Volume 9 Number 54
                       Produced: Tue Oct 19  7:34:57 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bicycle on Yom Tov (2)
         [Merril Weiner, Janice Gelb]
         [Aaron Naiman]
Phonetic, interlinear, linear
         [Claire Austin]
Smoking and Halacha
         [Shaul Wallach]
Smoking on Yom-Tov
         [Daniel Epstein]


From: <weiner@...> (Merril Weiner)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 93 16:42:00 -0400
Subject: Bicycle on Yom Tov

In Volume 9 Number 48, Lon Eisenbeg wrote:

   The prohibition against riding bicycles on yom tov is the same as on
   Shabbat; it is not related to carrying.  There is a rabbinical decree
   against it because of fear of fixing it should it break.

Considering the novelty of bicycles, is there an actual rabbinical
decree?  I think an additional problem is that the bicycle becomes
muktzeh as soon as it breaks prohibiting even the touching of it.  So it
could not be locked up or carried home.  Is this correct?  If so, then
if a person buyes a $25 bike which, if broken, would be discarded, can
they not ride it on Shabbat within an eruv or on Yom Tov?

   Merril Weiner                <weiner@...>
   1381 Commonwealth Ave. #6    <weiner@...>
   Allston, MA  02134           Boston University School of Law

From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 93 16:42:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Bicycle on Yom Tov

> The prohibition against riding bicycles on yom tov is the same as on
> Shabbat; it is not related to carrying.  There is a rabbinical decree
> against it because of fear of fixing it should it break.
> IMHO, this makes sense, since one tends to ride long distances (as would
> be desired by Yehuda Harper) and would possibly be too far from the
> destination to just walk it the rest of the way.   

I too have heard this rationale for not using bicycles on Shabbat or
Yom Tov. My question is: what about in-line rollerblade skates?  I've
seen a number of people use them on Shabbat and am wondering if they
are permissible and, if so, why, since the same prohibition would seem
to apply. Plus, if they broke and one *couldn't* fix them, I'd think
one would be tempted to carry them...

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


From: <naiman@...> (Aaron Naiman)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 93 20:30:23 -0400
Subject: Minneapolis

Hello there fellow(/fellette?) mj'ers.  I am looking for info on
Minneapolis, on short notice (sorry).  I will be arriving late after
Shabbat, Oct. 23, and I would like info (phone numbers and/or addresses)
on shuls, kosher places to eat, maybe even some sightseeing.  I will be
attending a symposium at the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, near
the Whitney Hotel.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.  My numbers are (if that is
easier): H: (301) 681-8150, W: (301) 805-7568.  Or alternatively, you
can also send me your number and I will call you back.

Thanx a bunch!

Aaron Naiman | IDA/SRC          | University of Maryland, Dept. of Mathematics
             | <naiman@...> | naiman@math.umd.edu


From: Claire Austin <CZCA@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 93 00:28:43 -0400
Subject: Phonetic, interlinear, linear

In response to Rabbi Joseph's posting concerning a phonetic
transliteration of the Siddur, I introduced the subject of interlinear
translations.  I hope I haven't introduced any confusion in doing this.
A phonetic transliteration is an invaluable aid to someone who wants to
follow the service (or songs, or birkat hamazon) but isn't able to read
Hebrew phonetically.  That is by sounding out the letters without
understanding the meaning of the words.  The phonetic transliteration
does this so that the person can read from left to right with the
familiar characters as one would read English.

I also did not mean to imply that there was anything wrong with using a
transliteration.  It does take some time to learn to read Hebrew, even
without understanding the words.  It is tremendously important to be
able to participate in the public service, to being able to sing with
others even without understanding all the words.  The phonetic
transliteration (or translation) allows one to do this.  I certainly
wish I had had one when I was learning to read.

The next step is to read phonetically one self straight from the Hebrew
text.  After that, we try to learn the meaning of the words.  Many
Siddurim give the Hebrew text on one side with the English translation
opposite.  This gives the meaning of the text but doesn't help at all
with the vocabulary.  The Metsudah Siddur gives a phrase by phrase
translation in parallel columns down the page.  This is more helpful if
one really wants to learn the meaning of the Hebrew words one is saying
and I think it is referred to as a linear translation.

What I had brought up was the existence of inter-linear translations.
This is a word by word translation, the English word appearing directly
above the Hebrew word as one reads from right to left.  The only problem
is that I've never seen an interlinear translation in English, only in
French.  The one that I have in French is from the same publisher (Les
editions Colbo) which produces the phonetic transliteration which Rabbi
Joseph had mentionned.  BTW, I have never seen a phonetic
transliteration of the Siddur put out by an English language publisher.
I have difficulty understanding why this is the case since both the
phonetic transliteration and the interlinear translation are great
learning aids and would be appreciated by many, many people.

I hope this clears up any confusion or misunderstanding which I may have

Claire Austin


From: Shaul Wallach <f66204@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 93 12:01:43 IST
Subject: Smoking and Halacha

     It seems unconceivable to me that the issue of smoking and halacha
would not have been discussed sometime in the past on mail-jewish, but
somehow do not remember when. Now that Avi Hyman has raised the question
again, specifically with regard to Yom Tov, I thought it would be nice
to present a brief selection of halachic opinion on the matter.

     First of all, before asking whether smoking is permitted on Yom
Tov, we should ask whether it is permitted at all, given its now
universally recognized hazard to health. The principle that one is not
permitted to injure himself is basic to Jewish law and is based on the
verse (Num.  6:11) "... and he shall atone for him for what he sinned
over the flesh ..." (see the Mishna Bava Qama 8:6 and the Talmud ibid.
91b). See also Deut. 4:15 - "We-nishmartem me'od le-nafshoteichem" ("And
you shall diligently protect your souls", cf. Berakhot 32b) which is
often cited to emphasize the importance of avoiding all physical danger.
On this basis our Rabbis forbade many hazardous things, such as walking
under a ladder or eating fruits that were bitten by a snake. It seems
that they would without any doubt likewise forbid cigarette smoking for
the same reason.

    In fact, Jewish scholars have long been aware of the hazards of
cigarette smoking. Thus the 18th century scholar R. Netanel Weil, in his
Qorban Netanel on Rabbeinu Asher (Beiza 2:22, note 10), in refuting
opinions that smoking on Yom Tov is permitted, remarks that "smoking
tobacco by someone who is not used to it is dangerous; they go around
and shake like a drunkard." Similarly R. Yehiel Heller (middle 19th
century), in his Resp. `Amudei Or (29:5) concurs for the same reason and
adds, "... and all the medical books warn man not to habituate himself
to it." See R. Hizqiya Medini in his Sedei Hemed (Asifat Dinim,
Ma`arekhet Yom Tov 1:2) who agrees with the `Amudei Or. In our century,
the saintly R. Yisrael Meir Hacohen (the Hafez Hayyim), while he brings
both the lenient and stringent opinions about smoking on Yom Tov in his
Bi'ur Halakha (to the Shulhan `Arukh, Orah Hayyim 511:4), nevertheless
strongly warned people not to start smoking because of the hazards to
health (Liqutei Amarim, ch. 13). And this was decades before the
celebrated Surgeon General's report in 1964.

     In our generation, several noted authorities have explicitly
prohibited cigarette smoking altogether. These include R. Hayyim David
Halevi (`Ase Lekha Rav 2:1 and 3:18), R. Eliezer Waldenberg (Ziz Eliezer
15:39) and R. Shemuel Tovia Stern (Resp. Ha-Shavi"t, vol. 3, 134b). See
also R. Avraham S. Avraham in his Nishmat Avraham on Orah Hayyim 511.
Even the leading authorities are starting to take cognizance of the new
medical knowledge. Thus R. Ovadia Yosef, after ignoring the medical
aspect in some of his earlier responsa dealing with smoking in the
synagogue and on fast days, has recently changed his attitude. Thus, in
Resp. Yehawwe Da`at 5:39 he declares, "And in particular the supervisors
in the yeshivot, the keepers of the holy guard, must keep their eyes
open on the yeshiva students so that they not accustom themselves to
it." A similar instruction was furnished to this writer in the name of
R. Shemuel Wosner by one of the authorities in his Beit Din (rabbinical
court), who likewise forbids giving children cigarettes to smoke on

     Even authorities who have hesitated to come out with an all-out ban
on smoking have forbidden one to smoke where it disturbs or harms
others. Thus R. Moshe Feinstein ZS"L, who was lenient in a short
responsum dated the 7th day of Hanukka 5724 (Iggerot Moshe, Vol. 5, Yore
De`a 49), later issued a ban on smoking in yeshivot and kolelim where
the smoke bothers other students. This letter is reprinted in Sefer
Asia, Volume 5 (Schlesinger Institute, Jerusalem, 5746) by R. Mordechai
Halperin. R. Halperin devotes a whole section of this volume of Sefer
Asia to the problem of smoking from both a medical and halakhic point of
view and has contributed a comprehensive discussion of halakhic opinion
himself (ibid., pp. 238-247).

     Going back to the specific question of smoking on Yom Tov, and
ignoring temporarily the health aspect, there is indeed a difference of
opinion over whether it constitutes a violation of forbidden labors on
Yom Tov. Thus the Rambam (Hilkot Yom Tov 1:4) rules that kindling a fire
is permitted on Yom Tov even when it is not needed for preparing food.
He also rules that it is forbidden to burn incense on coals (ibid. 4:6)
because one momentarily extinguishes the coals in the process, and this
act of extinguishing is forbidden by the Torah since it is not needed as
everyone's food. Rashi, however (on Beiza 22b), explains that it is
forbidden also because the burning itself is not needed by the average
person and hence is forbidden by the Torah (see also Ketuboth 7a). Thus
according to the Rambam the actual lighting up of a cigarette would not
be a violation of Yom Tov since there is no extinguishing done, provided
that one does not light up from someone else's cigarette. But according
to Rashi, whom most of the Poseqim (later authorities) follow, there is
a question of issur Torah (prohibition from the Torah) since cigarette
smoking may be likened to burning incense for it is not "Shawe lekhol
nefesh" (not everyone is equal in enjoying it). This is the reasoning of
the `Amudei Or and the Sede Hemed cited above, since many people today
do not only not enjoy smoking but actually abhor it.

     No one need remind us of the Rambam's concern for our physical well
being, as expressed in his Hilkot De'ot and his medical works. Even
though he would not forbid the actual lighting of a cigarette as a
violation of Yom Tov, I have but little doubt that he would forbid
smoking altogether as being dangerous to health. For this reason R.
Halperin, in his discussion in Sefer Asia cited above, concludes that
smoking on Yom Tov is forbidden by the Torah in all opinions.


Shaul Wallach


From: <d.epstein@...> (Daniel Epstein)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 93 16:41:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Smoking on Yom-Tov

  Avi Hyman writes(v9n47)...
>I was out of town for Simchat Torah, so I found out where the local
>Lubavitch hang out (a small yeshiva it turns out) and walked a few miles to
>get there on Erev Simchat Torah for dancing, etc.
>At about 11 pm, tired and sweaty, I put on my coat to leave for the long
>walk back. As I went out the door, to my suprise I saw several men of
>varying ages smoking. What's the deal here? As long as the lit the cig from
>existing an existing flame it's kosher and yosher? How about Maris Eyen?
>How about doing things "in the spirit of the holiday and refraining?

In my humble opinion I don't think there would be any problem of Ma'aras
Eyen as smoking is classified under the heading of "Ochel Nefesh"(physical
need and 'pleasure'")and most people recognise this.About doing things "in
the spirit of the holiday and refraining" what about doing things in the
spirit of "U'Vocharta BaChaim" and "Venishmartem me'od lenafshoseichem"?!!
  Kol Tuv and Gut Chodesh,
p.s. If anyone wants to know anything about London Jewish Life (or anywhere
in the UK within reason),R.S.V.P.!


End of Volume 9 Issue 54