Volume 7 Number 55

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Warren Burstein]
Kohanim as medical students
         [Mike Gerver]
Moshe's stutter
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Non-hotel accomodations in Yerushalayim
         [David Kramer]
Non-jews at Yom Tov meals
         [Jonathan Chody]
Shabbat in Amsterdam
         [Seth Ness]
Shavuot as Z'man Matan Torah (2)
         [Tom Rosenfeld, Dov Bloom]
Yeshivishe Appearance
         [Ezra L Tepper]
summer rental in N.W. London
         [Yehuda Berenson]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 17:19:05 -0400
Subject: JCAL

Moshe Podolak writes:

>Finally, I will repeat a request that I sent in a while ago, but was 
>apparently never posted.  My friend has the object code for a program
>that converts the Jewish date to the rest of the world's date and vice
>versa.  The program is called JCAL I think.  Can anyone supply me/him
>with the source code, or, alternatively, an algorithm/reference for 
>how it is done.

jcal.source.hqx is on israel.nysernet.org in ~ftp/israel/software/calendar
You need the appropriate software (Binhex, I believe) to read it.

JCAL is for the Macintosh.  Various other programs for other computers
are found in the same directory.

If anyone knows of calendar software that can be legally redistributed
that is not in that directory, please let me know about it.

 |warren@      But the okra
/ nysernet.org is not all that hungry.


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 21 May 1993 4:00:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kohanim as medical students

Michael Ghanooni, in v7n48, points that out Rabbi Goren's heter for
kohanim to be medical students (which requires touching a cadaver) is
not generally accepted. But there may be heter that is generally
accepted.  Rabbi Don Brand, who is a kohen, once told me that he became
a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist so that he would not have to
go to medical school.  However, he said there might have been a heter to
go to medical school if he felt he would have made a very good surgeon,
for example, and could have saved lives that would otherwise be lost.

Although he didn't say this, it seems to me that the criterion should
be: Would you make a better surgeon, say, than the worst person who
would be accepted by and graduate from medical school if you did not go
to medical school. That worst person might be pretty bad. If you would
be even a marginally better surgeon that that person, you would surely
save at least one life, that he would not be able to save, during your
career. It seems like this sort of heter might apply to almost anyone
interested in such fields as surgery, oncology, even general practice.
It might not apply to podiatry, though.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <FNBENJ@...>
Date: Fri, 21 May 93 12:59:39 -0400
Subject: Moshe's stutter

Moshe Rabbenu said he was "heavy of speech and tongue."  Rashi says this
means he stuttered.  Rashbam says he wasn't fluent in Egyptian after
forty years' absence (and how could God select a prophet who stuttered;
and where is a stutter mentioned in the Talmud?).  Ibn Ezra says it was
a congenital disability, giving arguments to refute Rashbam.  Most
interesting is Shadal: "Let Ibn Ezra point out to us which letters are
not to be found in Moses' message to the people... Moses was not a man
of words, an eloquent and glib speaker" and he had spent too long with
his sheep.

[See Nehama Leibowitz, Studies in Shemot, pp. 73-4]

Ben Svetitsky    <fnbenj@...>


From: <davidk@...> (David Kramer)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 15:45:06 -0400
Subject: Non-hotel accomodations in Yerushalayim

>2. Where can one find accommodations in Jerusalem (not hotel; but room with
>   linen and towel) in either Rechavia, Kiryat Shmuel, Katamon, etc.?
There is an agency in Jeruselum for bed-and-breakfast places there:
  Inn Places Ltd.
  Telephone: 02-611-745 Fax: 02-618-541

My parents got their name through PNAI - an organization for parents with
children in Israel, and in their last stay used them and were pleased. Their
prices are fairly reasonable.

They have an address in the US also -
   Cozy Corners Inc.   (don't ask me why it's a different name)
   POB 181
   Haverford PA 19041

[  David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-8754 ]


From: Jonathan Chody <jonathan@...>
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 15:45:34 -0400
Subject: Non-jews at Yom Tov meals

I am submitting this on behalf of a friend of mine - Rabbi Rashi Simon.
Rabbi Rashi Simon is Director of an outreach centre called 'Jewish Learning 
Exchange' based in Maida Vale, London, England.


During recent weeks there have been some exchanges regarding inviting
non Jews for meals on Yom Tov. Inasmuch as Shavuos is coming up, perhaps
the subject is still of timely, as well as general, interest. As an
outreach professional who deals, among other things, with non Jews in
the process of conversion, this subject has come across my desk (or
should I say my table?) more than once.

Before I proceed, let me note that I found Ezra Tanenbaum's argument ex
silentio from Igrot Moshe (vol 7:13) awfully weak in the face of an
explicit ruling in the Gemora and Shulkhan 'Arukh.

One of the Dayanim here in London ( a ba'al hora'ah and moreh zedek in
the full sense), has suggested the following:

First, it is essential to explain to the gentile, at the time of
extending the invitation, that the heter of cooking food on Yom Tov is
only in order to more readily facilitate the celebration of the festival
by those who are so enjoined.  It therefore follows logically that a Jew
cannot cook on Yom Tov for a gentile, since the latter does not share
that obligation. The concern of the Hakhamim was that a host - in his
desire to accomodate his guest - may inadvertently prepare more food
exclusively for that (gentile) guest on Yom Tov. This hashash may be
eliminated by turning the gentile guest into a "paying customer"
(technically). Ie., the Jewish host requests that his putative guest pay
a certain amount of money (even a token amount), with the clear
understanding that the money is in payment only for the food that has
already been prepared and that under no circumstances will more food be
forthcoming specifically for him if it is necessary to cook that food on
Yom Tov. In the opinion of the Dayan, this arrangement circumvents the
issur which is mentioned in Shulkhan Aruch.

I should add, however, that it is not clear to me if the Dayan was
prepared to recommend this as a blanket heter, or only in the case of a
gentile in the process of conversion ke-dat ve-ke-din.

I also have my own s'nif l'hakel on this subject, the cogency of which I
leave to the evaluation of the reader.

Mordechai Becher and Moshe Newman, in their recent book 'Avotot Ahavah:
Kiruv Rohokim be-Halakha, p.102' quote Ziz Eliezer 8:17-20, who provides
numerous justifications for hosting a non-observant Jew on Yom Tov. It
would seem that one of his considerations would be helpful in the case
of a gentile pursuing conversion, as well: Rashba (on Bezah 20b) avers
that the main reason for the prohibition of inviting a gentile is
because of the possibility that the Jew may cook non-kosher food on his
behalf, ie food which is unsuitable for Jewish Consumption. It would
seem, therefore, that in the case of a gentile in the process of
conversion - where the concern that the Jew will feed him non-kosher
food does not apply ( even as it does not apply in the case of the
non-observant Jew) - the gezerah might not apply.

I would be interested to hear if others have any (authorized) heterim to
suggest for this often-overlooked, yet not uncommon, problem.

p/p Rashi Simon


From: <seth@...> (Seth Ness)
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 13:19:57 -0400
Subject: Shabbat in Amsterdam

I'm going to be in Amsterdam over Shabbat June 11/12. Does anyone have
contacts for meals? I'm staying close to the university but that can be
changed if necessary.

Seth Goldman


From: <tom@...> (Tom Rosenfeld)
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 09:48:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Shavuot as Z'man Matan Torah

Yaron Elad asks about sources from Shavu'ot being Zeman Matan Toratenu
(the time of the giving of the Torah). I thought it is implied from
the text of the Torah, by counting the days from the Exodus?

Tom Rosenfeld

[Same response from Allen Elias <100274.346@...>. I think the
question was not how do we know that Shavuot and Matan Torah occured on
the same day, but what is the earliest source we have that Shavuot as a
holiday commemorates/re-experiances Matan Torah. Unlike Pesach, for
example, the Torah does not explicitly link Shavuot and Matan Torah.

From: <bloomdov@...> (Dov Bloom)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 15:45:25 -0400
Subject: Shavuot as Z'man Matan Torah

Yaron Elad asked about first appearances (chronologicaly) in chazal
refering to Shavuot as Zman Matan Torateinu.

The subject is discussed in an excellent article by R. Yisrael Hensheke
(I believe) in a festschrift for Rav Mordechai Breuer published last
year.  The subject of the article is the mitzva of Sfirat Haomer be-peh,
the mitzva of counting out loud (as opposed to the mitzva of actually
bringing the omer to the Beit Hamikdash). One can question his
conclusion perhaps, but his marshalling and analysis of all the sources
in chazal is pretty exhaustive.


From: Ezra L Tepper <RRTEPPER@...>
Date: Sun, 23 May 93 19:00:31 +0300
Subject: Yeshivishe Appearance

Moderator Avi Feldblum comments:

>[Along similar lines, my father told me that in Lita when he was growing
>up, it was considered "disrespectful" for a Yeshiva bochur to have a
>beard, and was grounds to be thrown out of the Yeshiva. Only the Rabbeim
>wore beards. Mod.]

One of my rabbis who learned in Torah Vodaath in the '40s once commented
about the garb in which yeshiva bochurim appear today in public. When he
was in the yeshiva, no bochur would be seen with a black hat and black
suit as these were the garments reserved by the roshei yeshiva. Wearing
them would have been disrespectful. No need to quote the European

Another rabbi I know told me that this change was adopted by the
Litveshe yeshiva world in response to the hassidic world in which
members of most major hassidic communities have characteristic garments.

Ezra Tepper


From: BEREN%<ILCTEHOL@...> (Yehuda Berenson)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 17:31 GMT
Subject: summer rental in N.W. London

Seeking kosher flat to rent in London NW for 14 July-22 August.
Only one bedroom needed. References available. Telephone
081-202-6823 or e-mail Prof. Y. Berenson: <BEREN@...>
                      Yehuda Berenson


End of Volume 7 Issue 55