Volume 7 Number 93

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Are there 100 Million 'Jews'?
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Bone Marrow Transplants
         [Aimee Yermish]
Non-Jews and Tinok Sh'Nishba
         [Ezra Tanenbaum]
Piku'aH Nefesh (3)
         [Frank Silbermann, Isaac Balbin, Anthony Fiorino]
         [Arnold Lustiger]


From: <mljewish@...> (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1993 19:14:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

Boy have things been busy! I'm going to make an attempt tonight to get
somewhat caught up with the backlog. Here is where we stand now:

All messages sent between Jun 13-21 have now appeared. There are about
30 messages from June 22 to now in queue. There are about 70 messages
from before June 13 that I need to work my way through. I apologize for
not responding to some of you, I will hopefully be able to do so better
once I fight through more of the backlog.

For those of you who miss a mailing or two (or more), you can retrieve
them from the listserv by sending an email message to
<listserv@...> The message should read:

get mail-jewish/volume7 v7nXX

where XX is the issue number you want. If there are multiple issues,
just put one line for each issue you want.

Avi Feldblum
mail.jewish Moderator


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 15:19:01 +0300
Subject: Are there 100 Million 'Jews'?

In his article on Pikuach Nefesh Robert A. Book also stated:

> With all the assimilation that has gone on in the last 3000 years, it
>has been estimated that there are about 100 million people in the world
>who are technically Jewish (i.e., decended from Jews in the female
>line), even though all but about 12 to 14 million cannot be identified
>as Jews, and are most likely completely unaware of their origins.

This 100 million number seems completely  wrong, i.e. one out of every
fifty  humans alive  today being  "Jewish" in  *that* sense.   If that
would have been so, one could  estimate that "3000 years" ago also one
in every fifty  females was fully Jewish.  I reach  this conclusion on
the assumption  that on average  a Jewish person (by  that definition)
had over  the years  approximately the same  number of  descendants as
someone not Jewish.

Those who might find it difficult to follow my reasoning it might help
them to realize  that in any one generation, each  "Jew" (or any other
person) of today had exactly *one* full female line ancestor.

Michael Shimshoni


From: <ayermish@...> (Aimee Yermish)
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 19:08:53 -0400
Subject: Bone Marrow Transplants

One of my friends, a doctor who performs bone marrow transplants,
informs me that the donation process is painful but in no way
life-threatening, and is generally done under local anaesthesia.  A
needle is inserted into some of the larger bones in the lower half of
the body (pelvis, femur, especially), and the marrow is drawn out.  Your
body has plenty more marrow left over afterwards, and it regenerates
very quickly -- your immune system is not impaired at all.  They have to
do lots of punctures in order to get enough (the marrow isn't that
liquid -- imagine trying to eat a bowl of jello by slurping through a
coffee stirrer), and the needles have to be literally hammered in to get
through the bone, so it's not surprising that it hurts later on.  He
said that some people get up and go jogging the next day, but most take
a day of bed rest and aspirin-level painkillers, and are fine after
that.  It's not like organ donation, which is rather more risky.

Also, the donation can be scheduled just like any other hospital visit,
so it's easy to avoid having to do your half of the deal on Shabbat.
Travel for you is usually paid for by the recipient's insurance (the
bone marrow doesn't last long outside a body).

(For those of you who are curious, the process for the recipient is a
hellish week of full-body radiation and high-dosage chemotherapeutics,
aimed at totally ablating the recipient's own bone marrow and doing
maximal damage to any cancer cells hiding out in other parts of the
body.  The transplant itself is amazingly simple -- they just hang the
bone marrow in an IV bag.  The bone marrow cells are extremely clever,
homing to the bones to set up housekeeping.)

To get on the bone marrow registry list is an easy and basically
painless process (they take a few tablespoons of blood from your arm,
one sharp pinch and the whole thing's done in a few seconds, and you
won't even notice missing that amount of blood), and you might just save
someone's life.  Contact your local blood bank.  People who look at
getting bone marrow transplants are people who are going to certainly
die very soon without them (as certain as anything in medicine can be),
some of the most desperate patients.  Personally, I would strongly
recommend everyone to get on the registry.  It seems odd that pikuach
nefesh would only apply to other Jews, especially in a case where one
does not have to put one's own health at risk.



From: <bob@...> (Ezra Tanenbaum)
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 17:34:33 -0400
Subject: Re:  Non-Jews and Tinok Sh'Nishba

I would like to add some comments to the discussion about non-Jews and
whether or not they can be considered innocent of sinful action if they
were never informed of their moral obligations.

There is a concept that a Jew who was never informed of the mitzvot of
Shabbos and Kashrus, etc. is not considered with any disgrace for
continuing to violate the Torah by maintaining the pattern of his/her
upbringing. They are doing wrong, but there is no personal disgrace in
it.  This applies even after they are exposed to Torah principles.

So what about a non-Jew? Should a non-Jew be held accountable for
violations of 7 Noachide laws, if he/she grew up among bandits who
thought there was no problem in killing and stealing. The answer
according to Rav Eliyahu Dessler in "Michtav M'Eliyahu" is that, Yes,
they are accountable. There is such a thing as "natural law" and they
are the 7 mitzvot. Every human being on the planet is obligated in them
no matter how removed from knowledge of Torah. A person of normal
intelligence is expected to recognize that stealing, and murder,
adultery, idol worship, excessive cruelty to animals are forbidden, and
that acknowedging the Creator, and maintaining systems of adjudication
are required.  This is universal and "natural". As it states in the U.S.
Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident ..."

This, is not the case of the many details of Torah law. Even though we
say that Avraham discovered the whole Torah on his own. This was the
genius of Avraham. Not everyone is expected to do that, even though it
is possible for anyone who is truly conscious of the Divine Will.

What about our obligation to educate others. Certainly our first
obligation is to educate ourselves and our children. Then to reach out
to fellow Jews because of the mitzvot of Ahavas Yisrael (loving one's
fellow Jew). And we are obligated as members of humanity and as part of
the mitzva of establish courts of justice, to educate non-Jews as well.
The Lubavitch Rebbe, Rav Menachem Schneerson (may he live and be well)
has made a point of instructing his followers to reach out to non-Jews
and make them aware of the 7 Mitzvot.  I might add that this is our
responsibility to recognize the Tzelem Elokim (divine image) inherent in
every human being and to honor it by teaching every human how that
spiritual essence needs to be expressed.

An aside to Freda Birnbaum who asked about unusual Mechitzot.  In
Brooklyn there are many Shteiblach (small shuls) in converted row houses
where men's section is on the first floor, and the women's section is on
the second floor. The Mechitza consists of an enclosed railing around a
hole in the floor located over the reader's stand.  Under ideal
conditions -- i.e. when no one is there -- you can hear perfectly, less
perfectly under normal conditions, and very little on a Yom Tov when the
place is crowded.  By the way, are "Kol Isha" and "Baltuva" still active
lists ?

Ezra Bob Tanenbaum	1016 Central Ave	Highland Park, NJ 08904
home: (908)819-7533	work: (908)615-2899
email: att!trumpet!bob or <bob@...>


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 19:09:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Piku'aH Nefesh

In Volume 7 Number 87 Bob Werman relates:
>	Years ago I was involved in an [unsuccessful] attempt
>	to resuscitate an Arab who drowned.  At the time,
>	the event achieved a certain amount of notoriety.
>	I was approached by a Talmud Hacham who told me,
>	"There is no reason to kill an Arab but to go
>	out of your way to save his life?  That is mugzam [exaggerated]."
>	Does a Jew have an obligation to attempt to save the life of non-Jew?
>	Does a Jewish physican have a special  obligation?  Or only a terutz?

I once read a relevant story (perhaps someone will recognize it and give
its source).  A sage once saved the life of a gentile, though the
gentile was from a nation that was oppressing the Jews.  Years later
this nation had the Jews completely in their power and had instituted
some very destructive ordinances.  The Jews commissioned this sage to
approach the evil king to plead for mercy.  The king recognized the sage
-- the man he saved had since become king.  In gratitude, the king
cancelled all the oppressive measures.

At the time I read it, I thought the story had a moral.  However,
considering the view of the Talmud Hacham quoted above, perhaps it is
nothing more than an amusing anecdote.  :-(

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA

From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 19:09:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Piku'aH Nefesh

The Jew most definitely has an obligation to save a non-Jew (Arab or whatever)
today. The reason is not the same as that of saving a Jew. The reason is
one of Aivo [in today's parlance, Information-explosion induced bad press].
Aivo is a serious issue L'halocho, and had Bob not done what he did, Jews
would have been seen in a bad light. The only time one might say there
was no Aivo is say if you and he were in a desert and he needed
some assistance. Then again, if you wanted to be machmir [stringent]
and consider him B'Zelem Elokim [in G-d's image] you would save
him anyway. Anyone with enough sensitivity for humanity would do so.

From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 93 11:31:35 -0400
Subject: RE: Piku'aH Nefesh

Regarding Bob Werman's question on saving the life of a non-Jew:

The gemara in gittin (61a) says:  "The rabbis taught: we support the
non-Jewish poor together with the Jewish poor, visit their sick together
with the Jewish sick, and bury their dead with Jewish dead.  This is
because of the principle of darkei shalom [peaceful ways]."

The Rambam extended this ruling to include known idolators (hilchot
Melachim 10:12), and there is a Tosafot in Avoda Zara (20a) to the same
effect.  This may not apply to an idolator in eretz yisrael, because
idolators may have no residency rights in eretz yisrael.

It seems to me this application of darkei shalom would logically be
extended to pikuach nefesh.  It also seems to me that given the current
status of Arab-Israeli relations, either darkei shalom is a _very_
important concept, or, relations are simply far too deteriorated for
darkei shalom to even apply any more.

see the article "Minority Rights in Israel" by R. Yehuda Gershuni in
Crossroads vol 1 (English collection of articles appearing in Techumin).

Eitan Fiorino


From: Arnold Lustiger <ALUSTIG%<ERENJ.BITNET@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 93 16:36:55 EDT
Subject: Shemot

About 20 years ago, MK Menachem Porush of the Agudath Israel party spat
on a Reform prayerbook, and subsquently threw it on the floor in a
session of the Knesset. When asked the obvious question about the Shemot
in the prayer book, Agudah replied with the Halacha that "Sefer Torah
Shekatvah Min Yisaref": A Sefer Torah written by a heretic should be
burned. The explanation was that shemot written by these people have no
holiness, and therefore one could do what he wanted with them as far as
disposal and even ridicule was concerned.

Aside from the issue of the wisdom of Menahem Porush's action, if the
psak is correct, one should have no problem with disposing of Time
magazine with David Koresh's signature, Biblical Archeology Review, etc.

Incidentally, however, words of Torah even without the shemot require
burial.  I recently received a psak that the voluminous homework and
worksheets of my children cannot be discarded.

Arnie Lustiger


End of Volume 7 Issue 93