Volume 8 Number 8

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Atheists saying prayers
         [Ezra Tanenbaum]
Cohanim Duchaning
         [Uri Meth]
Duchening & Wigs
         [Sam Zisblatt]
Maternal Instincts
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
         [Rick Dinitz]
Nusach Habrachot
         [Elliot David Lasson]
Ovulation and maternal instinct
         [Bruce Krulwich]
         [Pinchus Laufer]
State of Israel
         [Allen Elias]


From: <bob@...> (Ezra Tanenbaum)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 16:31:44 -0400
Subject: Atheists saying prayers

Rav Moshe Feinstein has a Tshuva (Halachic Discussion) concerning the
question of answering AMEN to the Bracha (blessing) of a non-observant
Jew. He states that it is appropriate for the average non-observant Jew
to make a Bracha and for us to answer AMEN since the average person has
a conception that there is G-d.

However, he states that one may NOT say AMEN to the Bracha from a Reform
Rabbi, since the average Reform Rabbi has a decided notion against a
simple belief in G-d.

My friend tells the not-so-funny joke about how long it takes different
rabbis to answer the question, "Do you believe in G-d?"
The Orthodox Rabbi answers in one word, "Yes".
The Conservative Rabbi takes 10 minutes to say, "Maybe".
The Reform Rabbi takes an hour to say, "No".  ;-)

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: <umeth@...> (Uri Meth)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 18:09:09 EDT
Subject: Cohanim Duchaning

In v7n91 M. M. Nir ask for a reason as to why a Cohain (from Lubavitch)
refused to Duchan in a city that was not part of ancient Israel.

I don't know the source for this, nor do I even know if this is correct,
but when I was in Israel I heard the following.

The determination of where to duchan in Israel has to do with the
concept of _Kibush Yehoshua/Yochid Kidshah LeSha'atah Veloh LeAsid
Lavoh, Kibush Ezra Kidshah LeSha'atah OoLeAsid Lavoh_, the conquering of
Joshua/Individual sanctifies the land for the current time period but
not for eternity, while the conquering of Ezra sanctifies the land for
the current time period and forever.  If you base your determination
that you only Duchan all the time in places that were part af Israel
during the second temple, then this might explain the reason that the
Lubavitcher Cohain did not Duchan.

I also heard the following as to why outside of Israel we do not Duchan
today.  This story is said either about the Chazon Ish or R' Nosson
Adler who was the Rav in Frankfurt Ein Mein.  The story is that one of
these Rabbanim wanted to reinstitute Duchaning every day, however right
after the decision was made, the shul burnt to the ground.  The rav took
this as an indication from heaven not to reinstitute Duchaning outside
of Israel.

[My vague memory is that the events occured much earlier, around the
time of the Mechaber and Rama, that three times they tried and for some
reason it did not occur, so they took it as a sign that they should not
institute daily duchanan. Anyone with more definite info please let us
know. Mod.]

Uri Meth                (215) 674-0200 (voice)
SEMCOR, Inc.            (215) 443-0474 (fax)
65 West Street Road     <umeth@...>
Warminster, PA 18974


From: <zisblatt@...> (Sam Zisblatt)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 16:18:41 -0400
Subject: Duchening & Wigs

On the subject of duchening by an "unfit" Cohen, I don't know
if there is any Halachic basis for this anecdote but my wife's
grandfather stopped Duchening after he began medical school
as he felt that what he did by defiling himself with a cadavaer
invalidated his right to the kehuna.
  Also, in response to Eitan Fiorino's remarks about certain
women who only cover their hair outside the home, he must
not have heard the joke about the woman who kept a wig on
a fishing pole near the front door of her house in case she
had to answer the door when her head wasn't covered.
Sam Zisblatt


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 12:16:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Maternal Instincts

  First of all in parshat Tazriah the first words are "ishah ki tazriah"
which can be roughly translated if a woman "seeds". Chazal comment on 
that if a woman "seeds" first then a male offspring is born and if a man
"seeds" first then a female is born. Also in tractate "nidah" chazal say
that there are three partners in a babys creation his mother, father and
g-d. It seems that chazal new that the woman plays an active role in the
creation of a baby and not just an incubator for the "homonucleus" that
the man puts inside her.
 About the maternal instincts you have to clarify exactly what you mean
by assuming maternal instincts.
mechael kanovsky


From: tekbspa!<dinitz@...> (Rick Dinitz)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 18:50:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Mipnay-Hakavod

In mail.jewish Vol. 7 #109 Digest, Eitan Fiorino writes:
>>The relevant gemara is in megila (around daf 12 or 14), where it says that
>>(from memory) "all are qualified to be called up to the Torah, including
>>women and minors.  This was forbidden because of kavod hatzibbur."

In m.j v8#3, Bob Werman considers:
>Is kavod hatzibbur something the tzibbur has the right to relinquish?

Is it possible that kavod hatzibbur depends on the opinions of the
particular tzibbur, rather than on a fixed definition of kavod?  For
example, suppose the members of a congregation agree that they derive
more kavod from encouraging women to be called to the Torah.

 Kol tuv,


From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elliot David Lasson)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 21:37:52 -0400
Subject: Nusach Habrachot

A friend and I were discussing the construction of many of the brachot
we make over mitzvot.  This applies for when the beginning of the bracha
starts out, "asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu.....".  Our basic
question is, what determines whether a bracha is set up using "al" or
"l'" (with a lamed)?.  Is there a general rule regarding this?  Let me
throw out some examples.  For instance, there are two brachot which we
make on tefillin.  The first is "l'haniach tefillin", while the second
is "al mitzvat tefillin".  Why not "al hanachat tefillin" for the first

Examples of "al":

mikra megilla
achilat matza/maror
tevliat kelim
sefirat haomer

Examples of "l'":

lishmoa kol shofar
likro et hahallel
l'hadlik ner shel Shabbat/Yom Tov/Chanukah
l'hachniso bevrito shel Avraham Avinu

There is a subtle difference between saying that 'we are commanded to do
mitzva X' and that the mitzva is 'to do mitzva X'.  My question is if
there is any pattern or rule which is followed.

Elliot D. Lasson (<FC9Q@...>)


From: Bruce Krulwich <krulwich@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 13:18:40 -0400
Subject: Ovulation and maternal instinct

Moshe Sherman asked:

> a)  What sources, if any, indicate that the chachomim understood
> female ovulation - that is to say, that the woman contributes seed ?

The gemorah, I believe in Nidda 35a, discusses different features of a baby
being "given" by the mother, by the father, and by HaShem.  I haven't
investigated the meforshim [commentaries] on this sugya [section] to see how
well it matches modern genetics.  The main point of the sugya was the "triple
partnership" in the creation of a baby: the mother, the father, and HaShem,
with each contributing features, characteristics, and abilities.

As for ChaZaL's understanding that a woman "contributes seed," see Rashi's
commentary at the beginning of parshas Tazria, as well as the Sforno's
commentary there, and the Gemorah's that they are based on.

Dov (Bruce) Krulwich


From: <plaufer@...> (Pinchus Laufer)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 93 12:15:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Raleigh-Durham

In response to the query for minyan , kashruth info in Raleigh-Durham, Prof.
Carl Posey (Philosophy, Duke Univ) is a good source.  He is willing to
correspond via e-mail.  His address is <cpo@...>


From: Allen Elias <100274.346@...>
Date: 30 Jun 93 13:51:31 EDT
Subject: Re: State of 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?

The halacha distinguishes between giving away something permanently and
selling it for a fixed period of time. Giving or selling parts of Eretz
Israel is prohibited if it is done permanently.

This issue has more halachic questions:

  1. Does pikuach nefesh justify giving away parts of Erets Israel?
     Rabbi E.M.Shach and Rabbi Ovadia Yoseff have justified this under
     certain conditions. Others have not.

     (I personally think this argument of pikuach nefesh justifies us
      buying an island in the Pacific, 2000 miles from nowhere.)

  2. The Shulchan Aruch (329:6,7) seems to take the view that it is
     forbidden to take the risk of allowing enemies to take over land
     close to the border. It allows attacking them even on Shabat.
     The Mishna Brura does not differentiate between Eretz Israel or outside. 
     It allows taking over territories outside of Eretz Israel.

  3. The book Shmita Kehilchata does not consider Gaza and the southern  
     Negev as parts of Eretz Israel. Perhaps this may justify the "Gaza first"
     advocates and giving Jordan parts of the Negev it claims.

  4. One Rosh Yeshiva told me the halacha against giving away land does not
     apply today but only when the Temple is in existence. 

I pray three times a day that this question will soon be irrelevant.


End of Volume 8 Issue 8