Volume 7 Number 61

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

'Green' Shmita and the Environment
         [Sam Gamoran]
Flash! Gr"A and K(C)ramers Theorum
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff]
         [Mike Gerver]
Heicha Kedusha
         [Jonathan Ben-Avraham]
Heter for Medical School
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Length of Sideburns
         [Elhanan Adler]
Speech and Hearing Therapy in Israel
         [Neil Saffer]


From: <shg@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Tue, 25 May 93 09:23:56 -0400
Subject: 'Green' Shmita and the Environment

I just read a couple of articles put out by the Israeli consulate lists
on nysernet talking about the forthcoming year 5454 being the year of
the environment.  The articles list several goals e.g. cleaning up
beaches, parks, dumps, etc., increased recycling, and educational
programs to name a few.

I would like to address the latter idea of educational programs in a halachic
framework.  Can anyone suggest sources for tying the coming Shmita year with
concern for the environment?


From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Tue, 25 May 93 08:39:02 +0200
Subject: Flash! Gr"A and K(C)ramers Theorum

Rabbi Aharon Feldman and his brothers Rabbis Emanuel and Yoel Feldman,
are sitting Shiva for their father Rabbi Yoseph Feldman. I went to Bayit
Va'gan to be "m'nachem aveilim" (Shiva call), where I mentioned to Rabbi
Aharon Feldman that there was an ongoing discussion in MJ on whether the
Gr"a could have been the author of Cramers theorum.

The reason I mentioned this, is because in the first edition of his book
"The Juggler And The King", he mentions this, and I suspected that this
was very instrumental in basing this rumor about the Gr"a.

He told me that he was mislead(!), and that in subsequent editions of
his book, this myth does not appear! More so, he said (and this refers
to a recent posting) that as far as he knows, the Gr"A was NOT the
author of the book on geometry "Ayil M'shulash", but that the Gr"A had
commisioned this book, so that there would be a hebrew translation

He requested that I post this retraction, as I am now doing.

[With this, I think we can end this part of the discussion. Mod.]

Chag Sameyach

                       Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 30 May 1993 4:10:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Glatt

In his account of the hesped for the Rav given by R. Shachter, Eitan
Fiorino, in v7n46, says that 90% of shechted cattle would qualify as
glatt. I have heard this somewhere before, but somewhere else I have
also heard that 90% of shechted cattle would not, strictly speaking
qualify as glatt, and that this is even true of beef that is sold as
"glatt", but that some more lenient opinion about the nature of the
inspection of the lungs is used in order to make it practical to sell
beef at all, and that "glatt kosher" is in practice just of way of
saying that the shechita is very reliable. Can anyone enlighten me on
this contradiction?

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Jonathan Ben-Avraham <benavrhm@...>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1993 10:36:02 +0300
Subject: Heicha Kedusha

In v7n59 Elly Lasson raises the question of tfilla ktsara (with kedush
but without hazarat hashats) sometimes called heicha kedusha, in the
wider context of changing nusah in light of historical events and the
teachings of the rav ztl.

A brief perusal of the sources shows that there is in fact no room for
maneuver on the issue of hazarat hashats. The issue was thoroughly
covered by the rishonim and modern deviations are dismissed curtly by
morei horaa. To summarize:

 * A minyan MUST do a tfilla ktsara for either shaharit, minha or
   musaf, weekday or shabat when the time for that tfilla would pass
   if they were to wait until everyone finished the silent amidah.

 * A minyan MUST do a tfilla ktsara for either shaharit, minha or
   musaf, weekday or shabat when there is a reasonable doubt that
   tfilla btsibur (minimally kedusha) could be done if they were to
   wait until everyone finished the silent amidah. This happens in
   the army or at work when everyone is in a rush and the people
   who comprise the minyan in the begining might leave and be (or
   not be) replaced by others.

 * A minyan MUST do a tfilla ktsara for either shaharit, minha or
   musaf, weekday or shabat when it is doubtful if there are at least
   nine members (not including the shats) who will properly answer
   amen to the shats's brachot.

 * In all other circumstances the minyan MUST do a full hazara,
   regardless of local "custom". Except for the above, there
   are no other reasons mentioned in the sources for not doing a
   full hazarat hashats.

Lgufo shel inyan [more to the point]:

 * The rama holds that the rest of the minyan starts their amidah
   AFTER the shats's kedusha. However, the mehaber and almost everyone
   else holds that the entire minyan starts WITH the shats, as is the
   custom today among the teimonim and sfaradim.

 * The rationale of bitul tora is not mentioned anywhere in connection
   with tfila. The most is "tirhat tsibur" [over-taxing the public's
   patience] that is mentioned as the rationale for moving uva ltsion
   from shaharit to minha on shabatot and hagim.

   I suspect the rationale in the yeshivot is actually based on the
   doubt that there will be nine saying amen to the shats since
   everyone is supposedly so excited about and engrossed in learning.

 * tfilla ktsara is not considered a change of nusah by anyone, only
   a change in the mode of the prayer, therefore this discussion is not
   in the same category as the "nahem" discussion.

 * I am not familiar with any of the rav ztl's teachings, but it would
   not surprise me if we were to find that he expressed no opinion on
   this issue since it is so thoroughly delt with at the rishonim level.

 * I also witnessed the yeshiva custom (a habit really) mentioned by
   Elly Lasson in the United States. I have not seen it in any yeshiva
   here in erets yisrael. Where I saw it in the States it was never in
   presence of the rosh yeshiva.


 * The "tfila c'hilcata" by r yitshak yaacov fooks, chapter 19, footnote
   7 brings the sources in the shulhan aruh, the rama, the mishna brura,
   and in particular the arizal. Also mentioned is the problem of what to
   do with "aneinu" on fast days when a tfila ktsara is said. In this
   connection he mentions in footnote 10 the gra kotler ztl's custom
   of insisting on hazarat hashats especially on hanuca because of
   pirsume nise and the gra mvilnas sidur that mentions the need to
   say a full hazara all year 'round.

 * The "yalkut yosef" by r yitshak yosef, volume dalet (shabat aleph)
   siman resh pe vav, halaca 7, says that where there are still
   congregations (particularly in the sfardi world) where there is a
   habit to say tfila ktsara for musaf on shabat, it is incumbent upon
   us to explain to these people the error of their ways, and that this
   is not a valid "minhag" only a bad habit.

   In the footnote to this halaca can be found a plethora of source
   references including a juicy reference to the rambam's responsa
   recommending that the hazarat hashats be abolished in yerushalayim
   because most of the people coming to minyan are amei haarets who
   talk during hazarat hashats and don't say amen. (Does this sound

   Finally the yalkut ends by saying that although the hazarat hashats
   was ostensibly instituted for those of us you can't fulfill our
   obligation to pray without it (something which is no longer true
   because to be yotse with the hazara requires you to understand
   hebrew and people who understand hebrew today can also read from
   a sidur) the real reasons for gzerot hazal are often not published
   and it is not our business to mess with them.

 * The "ben ish hai" shana aleph, parshat truma, para. bet, explains
   that the hazarat hashats is important because it is said out loud,
   and because it is said publicly, which is not the case for the
   amida otherwise, and therefore it cannot be abolished. He also
   brings the arizal and various reasons based on sod [kabala].


 - Jonathan Ben-Avraham

[Thank you Jonathan for a well researched reply on this topic. Mod.]


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 25 May 93 02:25:35 -0400
Subject: Heter for Medical School

        In a recent MJ a heter for Kohanim attending medical schools
was broached, following the reasoning that if one would become a
better than the worst doctor and save lives, pikuach nefesh would be
        Without entering into the the logistics of such an argument,
it should be noted in response that in his landmark responsum on
autopsies the Noda BeYehuda makes the point that Pikuach Nefesh is
only a heter when it is immediately relevant, i.e., the way I once
heard it put, there is no heter to paint yellow stripes on the road on
Shabbos despite the fact that this is known to save lives, since it is
a future (and then too only possible) scenario that may arise. I
believe, although I may be wrong, that in Reb Moshe's teshuva on
Kohanim in medical school he makes the same point. I f you would like
to try to find a legitimate heter, you will have to go the route of
saying that non-Jewish cadavers are not metame b'ohel, and find a med
school that won't require you to have hands on experience with the


From: <ELHANAN@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Mon, 24 May 93 23:41:50 -0400
Subject: RE: Length of Sideburns

>     Question: According to the Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh Deah 181) the minimum
>     length of the sideburns is to beloW the ear. The general custom seems
>     to be to cut them in the middle of the ear at the point where the
>     two bones meet? Does anyone know the basis of this custom against
>     a very clear Shulchan Arukh. I have been told that if one looks at
>     pictures of Yeshiva boys in Vilna in the early 1900's they are all
>     clean shaven (except for the Rosh Yeshiva who has a beard) and the
>     sideburns go to the middle of the ear!

I know of two poskim who have addressed this question. Rabbi Hayim David
ha-Levi, chief Sefaradi Rabbi of Tel-Aviv, in his "Aseh lekha rav" v.9
notes that this opinion is an extreme single opinion (da'at yakhid) and
that most halakhic sources do not support it - indeed R. Yosef Caro in
the Bet-Yosef does not indicate support for this view. His conclusion,
based also on the exact wording in the shulhan arukh, is that this is not
a halakhic decision but rather a recommended stringency (humrah) and therefore
it was not considered binding.

She'elot u-teshuvot Erets Tsvi (siman gimel) also notes that the bet
yosef does not support this view and leaves the question as "tsarikh
iyun gadol" (An issue that requires intensive study - Mod.). He also
notes two practical "tests" for distinguishing the line between hair of
the head and facial hair 1) Children do not have hair below the mid-ear
area so presumably this area cannot be part of the pe'ot, 2) People
whose beard is of a different hue than the hair of their head (my son is
one) - the color change takes place at mid-ear.

* Elhanan Adler                   University of Haifa Library              *
*                                 Tel.: 972-4-240535  FAX: 972-4-257753    *
* Israeli U. DECNET:      HAIFAL::ELHANAN                                  *
* Internet/ILAN:          <ELHANAN@...>                          *


From: Neil Saffer <084NEIL@...>
Date: Fri, 28 May 93 13:57:07 RSA
Subject: Speech and Hearing Therapy in Israel

My wife and I will be in Israel on 13 June for six weeks. It is our specific
intention to prepare for aliya. My wife is a speech and hearing therapist and
we would appreciate any info and/or contacts in Israel with respect to
this profession.
Thanks in advance.

Neil Saffer,  Dept Zoology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,
              South Africa.
Internet: <084neil@...>


End of Volume 7 Issue 61