concerning such a chain. Therefore, a Kohen may wear such a
chain. Immediatly, he becomes Tameh for seven days (as if he touched the
Met itself), and he can go and touch a Met without any problems (and this
is permissable according to all the opinions, except for the Rambam).

   HOWEVER, Rabbi Stainberg says that according to Rabbi J.D. Bleich [in
Halacha uRefuaa, 5743]: the principle that Tosefet Tumah [=Adding tuma'ah -
being that we are all considered to be T'mai'ai Met - being that there is
no way for us to become Ta'hor - purified, the question we are dealing with
here effectively is, adding to that state of Tumah we are constantly in] 
isn't forbidden, is only in Tumah that the Kohen is specificly warned on
(for example: touching a Met), but where the Tumah is of a nature that a
Kohen isn't warned about (for example: a chain that touched a Met), there
exists the prohibition of Tosefet Tumah. So that the solution Rav Goren 
offered may NOT be applied here.

   This was a short description of the various views on this topic (which
is very complex and on which there is much more to write). But, as for
practice, check with your local Orthodox Rabbi.

(Another two sources: Sho"t "Ashe Lecha Rav" of Rabbi Haim David Halevi
[the current chief rabbi of Tel-Aviv], in Vol. 3 and Vol. 8).

David Garber   (<garber@...>).


From: Bernstein <bernstein@...>
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 12:50 EDT
Subject: Penguins

A friend just asked me if a penguin is a Kosher bird.  It seems to meet all the
requirements and is not specifically excluded in the Torah.  Does anyone know
conclusively whether it is or isn't?  This has implications not just for
eating, but many people won't keep pictures or toys in the likeness of
non-kosher animals.  Please cite sources if you have them.


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Sun, 16 May 93 11:45:44 +0300
Subject: Shaalavim

> 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
> Yerusahlayim

   I checked with my son who learns in the hesder yeshiva of Sha'alvim.
He said that he has heard this story but does not know of any connection
with Yom Yerushalayim. It is certainly not stressed to the students. It
is true that they go en-mass every year to the kotel on Yom Yerushalayim
and the Rosh yeshiva gives a speech there.

   My guess would be that one of the main events is the march from
Merkaz ha-Rav down to the kotel in the night. As to celebrations my
experience has been is that this is an orphaned day. The haredim ignore
it just as they do Independence day. On the other hand most secularists
(Hilonim), at least outside of Jerusalem, don't even know it exists. It
is a normal working day in most parts of Israel with very few celebrations
outside of the official government ceremonies. It is only the national
religious Jews who give the day any importance.

Eli Turkel


From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Mon, 17 May 93 21:39:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Shaving

mike gerver asks how his great-grandfather could have shaved ca. 1900
(presumably before the invention, or at least wide availability of
electric shavers).  two possibilities come to mind - first, hand-powered
clippers (barbers sometimes have these), second, depilatory powder, which
used to be much more popular back then. (some people still use this method
for "shaving" - some for religious reasons, and others to prevent ingrown
hairs ("razor-bumps"), which is often a problem for black men (has to do
with the very curly texture of their hair))

Zev Farkas, PE                                :)
<farkas@...>       718 829 5278

[Similar Answers were submitted by:

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From: <zisblatt@...> (Sam Zisblatt)
Date: Mon, 17 May 93 21:34:43 -0400
Subject: St. Louis

I have a friend going to St. Louis in a couple of weeks for a meeting,
and he needs information about a place to stay on shabbos, possibly a
Chabad House.  I would very much appreciate any info.  Sam Zisblatt


From: Jeffrey Woolf <JRWOOLF@...>
Date: Thu, 13 May 93 22:29:24 -0400
Subject: Re: The Rav and Secular Knowledge

Belatedly I want to respond to Yosef Becholder's assertion that the Rav
viewed secular studies as 'nice' but not required. It is not my place to
comment on what that member of the Soloveitchik family said, nor to
compare relative worth of Gedolim. HOWEVER, the Rav told me face to
face, that the cultivation of as broad an education as possible is
critical to becoming a lamdan in the widest sense.--As for the limits on
what to study, the Rav's own CV will show that there was little or
nothing that he thought could be studied without benefit. as his former
meshares Rabbi Marc Gopin quotes him, "Torah has nothing to fear." BTW,
this position was not the Rav's Hiddush. The GrA said the same thing and
Reb Moshe Soloveitchik's children ALL received top flight secular
educations (Including Rab aharon who has a JD from NYU).
                                  Jeffrey Woolf


From: Dr. Sheldon Z. Meth <METH@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 93 08:40:39 -0400
Subject: Re:  The desolation of Jerusalem in Nachem

Jeff Woolf asks if it would be appropriate to emend Nachem, since "now it's
hard to say the city is desolate."

IMHO, Nachem is not necessarily referring to the _physical_ desolation of
Jerusalem.  We say in selichos "v'ir Elokim mushpeles ad she'ol tachtiya"
[the city of G-d is laid low to the bottom most pit].  Here too, I daresay,
we're not speaking of the city's _physical_ condition.

That being the case, we must say Nachem with even more kavanah, 
v'hamevin yavin.


From: Victor S. Miller <victor@...>
Date: Tue, 18 May 93 09:55:29 -0400
Subject: What to do with old books

Just this morning, the gabbai of our shul accumulated about 10 cartons
of old books stored in various parts of our shul.  This afternoon
there is going to be a burial of various books papers, etc. that must
be disposed of properly.  However, when I, and another member of the
shul started looking over the stuff to be buried, we were taken aback:
most of the books are in fairly decent shape.  There are a number
which are nearly 100 years old.  For example, a machzor for the
Shalosh Regalim printed in Zhitomir in 1857, a siddur from Breslau
printed in 1911, a copy of Tzena v'urena from Warsaw in 1896, etc.,
Does anyone know of a good home for such books?  I would think that
they would have some value.

		Victor Miller


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Tue, 18 May 93 08:23:11 -0400
Subject: Yetomim hayinu ein av

I don't understand the "Minha Yizhak"'s question, since one could be a
"yetom" and still have a father (but no mother).


End of Volume 7 Issue 47