Volume 8 Number 7

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eretz Yisroel
         [Danny Skaist]
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Looking on Kohanin Duchening
         [Yisrael Medad]
M & M's
         [Yisrael Medad]
Sheva Merachef
         [Raz Haramati]
Why did Miriam die in the Desert?
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
         [Elisheva Schwartz]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 07:44:37 -0400
Subject: Eretz Yisroel

>Larry Israel
>Just a question for curiosity - Do the people who reject giving away part
>of Eretz Yisroel to achieve peace, based on the impermissibility of doing
>so, also reject the permissibility of selling part of Eretz Yisroel to
>Gentiles during the Shmitta year?

Not all.   The debate on selling Eretz Yisroel to a gentile centers on the
mitzva v'lo s'chanem (Deut 7:2) [do not give them (chanayah) "settlement"].
Both sides are machmir.

Traditionally, it means not to sell/give land in Eretz Yisroel to a gentile.
This is the position of those who reject selling part of Eretz Yisroel to
Gentiles during the Shmitta year.

Those who support selling part of Eretz Yisroel to Gentiles during the
Shmitta year, do so because otherwise it means giving a large cash bonus to
the gentile farmers now living in Eretz Yisroel (as the only source of
permitted produce).  This is an incentive to continue living in Eretz
Yisroel and this, they claim, is contrary to the mitzva v'lo s'chanem.

So those who hold that it is not permissable to give away parts of Eretz
Yisroel, can also hold that Not selling the land is a violation of v'lo



From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 93 12:50:37 -0400
Subject: Hair

> Yosef Bechhofer
> I humbly submit that Eitan is overusing the Aruch HaShulchan's
> definitions of erva when he extends his leniency to das Moshe and das
> Yehudis - laws which have a distinctly different definition.

But the whole point of what I'm doing is exactly the opposite -- I am leaving
the dat yehudit issue untouched because it has nothing to do with erva. 
The gemara requires, as a function of dat yehudit, that a married woman's
hair be covered (by something more than a basket) when she is in public or
semi-private.  It does not seem like anything else is required as a
function of either dat moshe or dat yehudit.

(I have been calling this the "tzniut" aspect of hair covering, but perhaps
that is not so accurate since most people associate tzniut issues with erva
issues.  I called it tzniut because the gemara links other immodest activities
(bathing where men bathe, for example) along with uncovered hair as things
forbidden by dat yehudit.  For the sake of clarity, I will not refer to the
dat yehudit issues as tzniut issues from now on, but simply refer to them
as the dat yehudit issues.)

It is my contention that the further definition of hair as an erva requires
hair to be covered in the presence of all men, inside or outside, public
or private, and requires that most or all of her hair be covered.  The
argument I developed is that if one is going to hold with the aruch
hashulchan, that hair is no longer an erva, then these added stringencies
so not apply either, and one is left simply with the dat yehudit issue.

It seems to me that part of the issue involved in hair covering because
of dat yehudit might be to provide a sign that a woman is married (this is
pure speculation).  If so, then perhaps wigs would be forbidden for this
reason.  If part of the reason of covering hair is to provide a sign of
married status, then a wig defeats the whole purpose (unless, as the Pri
megadim holds, one is from a wig-wearing community where everyone knows
that a married women without a hat is wearing a wig; or, unless one has
put a hat on top of the wig.)

As I mentioned, it seems problematic to me to rely on the aruch hashulchan
in the face of the others who disagree, but in pressing situations, even
Rav Moshe is willing to rely on this aruch hashulchan.

I have been informed (thanks Frank for forwarding them!) of a rather detailed
discussion of this issue which took place a few years ago.  Perhaps our
moderator could provide the volume number (the issue numbers range from 181
to 212, but I don't know which volume). 

[It is in "Volume 1" which was before we had volume numbers. It is in
the 1991 issues, and can be retrieved from the server by issueing the
get mail-jewish m.j_91

The discussion is in issues: 181, 184, 188, 190, 194, 197, 199, 201,
203, 206, 210, 212 and 215. Issue 215 is also where the Glatt Yacht
discussion began, which is of relavance to the Pepsi discussion we are
currently having. Mod.]

In one of the issues, a newly married man who had asked Rav Ahron
Soleveitchik a question on hair covering was told by Rav Ahron that "the
proper thing" to do was for a women to cover her hair in the presence of
men in all places, but as far as her _chiuv_ goes, it only applies to
public places.  Her home is not a public place, even with a few men
over.  However, if there is a party such as a shalom zachor, then her
home has the din of a public place.  Note that Rav Ahron drew the same
distinction that I did -- between the baseline "absolute" chiuv (in
public, my intepretation: a function of dat yehudit), and what is
perhaps more flexible (in private, my interpretation: a function of hair
as an erva), although the discussion with Rav Ahron apparently did not
include the issue of the amount of hair to be covered.

So, if the absolute chiuv is dat yehudit -- public hair covering
(leaving aside the issue of amount of hair to be covered), and to cover
in private is "the proper thing" but technically not a chiuv, which
seems to be Rav Ahron's position based on the conversation reported on
mail-jewish some years back, then my leniency (for, say, a distressed
baalot t'shuva who is trying to be shomer halacha but doesn't feel able
to cover her hair always) perhaps holds weight after all.  It goes
without saying that such a decision needs to be made by a halachic
authority, giving a psak on a specific case.  Such a decision should
_not_ be made based on a reported conversation which was, after all, a
psak being given to _someone else_ regarding that particular set of

Eitan Fiorino


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 04:33:27 -0400
Subject: Looking on Kohanin Duchening

Uri Meth, V7 No 91, misunderstood me.  I was not looking for the
reason not to look at the Kohanin by what is the reason/source
for covering one head's with a Tallit.

Last night, wandering around the Yeshivat Shiloh library, I found
a book by Naftali Hofner, _Sefer Halacha_, Vol. V, dealing with
the whole question of Duchening.  There he quotes the Darchei
Moshe commentator on the Rama that "there are those that cover
themselves with the Tallit" (Bob Werman wrote me that the custom
is Roman (Italian)) while the Yaavetz Siddur says not to so as to
have a direct link (in his words: panim el panim = face to face)
with the Shechina on the fingers of the Kohanim.

Yisrael Medad


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 04:33:30 -0400
Subject: M & M's

What is the kashrut standing of M & M's (that melt in your mouth) -
Kasher or not?

[As far as I know, there is no Hashgacha on M&M's. If anyone knows that
there IS, please write in and let us know. Mod.]

Yisrael Medad


From: <rhara@...> (Raz Haramati)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 09:32:18 -0400
Subject: Sheva Merachef

In mj v7n107 Arthur Roth gave an excellent exposition on the concept of
"sheva merachef".

He is correct in stating that there are two theories among grammarians
to explain the behavior of what would be two adjacent sheva'im at the
start of a word where the first sheva becomes a tnua k'tana while "beged
kefet" after the second sheva does not get a dagesh.  One theory is that
of "sheva merachef" and the other that of a "tnua kalah" or "tnuat

The theory of "tnua kalah" claims that what appears to be a tnua k'tana
is really a different form of vowel (tnua kalah) whose influence extends
to the letter following its succeeding sheva.  This convoluted
explanation is requiredto explain the lack of a dagesh following a sheva

Many grammarians find this theory problematic as we have created both a
new kind of tnua and exception behavior for the sheva.  A more elegant
explanation lies in the theory of "sheva merachef".  This theory claims
that the first sheva becomes a regular vowel (tnua k'tana).  The second
sheva behaves as if it were a sheva nach with the exception that "beget
kefet" after it does not take a dagesh.

According to both theories, the sheva (under the second letter) is
pronounced as a sheva nach.  If we were to make the sheva a sheva na, we
would be creating more problems as we would now have the first syllable
as a "havara p'tucha" without negina [accent] which should take a tnua
gdolah.  Since by all accounts the tnua under the first letter is a tnua
k'tana, the sheva MUST be a sheva nach.


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 11:47:49 -0400
Subject: Why did Miriam die in the Desert?

I had a question on parshat chukat (actualy my chevrutah asked me the
question and I couldn't find an answer for it) Why did Miriam die in the
midbar (desert) why didn't she get to enter eretz yisrael. I would be 
quite suprized if she also was part of the "chet hamiraglim" and she did
not participate in the trangresions of moshe and aharn. For the l
"lashon harah" that she said against Mosheh hse was already punished, so
again what was her "chet".
  Also without opening a whole can of worms, what does rashi mean when
he says that Miriam died like Mosheh and Aharon i.e. "mitat nishika"
(being kissed by g-d) but the torah did not write it explicitly since it
is not "kavod hamakom" to write such things i.e. g-d kissing women.
mechael kanovsky


From: Elisheva Schwartz <es63@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 93 14:18:45 EDT
Subject: Wigs

Much of the discussion so far has implicitly ranked non-wig head
coverings as less halakhically problematic than wigs.  This makes sense
to me, as well.
Does anyone know, however, where the opposite sfora comes from?:
namely, that a wig is more correct than a scarf?  In Boro Park there
are yeshivas and Beis Yaakovs that won't accept children of women who
cover their hair with a scarf (and I mean cover every hair, so that's
not the question) but only if she wears a wig.  (?!)
Elisheva Schwartz


End of Volume 8 Issue 7