Volume 8 Number 49

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Blessing children on Friday evening
         [Danny Nir]
K'fiah Datit
         [Turkel Eli]
Making Wills
         [David A Seigel]
Need Info on Yeshivot
         [Jonathan Goldstein]
Stam Yinam
         [Isaac Balbin]
         [Baruch Sterman]


From: Danny Nir <CERARMN@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 93 20:05:58 IST
Subject: Blessing children on Friday evening

   I don't know when the custom originated, but I was witness to the

  In Baltimore, several years ago, a very elderly gentleman (could have
been ne ar 80) was Davening before the Amud.  When he finished he
promptly went down an d called out to his father (in translation from
the Yiddish:) Father, father, please give a Bracha.  His own father must
have been near 100 years of age!

   This single act was so moving, it convinced me to adopt the custom as


From: Turkel Eli <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 93 09:49:19 -0400
Subject: K'fiah Datit

     Elisheva Schwartz writes

> 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).

     I find this hard to believe. In Israel any factory needs official
approval and justification to work on shabbat. As such the average place
would have a very hard time justifying not hiring based on shabbat
observance. I am sure that there are places that discriminate against
religious Jews in more subtle ways but this hard to prove. There were
rumors that years ago Weizmann institute hired very few religious people
or did not give promotions to worthy people, my understanding is that
this no longer applies (?) .  I have heard few stories of companies
discriminating against religious people. I place it still seems to occur
in Israel is in the army where there are almost no religious generals
(outside of the chaplaincy of course).

Eli Turkel


From: <dseigel2@...> (David A Seigel)
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1993 15:34:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Making Wills

     In Volume 8 Number 33 of the Mail.Jewish Mailing List, Stephen
Phillips gives some information about Halochos of inheritance.  He then
asks how a man might be able to leave his assets to his wife without
running afoul of these Halochos.

     I am also a lawyer who draws up wills.  Although I know little
about the Halocho in this area, I do know the secular law in this area.
Since I know little about the Halocho in this area, I CALORed (Consulted
a Local Orthodox Rabbi).  Standard disclaimers apply to the following
information: The LOR (local orthodox rabbi) told me that Reb Moshe
Feinstein wrote a Tshuvah on this subject, the conclusion of which is
that any will that is legally valid according to secular law will also
meet the requirements of the Halocho in this area.

     The LOR said that about 90% of people rely on the Tshuvah from Reb
Moshe Feinstein.  Those who don't want to rely on the Tshuvah use a
Halachic document, the name of which I forgot, but I believe it was 3
words long and the first 2 words were Shtar Chatzi.

     It was a common practice in certain times for a father to leave his
daughters 50% of what he left his sons.  If the father had $900,000, he
would leave $600,000 to his sons and $300,000 to his daughters.  To do
so, he would estimate, for example, that by the time of his death, his
assets would hardly be likely to exceed $2,000,000.  He would write up a
document that said his estate owes his daughters $2,000,000, but that
the debt would be forgiven if his sons agreed to let his daughters have
their $300,000.  This document, which should be prepared or reviewed by
a Rav competent in these matters, would be used in conjunction with a
will by those people who do not want to rely on the Tshuvah of Reb Moshe
Feinstein.  I guess a person who wants to leave all his assets to his
wife would sign a document stating that his estate owed his wife
$2,000,000 unconditionally, or leave a small amount to the sons
conditioned on them agreeing to let the wife have the balance.

     The LOR told me that it is a big problem for a jew who dies without
any will.  If a person dies without any will, secular intestacy laws
might provide that the wife gets half of the estate and the sons and
daughters share the other half.  Since Halocho requires everything to go
to the sons, the wife and daughters might according to Halocho be
stealing from the sons unless they gave the shares they received under
secular law to the sons.  For this reason, the LOR said that it is
important for jews to have valid secular wills.  I forgot to ask if this
applies to women as well as men.

     If anyone wants to learn more about this subject, the LOR told me
of a book in English on this subject by a Reb Feivel Cohen of Flatbush
(a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York).  Unfortunately, the LOR was
unable to remember the title of this book.  The book covers the Halochos
in this area that would be relevant to those not wanting to rely on the
Tshuvah of Reb Moshe Feinstein.

                                   -- Dave Seigel


From: <Jonathan.Goldstein@...> (Jonathan Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 93 02:51:17 -0400
Subject: Need Info on Yeshivot

I'm searching for information on yeshivot in or near Jerusalem. I plan
to try to do some serious long-term learning starting ASAP after I
return to Jerusalem just before Rosh Hashanah.

I envisage that the place where I eventually will go will pretty closely
match the following:

	- uncompromisingly high standard of intellectual excellence;
	- beginners classes in English, advanced classes in Ivrit;
	- infused with joy of learning and living what is learned;
	- allows students to design their own study programme;
	- flat authority hierarchy (ie: Rosh Yeshiva is approachable).
	- edible food / kitchen available for students' use.

Someone told me I would do well to look seriously at Schappels (spelling?).

If anyone can help me by telling me of their personal experiences and
those of people they know, I would be very appreciative.

Thanks a lot.
Jonathan Goldstein       <goldstej@...>       +61 2 339 3683


From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 93 02:51:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Stam Yinam

  | From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)

  |         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).

I would like to take issue with this statement of Rabbi Bechhofer on the
basis that it does not define preponderance. Is this a euphemism for
Daas Torah? There are very many poskim who do consider mechalelei
shabbos b'farhesya different today and not just for the reason that they
haven't learnt. There are many many more reasons for being lenient.  I
would venture to say that your LOR probably would rather that you
*didn't* ask these questions of him, and if you decided to rely on
someone like Rav Ettlinger in the Binyan Tzion, then your LOR would not
be at all flustered.


From: Baruch Sterman <baruch@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1993 07:28:57 +0300
Subject: Tekhelet

Mike Gerver asks

>Prof. Feliks says that the
>chemical analysis of the tzitzit found at Massada shows that the blue
>dye used was indigo (kla-illan), apparently in violation of the gemara
>which prohibits the use of indigo (of vegetable origin) for dyeing
>But if, as Baruch informs us, the blue dye from the
>hilazon in chemically identical to indigo, then perhaps the tzitzit at
>Massada were kosher?

>I assume that the bromated forms would occur
>only in the snails, and not in vegetable indigo? Has anyone looked for
>them in the Massada tzitzit? If not, is there anyone on the list who is
>in a position to do such an analysis, or to get someone else to do it?

There are two issues here but I would like to address only the second.
The first - regarding the "tzitzit" that Prof. Yigal Yadin found at
Massada - has been the subject of much recent research which disproves
the claim that the garment or group of threads found were indeed
tzitzit.  I will ask Joel Guberman, who is familiar with this work
better than I, to respond.

As to the second issue, whether the presence of trace amounts of di- and
monobromoindigo can be used to validate true tekhelet as opposed to Kala
Ilan, this has led to an interesting argument within the Murex tekhelet
advocates. Two parameters of the tekhelet are theoretically controlable:
the color (ranging from purple to blue depending on how much sunlight
the reduced dye is exposed to) and the depth of the color (lighter or
darker, depending on how much you dilute the dye with water). As to the
second, Rav Rappaport from Shevut Yisrael in Efrat believes that the
blue should be lighter (more dilution) based on the description of
tekhelet as matching the sky which is near the midday sun. Some of us,
however, feel that the royal nature of the color is most apparent when
it is deep and full. A king would not dilute the color of his robes.
Either way, we don't believe that from an halakhic standpoint there is a
difference - both being acceptable.

Regarding the actual color (purple or blue), virtually all of the
descriptions of tekhelet found in the halakhic sources tend to associate
tekhelet with blue. One exception is the Belzer Chasidim who have a
tradition that it should be purple. (In fact, some of the wool that we
dyed came out too purple for our taste, and we gave it to a very
grateful Belzer Chasid.) Dr Irving Ziderman, who has written a great
deal on Murex tekhelet and has advanced the research substantially,
feels that there must be some dibromoindigo left in the tekhelet. His
claim is, that a test is recorded in the Talmud to differentiate between
tekhelet and Kala Ilan. If the molecules are identical, however, then no
test could ever distinguish between them. Therefore, some other molecule
- namely dibromoindigo - must be mixed in with the indigo.

There are a few problems with Ziderman's claim. 
1) The test may not have been directed towards the actual indigo, but 
might have worked on the fats and/or protiens that were inevitably mixed 
in with the indigo. 
2) The test recorded would not affect dibromoindigo either (letting the 
string sit in stale urine and baking in a sourdough mixture, etc.). 
3) Some scholars (Rav Rappaport, for example) discern two stages in the 
Talmud. The first was before indigo arrived from India, where the fake 
tekhelet was a different chemical and when a test could be performed to 
differentiate between Kala Ilan and tekhelet. Later, when cheap indigo
became available, there was in fact no test capable of differentiating.
Hence the Gemara states that the reason fear of God is mentioned in the
portion of the Tora dealing with tekhelet (ani Hashem Elokekhem...) is
because only God can tell between he who hangs threads of tekhelet on 
his garment and he who hangs Kala Ilan, implying that aside from 
omiscience, no other method for determining the difference was available. 
4) Dr Ziderman tried very hard to control the exposure to sunlight in order 
to get a purple blue mixture, but in the end it all looked the same blue 
as when we dyed exposing it fully. In fact, Rav Rappaport is fond of saying 
that when people come up to him and ask him how he knows what the real color
of tekhelet is and who "paskened" regarding it, he answers that the most
reliable posek in the world ruled - the Chilazon himself paskened!

Baruch Sterman - Efrat


End of Volume 8 Issue 49