Avodah Mailing List

Volume 05 : Number 107

Wednesday, August 23 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 08:31:10 +0200
From: Kaye David Capt 86 AW/HC <David.Kaye@ramstein.af.mil>
Weddings in Shul

"There is an article about this in one of the early RJJ journals. Weddings
in shuls started in the 18th century as an imitation of Christian weddings
and were therefore forbidden because of chukas hagoyim. I think R. Moshe
Feinstein has a teshuvah forbidding it also."

Actually - without going in to too much detail - HaRav Moshe Feinstein
permits this. It was the Chasam Sofer who publicised this prohibition based
on the issur of b'Chokoseihem. While there are many who have no compuction
against marrying in a shul, it should be noted that many Poskim today will
not permit weddings to take place in Shuls because of this cheirem of the
Chasam Sofer. Among them is my great illustrious Rebbe, Mv"R HaRav HaGaon R'
Tuvia Goldstein. I advise also looking at:
Shut. Chasan Sofer 65
Shut. Levushei Mordechai E.H. 48
Shut. Pri HaSadeh 4:96

B'virkas HaTorah,
Y. Dovid Kaye

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 00:25:17 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
weddings in shul

> There is an article about this in one of the early RJJ journals. Weddings in
> shuls started in the 18th century as an imitation of Christian weddings
> and were therefore forbidden because of chukas hagoyim. I think R. Moshe
> Feinstein has a teshuvah forbidding it also.

Actually Rav Moshe allows it.
Rav Schacter brings down that RYBS was unhappen about officiating at a wedding
in a shul because he felt it was inappropriate to hold a wedding in a shul not
because of reform.
His students who are pulpit rabbis usually do perform such weddings. Of course
the easy was out is to hold the chuppa outdoors.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 08:42:14 -0400
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Pesik Raisha

Aaron Rubinson
> An important heter based on the fact that you count each action separately is
> in regard to electric eyes.

	According to Rav Dovid Feinstein, it is muttar to walk in front of
a security camera. I don't know what he would say about causing an electric
light to go on. (the person who asked him only asked about security

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Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 19:23:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Combing hair on shabbos

Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com> wrote:
> For many years, I have struggled in vain to understand what is wrong with
> combing one's hair on Shabbos. I am unable to compare the way I experience
> combing, with the way Chazal describe it. I'm basically clueless, and I need
> some help.

You know, now that you mention it, I think you make a good point. Can one
detach even a single hair from the scalp without feeling pain? (Ouch! I just
tried it!) If not, than combing or brushing as we know it today, is painless
and, therefore, I would think, non-detaching. So there is no Gozez, Right?
So why is it Assur? Hair that one sees on a brush after brushing one's hair
is probably the hair that was already detached.


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Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 09:41:16 -0400
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Pesik Reisha

Gil Student:
> I think that the heter used is that this is a pesik reisha delo nicha leih 
> bederabbanan which does not work for incandescent lights.  Rav Chaim 
> Soloveitchik held like the Aruch that pesik reisha delo nicha leih is 
> permissible and that would include incandescent lights. 

Aaron Rubinson:
> I don't think it is "lo nicha ley." The definition of Lo nicha lei is if 
> you wouldn't want (or care) if this would happen during the week. The fact 
> that you don't want it to happen because of the issur Shabbos does not make 
> it lo nicha lei or else every PR would be lo nicha ley -- you don't want to 
> transgress the issur. And in this case during the week you frequently are 
> happy that the electric eye goes on.

The situation I had in mind was a sensor for an alarm system. On Shabbos,
the alarm system is turned off but the sensor is not. Movement in the house
causes the sensor to change status and sometimes causes an LED light to go
on or off. This is "lo nicha leih" because the alarm system is off so the
sensor is useless. The LED light is at worst derabbanan.

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 00:54:55 -0400
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>

While I am in no position to offer an halachic opinion on questions dealing
with abortion, I would, nonetheless, like to discuss some basic sources,
and would welcome comments from those with more expertise.

It seems to me that no discussion of an halachic attitude towards abortion
can avoid two uncontested mishnahs. The first is in T.B. Erechin 7a, "A
(pregnant) woman who has been condemned to death does not have her sentence
delayed until the baby is born". On this the Gemara asks, "This is obvious,
its (the fetus is part of) her body! To which the Gemara responds that I
might otherwise consider the husband's rights overriding. Thus, we have a
principle set out that the fetus is reckoned as part of the woman's body.
If we are permitted (or required) to kill the woman for her crimes and thereby
cause the death of all her limbs and organs, then the fetus is also included.
In other contexts we find a similar principle, "the fetus is the 'hip' of
the mother". The mishnah continues, "If the woman was, however, in labor
(after the sentencing - Tosfot), we wait until she gives birth". The Gemara
explains the latter, "since it (the fetus) has been displaced (during labor),
it is considered a different body". Now, the above citation certainly does
not give a woman any absolute rights to decide the fate of her fetus, just
as she is not free to simply excise a limb. We are not the masters of our
bodies (or the earth) - only the caretakers.

The second mishnah is in Ohalot (end of the 7th chapter). "For a woman who is
unable to deliver, we cut up the fetus in the womb and remove him piecewise
(sorrry about the graphic image) because her life has priority over his.
If most of him has been delivered (or his head - T.B. Sanhedrin 72b, or most
of his head - Nidah 3:5) then we are not permitted to harm him, for we do
not negate one soul for another." This mishnah teaches the principle that
saving the life of the mother takes precedence over the life of the fetus
even after labor has started, but not after the head has left the birth canal.
The distinction seems to be based on a definition of personhood that coincides
with appearance into the world. Prior to labor, the fetus is part of the
mother, during labor, it becomes a different body - but not yet a person.
There are, thus, stages in the development of personhood and in the ways
that we are allowed to treat the fetus in the different stages.

There is also a very relevant Gemara (T.B. Sanhedrin 72b) that mentions
the mishnah in Ohalot. "Rav Huna said, 'A minor who pursues (with intent to
kill) can be killed in order to save him (the intended victim)', since he
holds that a pursuer does not require warning... Rav Hisda asked Rav Huna,
'If his head appeared he may not be harmed, for one does not negate one
soul for another'. Why not, he (the partly delivered fetus) is a pursuer?
(The answer given is that) the case is different there, (he is not pursuing
her) - she (the mother) is being pursued by fate." So, Rav Huna rejects the
idea that the fetus is a pursuer, and Rav Hisda, who holds that a pursuer must
be given due warning before he can be harmed, certainly exonerates a fetus.
Then why does the Rambam (Mishne Torah, Laws of Murder and Guarding Life,
1:9) state, " This is also a negative (Torah) command of not taking pity on
the pursuer. The sages have therefore ruled that a woman in dangerous labor
can have her fetus dismembered in the womb... because he is like one who
pursues her with intent to kill..."? This statement, which is also cited
in the Shulchan Aruch (Chosen Mishpat, 425:1), seems to go against the
above Gemara in Sanhedrin, and raises the question of Rav Hisda about the
rationale for distinguishing between before and after delivery. Moreover,
why use the language 'like a pursuer'? Is he or isn't he? And why does the
Rambam (and R' Yosef Karo) avoid the less problematic view brought by Rashi
in Sanhedrin that a fetus is not a soul until he appears in the world?

My own thesis on the Rambam is based on his prefatory remark cited above about
not taking pity on the pursuer. The Rambam here supplies a motivation for
quieting our qualms and guilt about killing the fetus to save the mother.
The fetus, he says is like a pursuer - meaning that we are authorized by
the Torah to save the mother by killing him. He does not mean to say that
the fetus is actually a pursuer. As the Rambam concludes about not harming
a partly delivered fetus, " This is a natural process" - meaning that the
fetus is blameless.

Yitzchok Zlochower

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 09:21:51 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Weddings in Shul

On Mon, Aug 21, 2000 at 08:31:10AM +0200, R' Capt Y. Dovid Kaye 86 AW/HC wrote:
: Actually - without going in to too much detail - HaRav Moshe Feinstein
: permits this.

OTOH, R' Dovid Lifshitz made sure I would not choose a shul as the venue for
our chasunah before accepting to be mesadeir kiddushin.

I don't know, though, that bidi'eved he would have declined.


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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 11:09:22 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Avodah V5 #106

> I have friends who do not have the option to be macmir, it is impossible for 
> them to get home without tripping an electric eye.

How about electric eyes in the Aron Kodesh of a shul? If it's tripped whenever
the Aron is openned, would that not be a psik resha ?
                                  Steven Brizel

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 15:20:56 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: abortion

In a message dated 8/22/00 10:01:48am EDT, zlochoia@bellatlantic.net writes:
> I would, nonetheless, like to discuss some basic sources,
> and would welcome comments from those with more expertise.

See Shut CHavos Yair Simon 31.

Kol Tuv
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 15:21:00 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Boneh/Boney Yerushalaim

In a message dated 8/22/00 9:13:49am EDT, kennethgmiller@juno.com writes:
> However, see also the Aruch Hashulchan, O"C 167:8, who says that "Hamotzi" is
> unquestionably a present tense verb, and the gemara is merely asking whether
> it *also* has past or future tense overtones.

See S"A Horav 167:5.

Kol Tuv
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 15:27:06 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Boneh/Boney Yerushalaim

In a message dated 8/18/00 1:45:17pm EDT, micha@aishdas.org writes:
> "One who walks in whole-purity and one who does righteousness and one who
> speaks  truth in his heart". Where's the verb that is belashon hoveh?

> The point of this linguistic chiddush is not that Hebrew has no way to say
> things belashon hoveh, but rather that the means to do so is to utilize nouns.
> Which is why "boneh" which means "builder" is also used for "he is building".

1) See Rashi D"H Loiteish Kol Choiresh (Breishis 4:22), (Al Derech Zeh Boineh
vs. Boinei).

2) how does that answer the question why Dovid HO"H did not say "Asher Loi 

3) note "Holeich" vs. "Holoich V'nosoia"

Kol Tuv
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 17:22:25 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Combing hair on shabbos

From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
> The presumption of all the poskim seems to be that the act of combing actually
> uproots the hair from the follicle. But I cannot ever recall feeling that I
> was pulling the hairs out of my head, except when my hair was in knots and
> I tugged on the comb to unknot it. 

From brittanica.com:
"Hair is continually shed and renewed by the operation of alternating cycles
of growth, rest, fallout, and renewed growth. The average life of different
varieties of hair varies from about 4 months for downy hairs to 3 to 5 years
for long scalp hairs. Each human follicle follows this cycle independently
of others, so the total amount of hair remains constant."

I would guess that when you comb hair you tend to cause hairs which are
about fall out to come out somewhat earlier.  I have been told (though I
didn't find this in my quick search on brittanica) that everybody loses some
hair every day as part of the cycle referred to in the brittanica article.  

Any scientists out there?

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 00:12:51 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Combing hair on shabbos

R' Michael Poppers suggests <<< Perhaps the PR issue is not uprooting but,
instead, eliminating loose hairs from still-connected hairs, i.e. it _is_
borair, and perhaps finger-running would accordingly be just as problematic
as U-shaped-tooth combing? >>>

The poskim clearly use the word "gozez" in this context, not "borer", but this
wouldn't be the first time I've gotten confused by their imprecise vocabulary.

A bigger problem to this theory is that the Mishnah Berurah here (303:88)
explicitly says that MAY separate hairs from each other by hand, and even
scratch his scalp with his fingernails, and that the reason is because (a)
he does not intend for the hair to come out and (b) it is possible that the
hair will not come out.

Now can someone explain why fingernails are neither Psik Reishei nor Nicha
Lay, while a wide-toothed comb is both Psik Reishei *and* Nicha Lay?

Note: Any time I've used the words "comb" or "brush", I am referring to a
standard comb (where the bristles meet in a non-grabbing "U" shape) or to
those hair brushes which have thick bristles some distance from each other. I
am *NOT* referring to those hair brushes which have tufts of many bristles
each, like in a toothbrush. Since those bristles are tightly packed, I can
easily visualize why the poskim might see a psik reishei in them. But the
poskim seem to think that we can avoid the psik reishei only with soft hair
bristles. My suggestion is that we can avoid it also by putting some distance
(anything wider than a human hair's breadth) between the bristles.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 03:46:03 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
Tefillos for non Cholim, (was Areivim: surgery update)

From: Micha Berger   Subject: Surgery update
> ...This raises the question of tefillos for something that already occured but
> you don't know the outcome. ..

Whilst on the subject of Tefilos. In Shemono Esrei - we seem to be mispallel
for everything a person needs. However, although there is a Tefilla for
Refuos for the unwell - why isn't there one for those who are BH feeling
well and wish to continue being so?

And I have also heard asked: Why is there no Tefilla in the SE for our
children to be Yerei Shomayim?

Um'inyan L'inyan:  In the Yehi Rotzon that (most of us) say before Birchas
Hachodesh - 3 questions:
1) Why does Yiras Shomayim get 2 mentions: (Chaim sheyesh bohem *Yiras
   Shomayim* & Chaim shet'hei Bonu Ahavas Torah *V'yiras Shomayim*),
2) Why the change in style - Sheyesh BOHEM/Sh't'hei BONU?
3) (As per above) why no request for our children to be Yerei Shomayim?

V'efsher (?) Lomer: that the first Chaim Sheyesh BOHEM YS is indeed a Tefilla
for our children - and that is why we say "BOHEM" - referring "them" - our
Whilst the second - Sh't'hei "BONU" - refers to OUR own YS.

V'al pi zeh - all the above 3 questions are resolved...

Any comments (and especially better answers) are welcome.


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