Volume 8 Number 40

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Head Coverings
         [Janice Gelb]
Kosher (etc.) in Mount Holyoke, MA
         [Art Werschulz]
L.A. and San Diego Info needed
         [Telecom UNIX Program Office (410)764-3627]
Shababnikim, Yeshiva Students and the Army
         [David A Rier]
Tinuk Shenishba and Wine
         [Rachamim Pauli]
Torah and Chossan's Tisch
         [Danny Nir]
Wanted: Yerushalayim Apartment
         [James Diamond]
Why always look for reasons not to?
         [Frank Silbermann]
Women as Sofrei Stam (2)
         [Joel Goldberg,  R. Binyamin Tabory]


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 23:01:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Head Coverings

One of the more ironic aspects of women covering their hair so that
only their husbands can see it in its glory is that in order to wear
wigs comfortably, most women cut their hair very short. This means that
if you accept the premise that long hair is an alluring part of a
woman's appearance, these women look better to the outside world in
a natural-looking nice wig than they do at home to their husbands.

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1993 14:55:31 -0400
Subject: Kosher (etc.) in Mount Holyoke, MA

I will most likely be going to a conference next summer at Mount Holyoke
College (South Hadley, MA).  Does anybody have any information about the
existence of Jewish life-support systems (Kosher food, minyanim, and so

      Art Werschulz	(8-{)}
      InterNet:  <agw@...>
      ATTnet:    Columbia University (212) 939-7061
                 Fordham University  (212) 636-6325


From: Telecom UNIX Program Office (410)764-3627 <afrydman@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 09:43:24 EDT
Subject: L.A. and San Diego Info needed

A friend of mine from Har Nof will be attending a course which will be
given in San Diego during the week of August 23-27. He needs the
following information:

1. When is "Shkia" for that week (Friday August 27) in San Diego and L.A?
2. Are there any reliable kosher establishments in San Diego?
3. Are there any Orthodox shuls in San Diego?

He has some friends in L.A. and wouldd rather spend Shabbat there than
in San Diego (where he doesn't know anybody). The question is whether
class ends early enough on Friday to allow him to drive up to L.A.
(about a 3 hour drive he's been told).




From: David A Rier <dar6@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 08:06:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Shababnikim, Yeshiva Students and the Army

Regarding the discussion of service of yeshiva students and shababnikim
in the army (or lack thereof): What would happen if an exchange program
were instituted between yeshivot and the army?  i.e., those now under
the yeshiva exemption would exchange places with secular soldiers--the
yeshiva types would serve for a certain period in the army, preferably,
of course, in separate units which permitted as full observance as
humanly possible in a military setting, and which would protect against
secular influences.  Conversely, the secular soldiers would have to put
in a stint in yeshiva.  What would this accomplish?  First, I could see
yeshiva types even being gald for the chance to serve if it gets a
secular person into a yeshiva, even for a time.  Second, it would
provide the yeshiva types with some military training which,
unfortuantely, might be necessary some day.  While it's doubtful that
mandatory yeshiva service is the best way to appreciate Torah, so many
people are so estranged from learning that it would still be worth the
exposure they'd lack otherwise.  If special "IDF" yeshiva programs were
created for secular soldiers, maye some of them would be hooked for
good.  Meanwhile, both camps would learn to appreciate what the other
experiences, which probably would reduce causeless hatred etween the
two.  And, personally, if I were in a yeshiva, I'd be willing to go to
great lengths to get secular types in.  Well, pardon the rambling
message, but it's a thought.  

David Rier


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Rachamim Pauli)
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 17:48:10 -0400
Subject: Tinuk Shenishba and Wine

In Vol 8/3 Eitan Fiorino writes about a modern "Athiest" or non Shabbot
observer touching wine. I used to always boil my wine when my mother or
the rest of my non-religious family came to visit until Rabbi Tuvia
Mushkin told me of a Shuir of HaRav Simcha HaCohen Kuk (Shlita) - Chief
Rabbi of Rehovot stating that today we can consider all non-religious
from birth people as Tinukot Shenisha and therefore it is permissible to
drink wine which they touch.  I would like to add one warning about new
immigrants from the Soviet Union which according to HaRav Branover and
many other highly reliable sources that up to 33% are gentiles.
Therefore in the case of the later, unless they themselves are observing
Shabbot, I recommend following the stricter opinion.(this is not a P'sak
only an opinion)
 - Rachamim Pauli


From: Danny Nir <CERARMN%<TECHNION.bitnet@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 93 20:13:07 IST
Subject: Torah and Chossan's Tisch

  The reason we jest with the Chattan and do not let him say much is in
order to help him avoid giving one if he is shy or unable to do so due
to lack of erudition.  Thus, we give him greater Kavod by stopping him
from making a fool of himself.

Danny Nir


From: James Diamond <diamond@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 02:49:14 -0400
Subject: Wanted: Yerushalayim Apartment

Woman academician looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom apt. in Yerushalayim for 9
months from Sept. '93 until June '94.  Central area preferred.
Reply e-mail to <nberg@...>


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 23:02:06 -0400
Subject:  Why always look for reasons not to?

In vol. 8 #26 Hayim Hendeles discusses our reluctance to accept
Halachily-permitted innovations (quoting Baltimore's Rabbi Moshe Heineiman):

> ... the "innovations" that were first adopted by the Reform movement
> were halachikly justifiable.  ...  Yet, we know where that led to.

I am not convinced that the initial innovations are to blame for German
Jews throwing off the yoke of Torah.  Even before those initial
innovations, unprecedented numbers of German Jews were cynically seeking
insincere baptisms.  I suspect that a skepticism of the value and
authenticity of religion in general was to blame.

I wonder whether the right wing reaction against the initial (halachicly
permissible) reforms did more harm than good.  If some rabbis overstated
their position to say that _any_ change in our practice was forbidden,
well, their equating of custom with Halacha might have given reformers
opportunity to assert that that our religion practices in general are
mere tradition.  (Of this, Pirke Avot says "be careful of an error in

> Anytime, we attempt to change any part of our 3000+ year old tradition,
> for whatever reason - however noble it may be, there is always a serious
> risk that "kol hamosif, gorea" (anyone who attempts to add, will in
> fact, detract).

I hope those who would forbid that which is Halachicly permitted are
also cautioned by this.

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


From: <goldberg@...> (Joel Goldberg)
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1993 09:28:24 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Re: Women as Sofrei Stam

>             Similarly, there is a halachah that a woman cannot read the
> Megillat Esther on behalf of a man, but she may read it on behalf of
> other women, since although the Rabbis did require women also to hear
> the megillah, nevertheless their obligation is not the same as men's
> obligation.

The Shulchan Aruch says that a woman can be yotze (fulfill the
obligation of) a man with respect to reading the megilla--based on the
above noted fact that a woman is also obligated in megilla.
Nevertheless, the Rama overrules the S.A. and forbids a woman to be
yotze a man. I have asked about this a number of times and have never
heard that there is a lesser obligation on women with respect to
Megilla, which means that an answer that addresses the usual criterion
of yotze was not forthcoming. However, there is one answer I've heard
that does. Namely, that on Purim, where there is no Hallel per se,
reading the megilla is the "effective" Hallel.  Now, women are not
obligated in Hallel, so they cannot be yotze the "Hallel" aspect of
megilla for a man.

From: <etzion@...> ( R. Binyamin Tabory)
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 93 18:38:27 -0400
Subject:  Women as Sofrei Stam

Recent mail has discussed the permissibility of women writing sifrei
torah, tefillin and mezuzot.  There has also been discussion of whether
these mitzvot are "zman garman" (time related).  I will try to explain
briefly the role of the woman in these mitzvot:

1)  Sifrei torah - The Rambam has a list of mitzvot which are 
"hechreciot" (necessary), printed at the end of the positive 
commandments of Sefer hamitzvot.  He states there that women are not 
required to write a sefer torah, although men are so obligated (mitzvah 
18).  The Rambam codifies in the Yad Hachazaka (Tefillin, ch. 1, 
halacha 13) that sifrei torah, tefillin and mezuzot written by a woman 
are pesulim.  This does not mean it is "kosher" for women only, it 
means pasul, period.  If a women were to write and read from that 
torah, it would be the same as reading from a printed book.  The 
Shaagat Aryeh (#35) questions the source of the Rambam that women are 
exempt from writing a sefer torah.  He suggests that it is possible 
that women are required to write a sefer but are technically 
invalidated from writing one.  If the mitzvah is merely to own a torah, 
it is possible that women are required to own one, but they can not 
write one.  If the mitzva is to *write* a torah, it seems difficult 
that women could be obligated in a mitzvah that they cannot fulfill!  
(see Minhas Chinuch - mitzvah 613).

The Shach in Yoreh Deah (281/6) cites an interpretation of the Rif and 
the Rosh that women may write a sefer torah, which he finds 
inconclusive.  The Sulchan Aruch (Y.D. 285) says women may not write 
one (like the Rambam).

2)  Tefillin - Women are exempt from tefillin, as it is compared (in 
kriyat sh'ma) to talmud torah.  As a matter of fact, tefillin serves as 
the the main source that women are exempt from time-related mitzovt 
(see Kidushin 34a).  It is derived from this exemption that women can 
not write tefillin (see Gittin 45b).

3)  Mezuza - Women are obligated in mezuza (Brachot 20), yet the gemara 
cited above (Gittin 45b) says they may not write mezuzot.  Although 
this is codified in the Rambam (Tefillin 1,13), it seems strange (see 
the previous discussion of sefer torah) that women are obligated to do 
the mitzva but cannot write a mezuza.  If the mitzva is to put up a 
mezuza (and writing it is only a hechsher mitzva) it could be 
understood.  The Rambam apparently maintained that the mitzva is to put 
it on the house rather than write it (see Mezuza 5,7, that one makes 
the bracha when one affixes the mezuza, but not when one writes it).  
Although the Tur cites the gemara in Gittin that women cannot write 
tefillin, he does not say that women cannot write mezuzot (see the 
Shach cited above).  It is possible that he thought that the mitzva is 
to write a mezuza (see the introduction to Yoreh Deah 285 - " it is a 
mitzva to write and affix...", and therefore if women are obligated in 
that mitzva they must perforce be allowed to write a mezuza.

R. Binyamin Tabory


End of Volume 8 Issue 40