Volume 7 Number 90

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Material on shmiras haloshon
         [Freda Birnbaum and Ira B. Taub]
Pepsi (2)
         [Shlomo H. Pick, Shaul Wallach]
Public Domain and Private Domain... Part II
         [Alan M. Gallatin]
Shemot (2)
         [Elisheva Schwartz, Zev Farkas]
Torah Scroll in case of Fire?
         [Steve Richeimer]
Woman as Sofer Stam
         [Peter L. Rosencrantz]


From: Freda Birnbaum and Ira B. Taub <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 11:45 EDT
Subject: Material on shmiras haloshon

[This is a merged posting from two seperate postings. Mod.]

In V7N81, Lou Steinberg and our esteemed moderator asked about
sources in English about shmiras haloshon:

>[I'm pretty sure that the "classic text" on shmirat halashon of the
>Chafetz Chaim has been translated into English. Someone who has it can
>tell us the English title and publisher, I hope. Mod.]

	There is an English language guide to the laws of Lashon Hara that
is based on Chatetz Chaim.  It is:

	Guard Your Tongue, a practical Guide to the laws of loshon hora
		by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
	It was published by Aish HaTorah publications in 1975.  It has two
addresses on the inside cover.  Please remember these are as of 1975...

[From Eli's Book]

	P.O.B. 15049, Jerusalem, Israel
	Rabbi S. Weissman, 1742 E. 7 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11223

[From Freda's Book]

Rabbi S. Pliskin, 2204 E. Fairmount Ave., Baltimore, MD, 21231
Rabbi Z. Pliskin, 222 Oceanview Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11235

I checked a Brooklyn 1990-1991 phone book and no Z. or S. Pliskin
appears there.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbbirnbaum@...>
Ira B. Taub  <ibt@...>


From: Shlomo H. Pick <F12013@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 11:30:01 -0400
Subject: RE: Pepsi

Shalom Pepsi Lovers,

The Rabbinate is not going to remove the hechsher - it did!  On June 6,
1993 (Thursday the 14th of Sivan) vol. 16235 of the Zofeh: A free
translation of the announcement -

The Rabbanut of Holon
An Announcement and Warning

Upon hearing the Chillul Hashem and desecration of eternal holy values
Shabbat and morality that were desecrated in a shameful way in the
"terrbile" (bad translation for klokal) performance that the pepsi
company sponsered and after all appeals to correct the misdeed were
rejected I no longer am capable in accordance with the Halacha and in
holy protest to view the swallowing up of holiness hence to my sorrow I
am forced to remove my the hashgacha upon the pepsi factory in Holon

Rabbi Natan Netah Landmann

end of free translation

I would like to point out that R. Landmann is not the mashgiach but the
head of the kashrut organization of Holon and in effect in lieu of the
Chief Rabbi of that city.  I doubt that pepsi became treif over nite.
Also according to recent advertisements they are trying to recoup their
losses - if any - by associating 7-UP with the Tempo company which was
awarded the pepsi franchise.  I have just brought the facts - as far as
Israeli law is concerned I will let Shass who is actually running the
Ministry of Religion to tackle that problem (perhaps with help of


From: Shaul Wallach <f66204@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 11:20:45 -0400
Subject: Pepsi

      In their comments on the controversy over the Pepsi hechsher,
Nachum Issur Babkoff and Warren Burstein have raised the issue of
Israeli law. They hold that the official Rabbinate should follow the law
and not withhold certificates of kashrut for reasons other than those
pertinent to the kashrut of the product itself.

      With all due respect, I feel that secular Israeli law is not the
highest authority to be followed in such issues. Even if we accept the
principle of dina demalchuta dina ("the law of the state is the law"),
many scholars (such as the Rambam, for example) have ruled that this
applies only in monetary matters, and such is the opinion of R. Ovadia
Yosef today. The implication is that one is not to follow state laws
that conflict with the Torah. The problem of giving a hechsher to Pepsi
(or buying clothes from a concern that indulges in indecent advertising)
is that one is mesayyea` bidei `overei `avera (aiding transgressors)
which may fall into the Biblical prohibition lifnei `iwwer (not putting
a stumbling block before the blind). Since the hechsher gives material
benefit to Pepsi, every rabbi is justified in withholding his aid from
them as long as they encourage public desecration of the Sabbath and
indecent dress, both of which are flagrant violations of the Torah.

      Laws of a secular state have force only to the extent that the
state has the means to enforce them or to which they command the respect
of their constituency. When a law becomes unpopular or unenforceable, it
becomes a dead letter until it is repealed.  The American Declaration of
Independence goes so far as to proclaim the citizens' right and duty
even to overthrow a government which is destructive of the public good.
In our case, were Rabbi Landmann to be prosecuted for his action, I
think the entire rabbinic establishment would stand behind him and
resign en masse if he were threatened by the secular authorities. There
has been all too much interference recently by the secular courts into
matters which are solely the prerogative of the Rabbinate, and I don't
think the state is looking for a major confrontation.  Besides, a man is
innocent until proven guilty.

     Not so with the Torah. Someone who violates halacha is guilty
before Hashem even though no human court has tried or convicted him.
Thus Rabbi Landmann made the proper choice and obeyed the Divine,
eternal Torah in preference to the fallible secular law, and saved
himself from the sin of aiding the transgressors. To him I extend a
great Yishar Kohakh.

     Ashraw wa-Ashrei Helqo!!

Shaul Wallach


From: <amg@...> (Alan M. Gallatin)
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 19:08:49 -0400
Subject: Public Domain and Private Domain... Part II

I've received several responses to my posting regarding carrying on
Shabbat and public vs. private domain.  Most responses dealt with
the laws regarding carrying and transferring and seemed to miss the
point of my question.  To clear things up:

    What defines a "public domain" -- Is it the size of a village?
    Population?  Square milage (or other comparable measure)?  Proximity
    to a city?  Or what?  Can a "small town" qualify as a "private domain"
    and, if so, under what circumstances?

My questions regarding "carrying" dealt with the application of the answer
to the above question.  Perhaps I confused the issue by introducing the
secondary question so let me try to just stick with the confined one above.


Alan M. Gallatin   <amg@...>
Duke University School of Law; Durham, NC


From: Elisheva Schwartz <es63@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 9:53:51 EDT
Subject: Shemot

Anthony Fiorino brings up the issue of the Tetragramaton on Columbia's
sweatshirts, etc.  You will be happy to know that, as a result of
efforts by the Columbia Jewish Office (Rabbi Charles Sheer) Columbia
has, for several years already, stopped using the seal with the
Tetragramaton legible.  Either it is purposely misspelled (het instead
of hey) or made totally illegible.  In addition, ID cards, stationery,
etc., no longer have the seal on them at all.  (In fact, I don't
remember seeing sweatshirts with the seal on them recently.)  
It's nice to see this kind of positive response once in a while.
Elisheva Schwartz
Columbia University Libraries

[Similar info received from Seth L. Ness - <ness@...> Mod.]

From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 02:36:37 -0400
Subject: Shemot

[This is no longer "halacha lamaase" (i.e. no longer an issue of
practice) as explained by Elisheva above, but does point to an
interesting side issue at the time. Mod]

eitan fiorino beat me to the punch in commenting about the columbia
university logo.  however, he didn't mention a particular bit of columbia
paraphernalia that may also present a halachic problem.  while no one HAS
to wear a columbia sweatshirt, and you can avoid stepping on the "shem"
embedded in the floor, what do you do about your school ID card?  when i
attended columbia (somewhere back in ancient times :) ) i was a bit
dismayed at the presence of the tetragrammaton on the card, but figured
that since i kept it in my wallet in a plastic credit card window, it was
in a "kees betoch kees" (pocket within a pocket - actually, my own pocket
would make it a triple wrapping), and so would not present a problem if i
went into the bathroom. 

however, now that many schools require that ID's be worn so that they are
visible at all times (i don't know what columbia's current policy is in
this regard), this may indeed present a problem.  i guess you would just
have to remember to stick it in your pocket or purse.  

while i'm at it, would there be a problem with putting a wallet containing
the CU ID in one's back pocket?

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


From: Steve Richeimer <shr@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 02:36:18 -0400
Subject: Torah Scroll in case of Fire?

There was recently a newspaper article regarding a fire in a shul.
This prompted a friend to ask me about the halachic requirements if a
Torah scroll should be scorched or burnt.  I did not know the answer
can anyone provide me with any info?

Thanks,  Steven Richeimer


From: Peter L. Rosencrantz <peterr@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 14:29:28 PDT
Subject: Re: Woman as Sofer Stam

Sari Baschiri <sari@...> writes:
> As long as I'm on the topic, I've often wondered whether there's any
> halachic problem with a woman becoming a Sofer Stam (one who writes
> mezuzot, Torah scrolls, and tefillin).  I'd be extremely interested to
> hear some halachically-based opinions on this issue.

Well, I actually researched this very point recently.  What I have found
so far is in Mishnah Torah (Rambam's re-write the the Talmud) it says
that tefillin scrolls written by a woman are not valid and must be
"hidden". I am not sure about Sefer Torah or Mezuzah scrolls though, but
it is reasonable to assume that the same thing is true of these as well.

On a related tangent: since all of the mitzvot were given to women
(including the ones that women are exempt from, i.e., they can still do
the mitzvah, but they are exempt if they are unable to perform some
affirmative mitzvot with a specific time), and women cannot write their
own Sefer Torah, then the only way that they can fulfil this mitzvah is
to pay someone to write them a Sefer Torah. Is this really true? Are
women given a mitzvah which they cannot directly fulfill?



End of Volume 7 Issue 90