Volume 9 Number 76
                       Produced: Sun Oct 31  9:47:25 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bicycles on shabbat - where do rollerblades fit in?
         [Heather Luntz]
Gezerot and Hilchot Shabbat (3)
         [Aliza Berger, Janice Gelb, Sean Philip Engelson]
Israel court cases
         [Elhanan Adler]
         [Morris Podolak]
Pronunciation - Havara
         [Sean Philip Engelson]
Pronunciation in Hebrew
         [Bob Werman]


From: Heather Luntz <luntz@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 93 22:58:06 -0400
Subject: Re: Bicycles on shabbat - where do rollerblades fit in?

I keep wondering every time I see the thousands of New Yorkers swooping
by on rollerblades, whether one would be permitted to use rollerblades
on Shabbat or not? ie are they mini-bicycles or are they fancy shoes? If
the latter, could you then use them in a place without an eruv?



From: <A_BERGER@...> (Aliza Berger)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1993 12:34:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Gezerot and Hilchot Shabbat

>From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>

>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.

Pharmacists maybe, and herb doctors for sure, still perform tkhina
(grinding) to make medicines.  A lot of people crush pills for children,
although I have forgotten whether this counts as tkhina (since this is
grinding the stuff for the second time).

The following was quoted to me in the name of R. Moshe Feinstein,
(although this is apparently a subject of debate among achronim):

There are two types of gezerot.
1) The gezera is always given together with the reason for it.  If this is
the case, then if the reason no longer exists, the gezera may no longer
2) The gezera is not always given together with its reason.  If this is
the case, then the gezera applies in all times and places.

Eitan assumes that the bicycle prohibition is Type 2.  It may or may not
be; I haven't seen all the places it is cited.  In light of the debate
as to the reason for the bicycle prohibition, I would guess it's Type 2.
Be that as it may, the more general statement, that asking these kinds
of questions would never lead to permitting something, applies only to
Type 2 gezerot.  These kinds of questions are, however, exactly what one
should be asking in the case of a Type 1.

An example of a Type 1 in Hilchot Shabbat is the question of sweeping
the floor.  The reason this may be prohibited is the melacha (labor) of
kharishah (plowing): as one sweeps, one will fill in holes and smooth
out bumps in the dirt floor.  There is a post-Talmudic gezera that one
may also not sweep a hard stone floor, because one might then come to
sweep a dirt floor (the Shulkhan Aruch allows sweeping a tiled floor;
the Ramah prohibits - Orach Chaim 337).  The Mishnah Berurah there gives
the reason for the strict opinion as the gezera (first cited in Sefer
haTerumah).  However he suggests in the Beiur Halacha that perhaps it
could be permitted if most of the floors in the town are wood or stone,
"for we do not make a gezera on many because of a few, or on one city
from what is the case in another".  The point is that if there are so
few dirt floors, this gezera no longer serves any purpose.  The more
general point is that these kinds of questions about gezerot ARE raised
by halachic authorities.

I don't know if the gezera against taking medicine is Type 1 or Type 2
either.  If it's Type 1, I'm allowed to ask: are pharmacists "a few"?

Aliza Berger

From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 93 22:44:53 -0400
Subject: Gezerot and Hilchot Shabbat

>From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
  [Same quote as above, deleted. Mod]

Interesting point and one that I've wondered about myself. For example,
I have a friend whose father has smicha from YU and in his family, they
take showers when chag falls on Thursday and Friday leading into
Shabbat. His father feels the ruling about wringing a towel doesn't
apply any more because no one nowadays wrings towels when they take a
shower. (Their water heater is also not a problem because it works in
such a way as to not violate the rules on chag but don't ask me how!).

Since Eitan brought it up, what *about* rules like the above, where the
activity that a "fence" law is intended to prohibit is no longer a
common occurrence and so no one is likely to violate it by accident?

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

From: <engelson-sean@...> (Sean Philip Engelson)
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 93 22:58:12 -0400
Subject: Gezerot and Hilchot Shabbat

>From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
	[Same quote as above, deleted. Mod.]

We can, however, investigate to understand the exact issues better, and
see if variations on the bicycle the posqim were familiar with might, in
fact, be permissible.

   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.

That is a different case entirely, since there is a specific gezera
against using medicine.  The fact that medicine is not ground today is
completely irrelevant, because of lo plug [translation?].  Bicycling is
not analogous, as the question is "How does it fit into *existing*

  [... Tony's points regarding "things that can go wrong" are well taken
       and elided...]


From: <ELHANAN@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 93 01:25:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Israel court cases

Steven Friedell asked:
>I have heard that the decisions of the Israel Supreme Court are
>available on CD-Rom. Does any one know how one goes about obtaining

There are 2 competing CD-ROM legal products:

1) CDI Systems (1992) Ltd. Electronic Publishing Division
5 Kiriat-Mada St. Har-Hotzvim, Jerusalem. FAX: 972-2-870115
Publisher of several CD-ROM publications, including:

- TAKDIN: Israel supreme court decisions (1985-), book of laws, legal articles 
2) Israel Bar Association
Publications Dept., Computer Unit, 10 Lincoln St., Tel-Aviv. 
FAX: 972-3-5615476

Publishes PAD-OR - a legal CD-ROM containing full text index of various legal
publications: Supreme court decisions (1981-), Regional court decisions
(1980-), various other legal texts and article citations. Periodic

For both:
Hardware/software requirements: PC with VGA/SVGA monitor, standard CD-ROM drive

Several American libraries have one or both (Library of Congress and
Harvard for sure - some of the NY Judaica libraries probably have them
as well)

* Elhanan Adler                   University of Haifa Library              *
*                                 Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel          *
*                                 Tel.: 972-4-240535  FAX: 972-4-257753    *
Israeli U. DECNET: HAIFAL::ELHANAN  * Internet/ILAN: <ELHANAN@...>


From: Morris Podolak <morris@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 93 05:03:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Pronunciation

With regard to proper pronunciation

>  The psak that A. Roth mentions about 30 years ago that all
>  Sephardic pronunciation is allowed someone brought up
>  Ashkenazi EXCEPT hashem's name ['noy vs. 'nai] and attributes
>  to the late Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Frank is more like 40 years
>  old and was [also?] made by Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Herzog and
>  is found in his collected Shu"t.

 I was interested in the details of the argument, and looked into Rav
Frank's teshuva.  I was surprised to see he never said that.  What he
did in fact say is that the word "ad-ny" can be taken to refer to G-d
both when written with a kamatz or with a patach.  Therefore both
pronunciations are correct.  He adds, however, that one should not
change from the pronunciation inherited from one's forefathers.  Here
too he does not forbid, but simply discourages.  He uses the phrase
"ruach chachamin lo noche mimenu" which means, roughly, "the sages
weren't happy with the idea".  He makes a point of adding that one
should not insist on the traditional pronunciation where this would lead
to strife.  The confusion possibly resulted from a proof Rav Frank
brings that even "real" Sefaradim make a distinction between a kamatz
and a patach.  He quotes Rabbenu Bachaya's commentary to the Torah,
where the author, a Sefaradi (from 13th century Sefarad) warns that one
has to be careful in distinguishing between a patach and a kamatz, since
the word "ad-ny" has kedushah (i.e. refers to G-d) when it is written
with a kamatz but not when it is written with a patach.  Rav Frank
himself, however, clearly states that both can be taken to be kodesh.

I have not yet looked at Rav Herzog's teshuvot, but I will try to do so
in the next few days, and let you know if there is anything of interest
for this discussion.



From: <engelson-sean@...> (Sean Philip Engelson)
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 93 22:58:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Pronunciation - Havara

   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.

This idea (of one "correct" pronounciation) does not necessarily follow.
I could make the same argument about Halakha, "the holy law by which G-d
wants us to lead our lives", but as we all know, shiv`im panim laTorah
[there are 70 faces to the Torah].  Differences of opinion among our
sages abound, and elu va'elu divrei Eloqim hhayim [both are the words of
the living G-d].  In the same manner, we can say that there are
different pronounciations, all valid.  This of course does *not* mean
that any pronounciation that Hayim Yankel off the street uses is
acceptable.  Here is where we rely on m.sorah.  On the other hand, I
recall from a shiur of R. Lyman that there was an Ashkenazi sage in the
18th C. (I forget who) who pasqened that accenting words correctly (ie,
usually on the last syllable, like Sephardit rather than Ashkenazis) is
required, and who changed his pronounciation to suit this view.  Perhaps
someone else has more information?


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 93 05:13:00 -0400
Subject: RE: Pronunciation in Hebrew

Aryeh Frimer indicates that we should say shlom zachar for the layl
shabbat celebration of a new baby boy [he also would have us say shlom
bayit, which I am sure is correct].

I am not convinced; why not "Shalom, Zachar?"  Just as we introduce the
boy to the brit as "Baruch ha-Ba?"  Welcome, male or a male is welcome,
rather than "peace of/for the male" which sounds a bit forced to me.

b'aniyat da'ati.

__Bob Werman


End of Volume 9 Issue 76