Volume 9 Number 68
                       Produced: Sun Oct 24 19:29:55 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another View on Shemittah
         [Zev Kesselman]
Baby's name
         [Danny Nir]
Bicycle on Shabbat
         [Morris Podalak]
         [Merril Weiner]
Bicycles and Language
         [Anthony Fiorino]
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Simchat Torah
         [Elliot David Lasson]


From: Zev Kesselman <ZEV%<HADASSAH@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 93 09:35 JST
Subject: Another View on Shemittah

	Seven years ago, our settlement was comprised of about 2/3
immigrants from Western countries.  The mara-deasra (LOR), himself
native Israeli, addressed this demographic state of affairs by
*recommending* (not paskening) that the settlement should make every
effort to not rely on the heter mechira.  He cited the Shlah's opinion
as a basis; the Shlah was himself an 'oleh chadash'.  For those that
don't have easy access to the Shlah, I offer this translation (my own:
to be taken with two grains of salt!  I also quote only a part of it).

	"The year after I came to Jerusalem was a Shmitta year, and many
of the residents of our Holy Land wanted to exempt themselves because of
the great exigency; for in the previous year there had been a famine in
the land, and they weren't able to meet their daily needs, much less
prepare the requirements for the coming Shmitta year; and they were
coming up with contrived solutions.  And I considered my own position,
and thought: 'I have to keep more than them, even to the point of
selling the shirt off my back, because Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu will tell me,
"Why did you leave a place where you were exempt from this, and come to
a place of chiyuv to abandon this mitzvah?  Why did you come to
contaminate my land?"  Granted, for those that were already living here,
their punishment isn't so great...'".  The Shlah also writes that he
later found corroboration for his feelings in another work, Sefer

	I don't mean to imply (or deny) that Heter Mechira is a
"contrived solution".  It probably didn't exist in the Shlah's day, so
please turn your flamethrowers to low.  The intent of our (then) LOR was
that special care should be taken by those that put themselves into the
situation they're in.

	Source:  Shnei Luchot Habrit, Shaar Haotityot, Entry-Eretz Yisrael.

				Zev Kesselman


From: Danny Nir <danny@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 93 05:14:31 -0400
Subject: Baby's name

Our son's Brit was on Friday.  His name is Gilad Moshe.  Thank you all
for your warm wishes of Mazal Tov.

Moira, Danny, Avital and Gilad Nir
|<danny@...>         \_    \_        \_              Moshav Ya'ad|
|Tel:972-4-909966                 \_        \_              D.N. Misgav|
|Fax:972-4-909965              \_\_\_        \_     Haifa, Israel 20155|


From: Morris Podalak <morris@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 93 05:14:28 -0400
Subject: Bicycle on Shabbat

I just want to point out a little -known work by Rav Ovadia Yosef
called Leviat Chen.  It has an interesting story.  It seems that 
Rav Yosef felt that many Sefardi Jews were following the rulings of
the Mishnah Brurah to the extent of neglecting the Sefardi way of
ruling on some important issues.  He therefore wrote this book on the]
laws of shabbat, which takes issue with some of the rulings in the 
Mishnah Brurah.  One of the things he discusses is riding a bicycle
on Shabbat.  The bottom line is that he feels it is permitted in theory
BUT since almost all authorities forbid it, he will not be the one to 
permit it.


From: <weiner@...> (Merril Weiner)
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 93 07:08:39 -0400
Subject: Bicycles

In Volume 9 Number 62, Robert A. Book writes:

   Mayer Danziger (diverdan!<mayer@...>) writes:
   > 3) Flat or punctured tires can occur and may lead one to fix or inflate
   >     them. This is a prohibition of  Tikun Mana - fixing or completeing
   >     a broken or unfinished object. 

   Suppose one rides a bicycle with hard rubber tires, rather than
   inflatible tires?

I've avidly been riding bikes for more than 2 decades now and only once
have gotten a flat tire.  For city riding, thick tires, thick inner
tubes and special linings are available.  In addition, most cities are
pretty well paved.  All of this greatly reduces the risk of a flat tire.
A more common episode is the chain falling off.  This happens to me at
least once a year and is extremely easy to fix.  It is not clear whether
the reason stated by Mayer Danziger still applies today in light of
these facts and Robert A. Book's alternative.

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


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 93 14:26:14 -0400
Subject: Bicycles and Language

R. Book wrote gave counter-examples to the reasons given for prohibiting
bicycles on shabbat.  This seems like an exercise in futility -- the
poskim who prohibited bicycle riding were no doubt familiar with these
issues, but nevertheless gave their decisions in the negative, fiding
that bicycles fall under previosly existing categories of gezeirot.

In general, asking these kinds of questions doesn't lead very far (if
the goal is to permit whatever is in question at the moment).  We can
ask similar questions about much of hilchot shabbat -- when was the last
time anyone actually ground up their medicine?  But issues like these
seem to rarely, if ever, turn over halachot.

> > The reason for the prohibition of rolling a
> > wheel on Shobbos is due to the groove that will result in the ground
> But this couldn't apply to a paved road, could it? . . . 

One might ride off a paved road onto a dirt one.

> > 1) As one is riding along he might leave the Tchum (2000 amot outside
> > the city) without realizing  where the Tchum ends. This applies to Yom
> > Tov as well. 
> Wouldn't the same prohibition apply to walking (outside the city)?  Yet,
> we do not prohibit walking.  Likewise, shouldn't we prohibit a bicycle
> outside a city, but permit it in a city where there is no such danger?

One can go much further on a bicycle than on foot; thus, the danger of
exiting the city limits is far greater.

> > 3) Flat or punctured tires can occur and may lead one to fix or inflate
> >     them. This is a prohibition of  Tikun Mana - fixing or completeing
> >     a broken or unfinished object. 
> Suppose one rides a bicycle with hard rubber tires, rather than
> inflatible tires?

There are many other parts to a bicycle which could break.

Steve Ehrlich wrote regarding Hebrew pronunciation:

> I find the discussion on pronunciation to be almost entirely off the
> mark. The notion that there is one model/"correct" way to speak a
> language and that people ought to be castigated from deviating from this
> "correct" speech is, IMHO, nonsense.

But we are talking about the lashon hakodesh, the holy language with which
G-d created the world.  That there is a "proper" and many "improper" ways
of pronouncing Hebrew seems perfectly reasonable to me.  The idea that
someone, today, could identify that "corect" form among the varieties
which exist today is a bit more of a stretch.

> It seems to me that languages and accents are nothing but conventions
> used by masses of people to convey meanings to each other. It is no more
> or less correct to call a Machzor a "festival prayer book" or a
> "Machzor" or a "Machzoir" or the French or Swahili word, as long as the
> meaning is conveyed. If enough people got together and called it a
> "ungadaga" that would be okay too. If people begin saying a word with
> the accent on the first syllable instead of the last, they are not being
> immoral or sinful or even "incorrect". They have simply created a
> dialect -- a variant form that they communicate with. So what? To argue
> otherwise is very similar to saying that English spoken with a Boston
> accent is "more correct" then that spoken with a Southern accent.

I don't agree with this at all.  To fulfill the mitzvah of kriat shma
l'chatchila, one must pronounce it *correctly*.  If one accents the
wrong syllables, or mispronounces letters, then that person has not
fulfilled the mitzvah ideally.  Thus, determining what is the "correct"
pronunciation -- whether that correct pronunciation is some pristine
Hebrew or if it is whatever one has learned from one's parents -- is an
issue of halachic significance, to be determined by halachic authorities,
not by socio-linguistic trends.

Eitan Fiorino


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 93 02:17:06 -0400
Subject: Shemittah

I can appreciate Josh Klein's concern about such issues as:
>2) A moshav that I know that grows grapes wnats to go with an otzar bet din.
>They can't find one that will allow them to treat the vines in such a way that
>damage won't be done in the year after shmitta (this is a major problem with
>eating grapes, but less so with wine grapes). One otzar bet din even has on
>it's form qaauestions about whether women cover their hair, and where do
>children go to school.
I think this is an other issue of keeping politics separate from halakha.

However, althought I understand the point Josh is trying to make:
>3) Why do several MJ correspondents say that they 'keep shmitta' at home but
>rely on 'heter mechira' outside? 'Heter' implies 'keeping', as surely as
>having lights going on and off in your house on shabbat still means that you
>'keep' shabbat, if you have a shabbat clock.
I tend to disagree with him.  Using the "heter" is at best legally
circumventing, not keeping, shemittah.

As far as the concept of the Rabbis having to solve problems from what
they create (rather than God's giving us a good 6th year since we
observe shemittah): The Rabbis did not make up shemittah (i.e., it is
not like mukzeh), they simply protected it.  Aren't most of the things
we do rabbinic protections?  We still do not try to circumvent them.

Let me also point out that the observance (rather than circumvention) of
shemittah by the entire country would not put a stop to agriculture for
an entire year.  Currently, although we are in the shemittah year, there
is no restriction on the harvesting or selling of any fruit; the fruit
is still all 6th year fruit.  Even when the fruit becomes shemittah
fruit, although the fruit cannot be sold for profit, those who work with
it in order to transport it to "market" are certainly entitled to be
compensated for their efforts (`ozar beth din), although it most likely
is not permitted to export it.  This is also the case, currently, with
vegetables (until they become sefihin).  It seems to me that with our
modern technology (relative to the days of Rav Kook), and our better
economic situation, there are better solutions to observing shemittah
than circumventing it.

As far as what Eil Turkel said:
>In addition some of my children attend Bnei Akiva schools that rely on the
>heter mechirah. Even though I use the shemitta stores at home I cannot really
>tell the children not to eat in (dormitory) school.
I think it's a shame that these shools rely on the heter, knowing that a large
number of "Benei `Akiva crowd" people do not.  My children attend Kiriat Noar
in Jerusalem (certainly not a haredi school), which always uses mehadrin
hekhshers (not just for shemittah).


From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elliot David Lasson)
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 93 21:39:07 -0400
Subject: Simchat Torah

During the celebration of Simchat Torah, there have been some customs
and practices about which I have been both interested and bothered.  I
would like to get some feedback from the MJ readership on the following:

(1) Where did the custom arise to drink (liquor) on Simchat Torah.  I
know that typically on Yom Tov, the Birchat Cohanim is done during
Mussaf (in the Diasporah).  However, on Simchat Torah, it is done during
Shacharit, according to the Mishna Brurah (in some places) because of
prevalent "shikrut".  This is somewhat bothersome in that most of the
(spiritual) part of the day is spent in the Beit Knesset, and the
resulting kalut rosh (frivilousness) which is often seen.  That also
brings in to play why this simcha cannot be distinguished by some from
the simcha of Purim.  I guess what I am saying is that it seems that the
M.B.  is taking this kalut rosh as a foregone conclusion.

(2) Where did the custom (in many shuls) for "everyone has to have an
aliya" and "everyone has to have a hakafa"?

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D.
14801 W. Lincoln
Oak Park, MI 48237
E-Mail: <FC9Q@...>


End of Volume 9 Issue 68