Volume 8 Number 41

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Halachic Reaction to External Factors
         [Michael R. Stein]
Halakha, Modernity and Women
         [Esther R Posen ]
Shabbanikim, Yeshiva Students and the Army
         [Elisheva Schwartz]
Shkiya in Los Angeles and San Diego
         [Andrew Shooman]
Stam Yinam
         [Yosef Bechhofer]


From: <mike@...> (Michael R. Stein)
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 12:07:43 -0400
Subject: Halachic Reaction to External Factors

I would like to reinforce the point made by David Novak in Mail.Jewish
Volume 8 Number 37 with two stories of my own.  He writes

> So too, when a woman is an aguna (halachically "chained" to a missing
> husband) a great posek finds ways to meet the needs of this woman

and gives the example of R. Moshe Feinstein zt"l who bent over backwards to
free women whose husbands had disappeared in the Holocaust.

When Rav Aharon Lichtenstein visited Chicago this past year, he was asked
about the permissibility of choosing which posek to consult depending on
the issue being considered. In the course of his answer, he referred
(positively) to rabbanim of a previous generation who would send agunot who
came to them for a p'sak to Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Spector, who was
well-known to be a mekil on these issues. Thus not only do great poskim
sometimes work hard within the bounds of halacha to meet the needs of those
asking she'elot, but other poskim refer such cases to those with the
halachic subtlety to deal with them.

A final example, perhaps more mundane.  During the current uncertainty
concerning the kashrut status of Best and Sinai products, a local Rav was
asked by a family who had recently stocked up on such products what they
should do with them.  Because of their economic circumstances, he found
reason to posken that it was alright for them to eat those things which
they had already bought, which was contrary to the general p'sak for his
kahal. (I fully recognize the halachic principle involved here; what I want
to emphasize is that this principle itself sanctions -- or perhaps mandates
-- results-oriented p'sak in these cases.)

Mike Stein

Michael R. Stein					  <mike@...>
Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-2730


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen )
Date: 20 Jul 93 14:19:37 GMT
Subject: Re: Halakha, Modernity and Women

I have found the discussion on "accomodating women" using a modern
orthodox approach very interesting.  I have been very reluctant to join
in the fray because I do not consider myself "modern" orthodox and do
not want to appear defensive.  However, I think much of the discussion
begs the question.  Clearly if a women insists that she learn gemarrah,
say kaddish aloud, read from the torah in a women's minyan, or even not
cover her hair, go mixed swimming or else she will drop the whole
"orthodox package", i.e throw out the baby with the bath water, any
posek, or logical orthodox jew will tell her to do what she needs to do
to adhere to the largest percentage of "torah u'mitzvot" that she
possibly can and work on herself to accept more.  Additionally, the
posek may find a halachic approach that could approve of her activities
within the boundaries of halacha.

(This is very different from the example cited of a man married to a
severly disabled woman where this is the ONLY way they could live a
normal married life because of physical limitations. Or the case cited
re Rav Moshe Feinstein being matir sofek agunot and mamzerim in order to
permit jewish men and women "normal" married lives, again as this is the
ONLY way that would be halachically feasible.)

On a personal level this is true of both men and women.  There may be
many areas of halachah were orthodox men and women behave in ways they
know are not the "ultimate" way to practice the religion.  There are
also many cases where there are stringent and more lenient approaches to
halachic issue.  Kashrut is a simple non-contraversial area to
illustrate this.  Cholov Yisroel is a good example.  Clearly it is mutar
in United States to consume what is labeled as "Cholov Stam".  However,
one must admit that either it is better or it is unneccesary to restrict
oneself to Cholov Yisroel products.  I, for one, maintain that it is
better but slightly to extremely more difficult to do so, depending on
where one lives etc.  Chadash and pas yisroel would be other examples.

Back to my point, the fundamental question is "what is the ultimate goal
of the jewish woman?".  Is it to learn gemarrah, say kaddish,
participate in women's prayer groups, and in many ways satisfy her
"modern" needs outside the home or is to be the Akeret Habyit and find
religous fulfillment at home with her husband and children if she is
lucky enough to have either or both.  Clearly the orthodox jewish
religion is not egalitarian.  At best, it puts forward a "separate but
equal approach" advocating different but equally important roles for men
and women within the religion.  Is it our problem as women, that we no
longer view our role as "Akeret Habayit" as equa?.  Have we "improved"
as women and we are now more "modern" or have we slipped and now need
more to maintain our orthodoxy?  I for one feel slightly schizophrenic
(as I am sure some orthodox men feel as well) moving from the world of
my family to the world of my work every day.  I need both for now,
perhaps for more than financial reasons, but I wish that I didn't.  The
point may be subtle but I do think we need to think about the difference
between what's permitted, what's perferred, and what is the ultimate
jewish woman.  Than we need to make personal decisions with our
families, with our rabbi etc. to find our niche.  If it is a compromise,
as it most often needs to be, hopefully it will be completely within
halachic boundaries.

Esther Posen


From: Elisheva Schwartz <es63@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 15:04:49 EDT
Subject: RE: Shabbanikim, Yeshiva Students and the Army

Fellow Columbian David Rier proposes an exchange program sending
Yeshiva students to the Army in separate units, and "Hillonim" to
Yeshiva for the same period.  Sorry, David, :-), but this would NEVER work. 
The mutual intolerance (not to say hatred) between large parts of the
religious and secular groups in Israel would never allow such a thing. 
The situation is so bad that, when recruits are brought to a Kibbutz in
order to get an idea of that kind of life, they may not be brought to a
religious one.  (There was an incident several years ago, where an
officer was reprimanded for exposing his poor defenseless charges to
religious kibbutz life.)  There was also the incident where someone was
reprimanded for putting b"h at the beginning of a letter on Army
The Hillonim (secular) call all of this "K'fiah datit"  (religious
coercion) and are very much on guard for any perceived encroachment. 
(From my point of view, there is, generally, a lot more "k'fiah
hillonit" [anti-religious coercion] than the other way around.  For
example, an Israeli employer can refuse to hire religious Jews, saying
that all workers are required to be available to work on Shabbat).
	Having said all this, I think that David's idea is a great one,
but will never happen before Mashiach comes!
Elisheva Schwartz


From: Andrew Shooman <andys@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 14:14:27 -0400
Subject: Shkiya in Los Angeles and San Diego

     This is a submission for the mail-jewish list.

     Avi Frydman asked for the times of Shkiya (sunset) in Los Angeles
and San Diego for 27 Aug 1993.

     Here are the answers as computed by my Sunrise/Sunset program
(recently mentioned by Allan Shedlo).  The original Sunrise/Sunset
program came from Astronomy magazine, April 1984, pp. 75-77.  I added
Halachic Z'manim to the program.

     Sunset in Los Angeles is 19:26 PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) and in
San Diego is 19:20 PDT on 27 Aug 1993.

     If anyone is interested, I can post the source code (C or Basic)
of the Sunrise/Sunset program, documentation, and a table of places,
latitudes, longitudes, and time zones.

[I'll contact Andy and we'll put it up on the listserv. Mod.]

					--Andy Shooman

Here is the complete output:

Los Angeles:

Sunrise/Sunset Program
LAT ----> 34.03
LON ----> 118.14
ZONE ---> 7
YEAR ---> 1993
MONTH --> 8
DAY ----> 27

Astronomical Dawn   4.55
Nautical Dawn       5.26
Civil Dawn          5.57
SUNRISE             6.23
SUNSET             19.26
Civil Dusk         19.51
Nautical Dusk      20.22
Astronomical Dusk  20.53
Length             13.03

Alot ha-Shachar     5.11
Talit v'T'filin     5.23
SUNRISE             6.23
Z'man T'fila        9.39
Midday             12.55
Mincha G'dola      13.27
Mincha K'tana      16.43
Candles            19.08
SUNSET             19.26
3 Stars            20.06

San Diego:

Sunrise/Sunset Program
LAT ----> 32.42
LON ----> 117.09
ZONE ---> 7
YEAR ---> 1993
MONTH --> 8
DAY ----> 27

Astronomical Dawn   4.54
Nautical Dawn       5.25
Civil Dawn          5.55
SUNRISE             6.20
SUNSET             19.20
Civil Dusk         19.45
Nautical Dusk      20.15
Astronomical Dusk  20.46
Length             12.59

Alot ha-Shachar     5.09
Talit v'T'filin     5.21
SUNRISE             6.20
Z'man T'fila        9.36
Midday             12.50
Mincha G'dola      13.23
Mincha K'tana      16.38
Candles            19.02
SUNSET             19.20
3 Stars            20.00


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 93 19:04:52 -0400
Subject: Stam Yinam

Wine Touched by Mechalelei Shabbos

        I would like to note that the preponderance of Halachic
opinion is that Mechalelei Shabbos do render uncooked wine non-kosher
even if they are tinokos shenishbu, so consult a LOR (the Melamed
L'Ho'il brings the tinokos shenishbu sevara and rejects it, among
others who do so).


End of Volume 8 Issue 41