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Volume 06 : Number 051

Monday, November 27 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 16:37:16 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: nishmat

Joel Zuger <Akiva051337@aol.com>:
> Our finests, in my opinion, commentators were either scientists or 
> mathematicians or familiar with the subjects...

> Restricting knowledge is a Christian concept, so are monastaries.

Maharal, the Gra, the Rema were all into Kabbalah and into science
as well.

However, the Shlah in Maseches Shavuos denounces secular learning quite
emphatically. I believe many of the Breslover Sforim do too (I'm not
sure if the source is R. Nachman hismelf or not)

I heard that the Lubavicher rebbe was selective - i.e. some were
recommended to learn secular some not.

And I heard that RSR Hirsch recommended - though never implemented -
a 2-track system one being more general/secular and the other more
focused upon Torah only.

Here's my opinion. Secular learning, or any individual subject is
probably not for everybody. But, as a soceity we should not exclude it
from everybody either. Ideally there is a society that combines the
skills of Torah only and TIDE's etc. AISI (and once posted) R. Moshe
Feinstein was a "Torah-only" who consulted people like his son-in-law
and/or other experts when neeeded.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 21:19:30 +0200
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@barak-online.net>
Re: Tzitzis

R'EliL wrote:
> simple solution for this: while standing for Yishtabach, gather all four 
> together and put them in your lap>>

What does a Sefaradi or Teimani do? They don't stand for yishtabach.


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Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 22:37:04 +0200 (IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

Akiva writes
> Since the general shita here is to treat Shmitta as if it were D'orisa,
> you would have to show strong halachic ...

I am not sure that we treat shemitta today as if it were D'oraita.
Some examples

1. Heter Mechira relies completely on shemitta being derabbanat.

2. Does shemitta apply inside a house?
   It is a safek in the Yerushalmi.
   Peat haShulchan paskens that shemitta does not apply since it is
   a safek mi-derabban since shemitta today is a derabban.

   Chazon Ish disagrees and says since the same doubt existed when
shemitta was from the Torah we can't use safek derabban. Nevertheless,
he says that one who relies one Peat haShulchan has one on whom to rely.

3. In discussing whether one can plant in a hothouse in Gush Katif
Rav Auerbach after discussing numerous problems allows it because
shemitta today is only de-rabbanan. Rav Wosner also brings that as
a factor though he is less happy. Interestingly, Rav Eliyashiv
paskens that it works only if they sell the planters to non-Jews
and non-Jews do the Torah melachot. Sounds like heter mechira !!
In fact R. Wosner backs the heter only on condition that it be
supervised that all sales are real so that it should not be confused
with heter mechira!

In any case there are numerous cases where poskim allow things
today because shemitta is derabbanan.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 16:48:58 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Women and talmud torah

Meir Shinnar:
> R Mozeson, in Echoes of the Song of the Nightingale, provides  the following
> sevara in the name of RYBS on permitting learning by women.

> R Eliezer holds that teaching women torah is teaching them tiflut.

There are two broad aspects to Torah - Na'aseh and Nishma.

Na'aseh are the practical halachos/mitzvos. They are the "whats" and
the "how to"'s. Nishma includes theory, davar mitoch davar, analysis,
shakla v'tarya etc.

Aiui Peshita women are pturos from Talmud Torah and Birchas haTorah
becaue the Nishma, hevu ameilim be'Torah is not their domain

However, halacha psuka - in all realms of halacha pertaining to women,
e.g. Kashrus, Niddah, Shabbas Pesach, etc. is shayach.

The issue becomes framed thusly:
Are the Nishma parts (i.e. the non-Na'asseh parts) optional or off-limits
to women?

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 09:45:51 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: re:kol y'mei chayecha

> The discussion about pointing to the matzo, etc., seems to ignore the fact 
> that the saying of "Matza *zo*" is not the chiyuv min haTorah. Indeed,
> the word does not even appear in our version of the Mishna. It is the 
> nusach we use in fulfilling the mitzvah of sippur by discussing 
> pesach, matza and maror. And pesach yochiach: we are obligated to 
> mention it, even though it's not there to be pointed to.

Also, the Rashbam on Pesachim 115b says that the only reason we lift
the matzah is chibuv mitzvah.

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 08:36:21 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Contact Lenses/Shabbos

>>                I just saw a psak from R' Elyashiv that putting contact
>>lenses in cleaning solution on shabbos is Assur, but I heard there are
>>those who are maykel. What's Rebbi's opinion?

> Why should it be assur? Is this mesaken mana?

Anyone know anything more?

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 09:53:15 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Contact Lenses/Shabbos

On Fri, Nov 24, 2000 at 08:36:21AM -0600, R' Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:
:>>                I just saw a psak from R' Elyashiv that putting contact
:>>lenses in cleaning solution on shabbos is Assur...

:> Why should it be assur? Is this mesaken mana?

: Anyone know anything more?

I think the problem is melabein. Since soft lenses absorb the liquid,
unlike leather, it would be assur to soak them.

Re'eih "Yeshurun" vol 7, pg 526-528. R' YM Rubin quotes R' Elyashiv
and others.

OTOH, Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah is meikil on soaking lenses so that
they do not get brittle. As to whether clensing sol'n would be muttar,
I leave as an excercise to somone who can figure it out.


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 10:20:04 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Contact Lenses/Shabbos

>>>                I just saw a psak from R' Elyashiv that putting contact 
>>>lenses in cleaning solution on shabbos is Assur...

This was recently the topic of R. Doniel Neustadt's Weekly Halacha e-mail
shiur. <http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5761/chayeisara.html>

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 10:30:48 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
M'aras HaMachpeila

In Avraham's request to Efron he mentions purchasing just m'aras
hamachpeila, but Efron in his reply sells not only the burial cave, but
the surrounding field as well. Thought this might be based on the din
in B"B of 'hamocheir b'ain ra/yafeh hu mocheir' - Efron (gematria=ain
ra) was selling b'ain ra. Had Avraham just purchased the cave Efron
could withold access to it since a path to get there would not have been
included; therefore, Avraham had to purchase everything.


[Note: Efron *written chaseir* = ayin ra. However, we do find Efron written
chaseir the last time around, as an onesh for his duplicity. -mi]

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 10:17:46 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
DY-[Nazir] 33b

From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@segalco.com>
> Anyone hear a good explanation how this ended up the only daf with no
> gemora?

Look at the marginal notes. This is all overflow tosfos for this
(otherwise really short) perek. Note that 34a is a perek change.
It makes sense that they wanted to get the overflow out of the way before
the end of the perek.

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 10:03:41 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
Kol y'mei chayecha

> Even so, both minhagim would say YM at night. One would say it in shema,

I don't see that at all, if REbA was sincere in what he said.  Yes, we
talk about YM in Emet vEmunah, but to what extent does that just follow
on from the YM in the 3rd para. of Shma?

> and the other had a matbei'ah other than Shema just for that purpose as
> per R' Yehudah bisheim Rav. (BTW, RJJB typoed, if you're looking for it,
> go to Berachos 1:6, not 1:5.)

No, I just checked.  In ever edition of the mishna I have, it's 1:5,
except in the R' Kafih Rambam, in which it's 1:9.  Even in the Yerushalmi
it's 1:5.

> On Tue, Nov 21, 2000 at 04:27:04PM -0500, Wolpoe, Richard wrote:
> :             IOW is this halchic drush of ur'issem miSinai while the
> : drush of Mazkirin YM balalylos is not?
> They both are miSinai. (By which I do NOT mean halachah liMosheh miSinna;
> one can be choleik on a derashah, but not on a HlMmS.) That doesn't mean
> RAbE knew of or held of both.

And how do you *know* it's misinai, and not just a manmade drush?
RRW writes: 
> Bottom line, I haven't seen the rishonim. Who says that paragraph 3
> was omitted at night before BZ's drasha? I'm betting that at least SOME

Yerushalmi.  They even indicate that it may not have been said *after*
BZ's drasha, in terms of minhag.  But I don't know when the personalities
in the Yerushalmi's little survey lived.

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 11:55:38 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Contact Lenses/Shabbos

At 10:20 AM 11/24/00 -0500, Gil Student wrote:
>>>>                I just saw a psak from R' Elyashiv that putting contact
>>>> lenses in cleaning solution on shabbos is Assur...

>This was recently the topic of R. Doniel Neustadt's Weekly Halacha e-mail
>shiur. <http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5761/chayeisara.html>

Well, here is the shiur, thank you R' Gil for the URL, but I want to
discuss it. I am disturbed by the footnote that indicates a premise
that RSZA did not understand the technology. I think he understood the
technology quite well, and I cannot understand the prohibition at all.

Since plastic is not fibrous, it is not absorbent in the sense that the
Torah and Chazal consider absorbent.

This is very similar to RMF's psak (and others, note 5 below) on sechita
and paper.

Furthermore, it seems to me that it is a davar she'eino miskavein to
squeeze out the saline solution.

I do even understand what the issur is to launder here - are you not
allowed to clean up a spill or pick up a dust speck on your plastic

In conclusion, I still am mystified by any potential issur - even in

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

Selected Halachos Related to Parshas Chayei Sarah
By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt
A discussion of Halachic topics related to the Parsha of the week. For
final rulings, consult your Rav.


Is it permitted to soak soft contact lenses in a disinfecting solution
or in a saline solution on Shabbos?

Recently (1), contemporary poskim were asked whether soaking soft contact
lenses on Shabbos violates the forbidden Labor of Laundering. In order
to better understand the problem, we must first consider the following
technical information:

Soft lenses are produced from a type of plastic called polymer. During
the manufacturing process, the dry plastic lens is soaked in a liquid
for several hours, completely altering its shape.

Manufacturers instruct soft lenses wearers to soak their lenses each night
in a disinfecting solution (2) for two reasons: 1) To rid them of dirt or
tears which contain microscopic germs that are absorbed into the lenses.
Tears also produce certain proteins which build up on the lenses and
cloud them if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. 2) To keep the
lens soft and pliable. For this purpose, however, the lenses need only
be soaked in a saline solution (3), not in a disinfecting solution.

In addition, the instructions call for gently rubbing the lenses after
removing them from the soaking solution in order to remove any dirt which
may collect on the surface of the lenses. Halachic background Laundering,
one of the thirty-nine forbidden Shabbos Labors, is defined as removing
dirt that is either completely or partially absorbed in a fabric.

There are three stages to the laundering process, each of which
is prohibited: soaking [or spraying], scrubbing and wringing. The
laundering phase that applies to our case of cleaning soft lenses is
"soaking". There are three points regarding "soaking" which are pertinent
to our discussion: Soaking a dirty garment in water is the first
stage of Laundering and is Biblically forbidden on Shabbos. But only
absorbent materials are included in this prohibition. Thus leather may
be soaked in water, since leather - no matter how soft - is nonabsorbent
(4). Similarly, other soft non-porous materials such as soft plastic,
rubber, nylon or any other synthetics which do not absorb are permitted
to be soaked in water (5). Contemporary poskim rule, however, that even
non-absorbent materials may not be soaked in a cleaning solution. Even
though the item does not become "soaked," it is nevertheless being
"laundered," since a cleaning solution will remove [all or part of]
a stain (6).

The Rishonim disagree whether or not it is permitted to soak a clean
garment in water if one does not intend to clean it. While the majority
of the poskim are lenient, Mishnah Berurah recommends that one follow
the more stringent opinions and refrain from doing so (7).


The question posed to contemporary poskim was this: How do we classify
soft contact lenses - are they similar to an absorbent garment or are they
more similar to a non-absorbent soft material [e.g., soft leather]? On one
hand, soft lenses are made of plastic, which usually is non-porous. But as
described earlier, lenses definitely do absorb liquids (8), making them
very similar to a garment. If lenses are classified as a soft material,
then it would be permitted to soak them in water [to keep them soft and
pliable] but not in a disinfecting solution [to clean them]. If lenses
are classified as a garment, then it would be prohibited to soak them
in water as well (9).

An additional issue concerns the gentle rubbing of the lenses when
removing them from the solution. It is questionable whether or not this
is considered actual "laundering," since this action removes proteins
and other dirt which are absorbed into the lenses.


Contemporary poskim debate this and other issues concerning soft
lenses (10). They are in agreement that they may not be soaked in a
disinfecting solution, as this constitutes Laundering (11). They are,
however, undecided whether or not soft lenses should be classified as
a garment or as soft leather. Thus they only allow soaking soft lenses
in a saline solution if they have already been cleaned and they are
soaking only to prevent them from hardening (12). The poskim recommend
the following procedure:
1.Do not rub soft lenses clean on Shabbos.
2.Before Shabbos, the lenses should be cleaned well, using disinfecting
  solution and gently rubbing them with one's fingers.
3.On Shabbos, the lenses may be soaked in saline solution [so that the
  lenses do not harden] but not in disinfecting solution.


1 This discussion is based on the halachic and scientific material
presented in the prestigious Torah Journal Yeshurun, vol. 7, pg. 526-538
by Harav Y.M. Rubin. The halachic decisions are those of Harav Y.S
Elyashiv, Harav S. Wosner and Harav N. Karelitz.

2 Such as Alcon Opti-Free Express Multi-purpose Disinfecting Solution.

3 Which is mostly water.

4 O.C. 302:9.

5 Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:76; Tzitz Eliezer 5:10; Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah

6 Oral ruling by Harav Y.S. Elyashiv, Harav S. Wosner and Harav N.
Karelitz, quoted in Yeshurun, pg. 530.

7 302:48 and Beiur Halachah (s.v. sheyiesh).

8 Some brands may contain up to 70% liquid.

9 See Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 15:82 who permits soaking soft
contact lenses in liquid so that they do not get brittle. In note
251 he explains that no prohibition of m'abed, tanning [processing],
is transgressed. He does not address the issue of soaking. In an oral
statement, Harav Neuwirth reports that Harav S.Z. Auerbach was not
concerned with the soaking issue "since lenses only swell and puff up
from the water; they do not actually absorb water as do threads in a
garment". It is very likely that Harav Auerbach's decision was based on
erroneous or incomplete technical information, which is why this question
was re-submitted to poskim at the present time; Yeshurun, pg. 530.

10 Hard lenses do not present an halachic problem since they do not
absorb liquids. Cleaning and soaking them is similar to cleaning and
soaking dishes which is clearly permitted.

11 Although it can be argued that "laundering" should not apply at all to
contact lenses since the dirt is not visible to the naked eye, still the
poskim feel that this argument is not strong enough to permit cleaning
lenses. They explain that the sensitivity of lenses is such that even
small particles are significant enough to be considered real dirt, since
any build up of dirt or proteins will cloud the lenses; Yeshurun, pg. 528.

12 This is based on the views that permit soaking a clean garment when
there is no intent to clean it, as described earlier in point 3. Although
Mishnah Berurah recommends that one be stringent and not soak even
clean garments, in our case we may be lenient since soft lenses may be
classified as "soft leather" and not as a "garment"; Yeshurun, ibid.

Weekly-Halacha, Copyright (C) 2000 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross
and Project Genesis, Inc.

Rabbi Neustadt is the principal of Yavne Teachers' College in Cleveland,
Ohio. He is also the Magid Shiur of a daily Mishna Berurah class at
Congregation Shomre Shabbos.

The Weekly-Halacha Series is distributed L'zchus Hayeled Doniel Meir
ben Hinda. Weekly sponsorships are available--please send email to the
moderator, Dr. Jeffrey Gross jgross@torah.org.

The series is distributed by the Harbotzas Torah Division of Congregation
Shomre Shabbos, 1801 South Taylor Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
44118--HaRav Yisroel Grumer, Marah D'Asra

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Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 14:02:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@panix.com>

On SCJM a discussion came up regarding the term ayno chayav/patur.  

Does this mean mutar or patur aval asur.  I was under the impression that
it meant patur aval asur.

Dr. Josh Backon stated that patur aval asur only applies to Shabbos and
two other cases.  Here is a quote from Dr. Backon:
> there are only 2 (actually 3, One is in Even Ha'Ezer)
> instances OTHER than hilchot shabbat where patur aval assur is involved.
> This is in hilchot keshafim as per the gemara in Sanhderin; in hilchot
> shevuot [because of CHATZI SHIUR]; and in Hilchot Kevod Rabbo.

I was wondering if anyone here has a take on this matter.

Harry J. Weiss

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