Volume 9 Number 83
                       Produced: Sun Nov  7 21:28:10 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Rambam Yomi (2)
         [David Kaufmann , Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund]
Sephardim and Conversions
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Showering on Shabbath and Yom Tov
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Showering on Yom Tov (2)
         [Michael Broyde, Isaac Balbin]
Syrians and Conversions (2)
         [Yosef Bechhofer, Shaul Wallach]


From: David Kaufmann  <david@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:47:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Rambam Yomi

The Rambam learning schedule may be obtained by writing to
Lubavitch Youth Organization
770 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213

and asking for the schedule. The one for Sefer HaMitzvos is also in
English. Also, the nearest Chabad House should be able to help.

As of today, 20 Cheshvan (btw, the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, 5th
Lubavitcher Rebbe) (Nov. 4):

3 chapters a day: Sotah, ch. 4; Isurei Biah 1-2
1 chapter a day: Bikkurim, ch. 11
Sefer HaMitzvos: Negative105,330,331,332,333,334

David Kaufmann INTERNET:	<david@...>

From: sg04%<kesser@...> (Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:47:15 -0500
Subject: Rambam Yomi

The Rambam is learned according to one of two cycles:

3 perekim a day - in order to complete the complete Mishna Torah
	over the course of one year. This is the preffered manner if
	one is capable

1 perek a day  - which will complete the cycle in 3 years. This 
	is similiar to the tri-ennial Torah reading cycle (completing
	the Torah reading over the course of three years, by reading
	1/3 of a sidrah each shabbos). While we do not do this, there
	is a source for this practice of reading the Torah this way
	in halacha. Learning the Rambam in this manner corresponds to
	the tri-ennial Torah cycle. Those who cannot do 3 perekim
	a day follow this cycle.

1 halacha a day - Of sefer Hamitzvot. Which is said in corresondence
	with the 3 perek a day of the Rambam. That is, the mitzva one
	is learning covers the same material as the 3-perek/day material
	of the Rambam. Those who cannot follow the Mishna Torah, should
	at least do this cycle. This includes women.

It is best to have a luach or chart to tell you what is being learned
on a particular day. This is because durring the course of a year, there
will be a few days when shiurim are "bunched up", for example, there are
parts of the Mishna Torah that do not map well to Sefer HaMitzvot.

Today, Thurday, 20-Mar-Cheshvan, the 1-perek/day is learning Sefer
Zeraim, Hilchot Bichurim, Chapter 11 (which talks about Pidyon Haben).

Why learn the Rambam? Why not Shulchan Orech.

Obviously, one is not the replacement for the other. All agree that we
paskin according to the Shulchan Orech. Thus, one must learn the dinim
as layed out in the Shulchan Orech. However, two immediate benifits are
easy to mention (and there are many others):

1. The Rambam covers all of Jewish Law. Not only what is applicable today.

2. The clarity and systematic approach of the Rambam is superb. I'm sure
   the scientific minded audiance on the net can appreciate the 
   methodoligical approach which the Rambam takes towards categorizing,
   clarifying and organizing halacha.

Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund		 		  <sgutfreund@...>
GTE Laboratories, Waltham MA	     file://ftp.gte.com/pub/circus/home.html


From: <VISWANATH@...> (Meylekh Viswanath)
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 93 01:08:27 -0500
Subject: Sephardim and Conversions

Susan Slusky mentions that:

   Syrian Jews neither perform nor accept conversion to Judaism. 

and asks:

   Is this a pan-Sephardi minhag? 

I was in India in 1987 among the Cochin Jews (who follow Sephardi
customs, in general).  Since I am originally from that part of India, I
felt very comfortable with the people.  The local Jews, too, were very
welcoming, even though I am a ger. However, it was pointed out to me
that they themselves would not accept converts.

On the other hand, I do know of another local who converted.  But I
don't know who converted him (the Cochinis don't have a rabbi locally

Meylekh Viswanath


From: eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:46:40 -0500
Subject: Showering on Shabbath and Yom Tov

To the best of my knowledge, there is no distinction between the rule
for showering on Yom Tov from that of Shabbath (lo plug).  Contrary to
popular belief, there is no prohibition of showering on Shabbath (see
Shemirath Shabbath keHilkhatah); there is a prohibition of washing one's
entire body (showering or bathing) IN HEATED WATER (even if it was
heated in a permissible fashion).  It is permissible to wash part of
ones body in heated water (as long as no prohibition was transgressed in
heating it) or to take a bath of shower in unheated ("cold") water.


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:47:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Showering on Yom Tov

One of the messages discussed showering on Yom Tov and discussed this in
light of wringing a towel on yom tov and its applicability nowadays.  No
such decree was made.  Halacha prohibited showering on yom tov for one
of two different reasons.  Either because it is not *shav'e lechol
nephesh* like mugmar, or because of a specific decree prohibiting using
a commericial bathhouse.  Mechaber accpts the latter reaseon which is
formulated by Rambam, Rama accepts the latter reason, which is based on
tosaphot.  (All of this assumes both hot water and bathing whole body).
R. O. Yosef in Yalkut Yosef explictly notes that based on this sefardim
may shower in the privacy of their own home on Yom Tov (see Yalkut
Yosef).  Some wish to rule that since nowadays in america showering is
considered *shav'e lechol nephesh* since we regularly shower it should
be permissible on Yom Tov (assuming a permissible source for hot water).
The notes of Shemirat Shabat Kehilchata discuss this, as does volume 6
of rivavot efraim, as does R.  Stern in Betzel Chochma (who, if my
memory holds, rules permissively) as well as many others.  It has
nothing to do with hair drying.

From: <isaac@...> (Isaac Balbin)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:47:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Showering on Yom Tov

I have a few comments on Anthony Fiorino's discussion on showering on
Yom Tov.

(1) The so called Hetter [permission] from the three Rabbis is pretty
much muttar al pi din [absolutely permitted]. One can see this if one
reads the relevant section.

(2) What G'zera are we talking about here?

(3) The issue is one of Shove Lechol Nefesh [bathing once a day 
is in *my* opinion nowadays common---certainly more common than smoking]

(4) A shower is not washing ones whole (or most of ones) body since ones
whole body is never under water.

(5) I assume one either doesn't use soap or relies on Rav Shlomo Zalman
and uses liquid soap (Rav Moshe Z"TL from memory doesn't allow liquid
soap for reasons I didn't undrestand).

(6) I assume one uses a bath towel as opposed to a hand cloth

(7) I assume one dries their hair with a towel such that the water from
the hair goes directly into the towel.

(8) I assume that even if one has a *bath* that the bath is not the bath
that was mentioned in the G'moro and the one which was made Ossur by Rav
Yehuda Hachossid as a Zecher Lechoorban (remembering the destruction)
(even on a WEEKDAY).

(9) Washing is washing not bathing for joy. This is the crucial
difference and this is what has changed since those days. The argument
of Istenis has been used for Shloshim and for the nine days. Peoples
tolerance levels have changed. If I don't take a shower each day I feel
absolutely yuck.

I remain unconvinced thus far that showering on Yom Tov should be
a problem.


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 19:48:03 -0500
Subject: Syrians and Conversions

 From my year learning in the Mir in Brooklyn and occasionally davening
in Syrian shuls, I can tell you that the ban on conversions is a
"cherem" (communal decree with the penalty of banishment from the
community to transgressors) which the American Syrian community accepted
upon themselves in the 1930's as a safeguard against assimilation,
reaffirms from time to time, and prominently posts in its shuls. Syrian
Jews who marry gerei tzedek - even very frum ones - are excluded from
the community and forced to "assimilate" with the local Ashkenazim.

From: Shaul Wallach <f66204@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 05:03:45 -0500
Subject: Syrians and Conversions

    Susan Slusky asks:

>One of my children is attending a school with a majority of Syrian Jews.
>Through her I have learned that Syrian Jews neither perform nor accept
>conversion to Judaism. I suppose this applies even to adoptions.  Can
>anyone shed any light on this? I this a pan-Sephardi minhag? I don't
>think so but I have no specific knowledge.

     The only concrete memory I have that touches this question is of a
visit more than 10 years ago to Flatbush, where in one of the large
Syrian synagogues (around the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue P, I
think) I saw a copy of the Herem (ban) issued in 1935 by the leaders of
the community on intermarriage and marriage with converts. As best as I
can remember the language of the Herem, it appeared to me that it was
directed against conversion for the purpose of marriage with a Jew.
Perhaps people living closer to Flatbush can check this out and provide
more reliable information. I know nothing about their policy on
adoptions, and have never heard about similar customs among other
Sefaradim or even among Syrian Jews here in Israel.

Shabbat Shalom,
Shaul Wallach


End of Volume 9 Issue 83