Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 085

Thursday, January 29 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 02:01:51 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Medical Treatment of Gentiles on Shabbos

Gil Student wrote:
>Daniel Eidensohn wrote:

>>See Mishna Berura 330:8

>Ain hachi nami. RM Feinstein, the Minchas Yitzchak, the Tzitz Eliezer,
>etc. were well aware of this Mishnah Berurah.

And the Mishna Berura was well aware of the issue of aiva. I was told
that a possible resolution is that the Mishna Berura holds that if one
explains that the halacha is not indicative of inferiority but rather
a Divine command relating to Shabbos or mitzva observance - it will be
accepted and therefore there is no danger as a result of not providing
medical services. On the other hand, the views that permit assert that
such analyses do nothing to mitigate the hatred for Jews generated by
such Shabbos observance and therefore it is clearly permitted.

I was told that the Hatzaloh of Williamsburg goes by the Mishna Berura
while the other branches follow the ruling of Rav Moshe. There was also a
further disagreement between them. The Williamsburg Hatazaloh rules that
one should use a non Jewish driver on Shabbos while Rav Moshe prohibited
that and required a Jewish driver. One Shabbos one of the Williamsburg
drivers had a heart attack and dialed for help. Fortunately by mistake
he dialed the one on the Lower East Side and not his home base - and was
saved by the Jewish drivers who were following the ruling of Rav Moshe.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 01:44:29 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Minyan in Plane -- need mar'eh maqom

Micha Berger wrote:
>I wrote on Areivim:
>>Even when one will be in the air the entire zeman tefillah, R' Moshe
>>Feinstein holds that davening in one's seat is preferrable than a minyan
>>that blocks the way of other passangers, or incoveniences the staff by
>>taking up the galley or aisle.

>Someone asked me which teshuvah it is. I don't know, as I was told this pesaq
>by an LOR, nor do I own a Yad Moshe (the maftei'ach). Can anyone help?

Igros Moshe OC 4:20 page 32 "A person who prays sitting in an airplane
does not have to repeat his prayer. And even lchatchila if it difficult
for him to stand in the plane and he will be distracted because of this
it is better for him to sit and to stand prior to bowing down as is
stated in the Rema 94:5. Look at Magen Avraham sif koton 14."

I could not find such a teshuva in the Igros Moshe. The above is the
only I found concerning davening on a plane. If anyone finds it please
let me know.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 21:48:41 -0500
From: "Moshe & Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Q re Shoftim 6:11

<<<Took a look at my cousin's concordance after he found it for me in
his library (it was well-hidden :-)). Of all the compound-noun names
whose first noun is "av" (eg "Avishai"), looks like only "Aviezri" has
variants (besides "Avi HoEzri," "Ee-ezer" [in P'Pi-n'chas]). Not sure
how that helps explain "Avi HoEzri," but I thought I would mention it.>>>

Look at "ben yemini" or "b'nei yemini" or "ish yemini" for members of
shevet Binyamin. (e.g. Shoftim 19: 16, Shmuel I 9:1, 9:4, 9:21, 22:7,
Esther 2:5, etc etc.) Binyemini as one word appears only in Divrei
HaYamim I 27:12, as the k'tiv - the q'ri is ben yemini. The alternative
term for members of that shevet is b'nei Binyamin (e.g. Bamidbar 7:60).

Presumably this has to do with the fact that "Avi" and "Ben" are nismakh
(construct) forms. The definite article is always added to the final
element of a smikhut, as in beit hasefer. The plural is applied to the
first element, as in batei sefer. Usually, Binyamin and Aviezer are
treated as single words, but they revert to smikhut when referring to
Benjaminites or Aviezrites.

Based on your concordance results, which I duplicated, perhaps this could
be a general rule - names based on smikhut - even if normally treated
as single words - revert back to smikhut form when they are turned into
adjectives by adding the yod suffix. Does anyone have a counter example?

 - Ilana

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Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 22:45:51 -0500
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
slavery in the Torah

One of the posters has been arguing that slavery, in principle, is
moral and consistent with the Torah. Of course, the Torah deals with
the institution of slavery and delimits what an owner can and can not do.
 It also encourages not freeing Canaanite slaves. However, one must
distinguish between the principles and teachings of the Torah, and
the practical halachot that it formulates to regulate Jewish life.
The Torah was given in an age where slavery was universally practiced.
There was also a problem of how to treat the native peoples whose land
the tribes were to inherit. If they made peace with the Israelite
tribes then they were allowed to stay in the land. If they became
slaves, then they would have the partial status of Jews , and would
become full Jews if they were freed. The Torah therefore counsels that
they not be freed for fear that they would then serve as a corrupting
influence in Jewish life. Jews, however, could not be held as servants
in perpetuity for they were taken out of slavery by Hashem to become
His servants exclusively. This distinction between having Jewish and
Gentile servants or the very institution of slavery is, however, based
on historical events and practices that need not hold for all times
and places. In contrast, the principle innunciated early in the Torah,
"G-D created man in His image, in the Divine image did He create him -
male and female did He create them", is not so limited. It teaches that
all people are created in the Divine image, and that all are, therefore,
equally free to exercise their divine gifts. This is labelled the great
principle of the Torah according to one Tannah. It is important that we
keep sight of the eternal principles of the Torah, and not advocate or
justify those laws which no longer have application in modern society.

Yitzchok Zlochower

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 00:06:31 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: Slavery

Some posters seem to be under the impression that an eved kenaani is a
slave from the nation Kenaan, and that the laws of eved kenaani have
something to do with the particular history of that nation. But this
is quite the opposite of the truth: we are in fact not allowed to buy
slaves from Kenaan, because we are commanded "lo techayeh kol neshama".
Instead, the Torah tells us that we can buy slaves "from the nations
that surround you", and from "the strangers who live among you" (Vayikra
25:44-46, see Rashi).

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 12:16:52 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re:Slavery and the Torah

Zeliglaw@aol.com wrote:
> As RMS has pointed out in other contexts, this is an illustration of
> offering a halachic analyis devoid of any surrounding moral perspective
> or historical basis.

On the contrary, the Torah's moral perspective is exactly what we are
discussing. You are engaging in question begging and bullying, and I
won't stand for it.

The historical details that you posted are all of them irrelevant to
the question we are discussing. It makes absolutely no difference which
19th century goy said what, in opposition to, or in defense of, slavery.
Either the institution was, *in principle*, compatible with the Torah's
moral system, or it was not. I am arguing that it was, even though many
slave owners behaved in ways that a good Jew would not, and even if there
may have actually been a flaw in the kinyan that they had on their slaves.

>> All the slaves who were
>> bought in African markets and transported to the New World can be presumed
>> to have been lawful captures by the laws of the African nations where they

> This presumes the existence of nation states with legal systems in Africa
> in the 1800s. AFAIK, no such system existed with regard to the trading
> of slaves for rum and tobacco.

The 1600s and 1700s, and yes, there were nations and laws, and organised
slave markets. The Arabs developed and organised the trade centuries
before any European got involved. By the early 1800s the Atlantic slave
trade was over.

Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Lawful? I see. I guess as long as a nation makes it legal it's OK.
> ...like the Neurenberg laws of the thirties in that great and
> civilized nation Germany. I'm going to write my congressperson and
> try to get her to legislate some laws like this here.

Like it or not, this is the law brought down lemaaseh in Shulchan Aruch,
and undisputed by anybody that I'm aware of. I have my doubts about the
true extent of dina demalchuta, but kibush milchama seems to be a much
more entrenched principle of halacha, since we learn it almost directly
from a pasuk ('amon umoav tiharu besichon'). Unlike voluntary purchase,
lawful capture does yield a kinyan haguf, and it seems that it does so
even for a goy.

Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org> wrote:
> One can argue that while it [ZS: secession] was about protecting the
> institution of slavery, it was more about state rights, and the fact
> that they didn't believe that the federal government shouldn't be able
> to interfere in the state's affair and the states should have the right
> to selectively accept/reject federal laws.  Protecting the institution
> of slavery was just one manifestation of this, and the largest flash
> point.

The Confederacy lost the moral high ground on states' rights when it
adopted a constitution that explicitly banned secession, and it belied
the 'it was not about slavery' argument when its constitution entrenched
slavery as a founding principle. None of this, however, is relevant to
the point under discussion.

Zev Sero               I must say, I actually think what we learned during
zev@sero.name          the inspections made Iraq a more dangerous place
                        potentially than in fact we thought it was even
                        before the war.                         - David Kay

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 12:43:26 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Names of Avos

Why did the Tannaim seem not to use the now common Biblical names; such
as Avrohom, Aharon, Moshe, David? There seems to be a preference for
names of the shevatim or newly coined ones, like Akiva, Tarfon, Elazar,
Yochai etc. I appreciate any information on that.

M. Levin

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 11:24:37 -0500
From: "Jonathan S. Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
Hot Pad selfheating footwarmer on Shabbos

There is a product called Hot Pad selfheating footwarmer. You shake
the pad for a few minutes and then put it in your shoe. It heats up and
keeps your feet warm for up to 6 hours. Contents: iron dust, activated
charcoal powder, cellulose, zeolite. Made in Korea.

How does this process work with respect to hilchos Shabbas. It is
presumably not aish -- but what chemical process is it?

I would appreciate any information on the physics of the pad, so that
a posek can decide whether it is permissble for Shabbos.

Thank you in advance ... Jonathan

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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 13:39:41 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Re: Direction of Tefillah

Elazar M Teitz <remt@juno.com> wrote:

> Two points regarding the direction in which to daven when flying to
> Israel:

> (1) The shortest distance between two points on a sphere is the
> shorter arc of the great circle containing the two points. It is not a
> straight line.

On the contrary, it is a straight line.  It doesn't look straight when
projected on a Mercator map, but that is an artifact of the projection
method, not reality.

>  (2) On most El Al flights, the television has a channel with
> flight information, which shows the path of the flight.  Knowing the
> direction of the plane, it is a simple task to figure out which way faces
> Yerushalayim.

Again, this is a Mercator-projection map, which is a distorted (albeit
very useful) image of reality.

> However, given point (1), should one face due east, or should one face
> the great-circle path, whether flying or on the ground?

It seems to me obvious that one should face the great-circle path (i.e.
NE from NY).   Facing ESE, in order to achieve a straight line on a map
invented by Gerardus Mercator, and unknown in the times of chazal and
the rishonim, makes no sense at all to me.  I know of nothing in nature
or in Torah that privileges this map over one centered on your current

(Yes, some support *could* be adduced from hilchot techumin, but I don't
really think so.  On the scale of techumin, the distortion introduced by
the Mercator method is very tiny, especially compared to the quite
visible distortion caused by the sqrt(2) = 1.4 error that chazal
deliberately allowed in order to make the calculation easier.)

Due east from the NY area is definitely wrong - that doesn't even get
you to Israel on a Mercator map, and davening toward 'mizrach', as
opposed to toward Eretz Yisrael, is actually the exact opposite of what
we are supposed to do.  The direction of tefilla is supposed to be west,
the opposite of the direction in which the sun-worshipping goyim prayed.
Unfortunately, Jews living west of EY cannot practise this symbolism,
because the passuk says to pray towards EY.

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 13:45:40 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
which way to face when davening on a plane

 From a recent Areivim thread about El-Al flights and the people who daven
on them.

R' Zev Sero asked <<< on a flight to or from Israel it should be obvious
in what direction one should daven. Why do so many people daven to the
sides of the plane? >>>

R"n Toby Katz tried to answer <<< The plane does not make a beeline for
Israel, but often follows a counter-intuitive curved path. >>>

R' Zev Sero countered <<< Er, no. ... When projected onto a Mercator map
it may look curved, but that is an artifact of the map, not the reality,
.... >>>

Translation: Instead of looking at a map, look at a *globe*, and you
will understand very clearly that from almost anywhere in North America,
a beeline to Eretz Yisrael starts out going northeast, even though a
map would suggest that east or southeast would be more correct.

R' Zev Sero continued <<< and since when is Gerardus Mercator considered
a kove'a? >>>

Gemara Brachos 30a: "If you're in the west, face east. ... In the south
face north. ... etc etc." No one ever suggests northeast or southeast.

This can be proven by another gemara earlier on that same page: "In
Yerushalayim face the Beis Hamikdash, In the Beis Hamikdash face the
Kodesh Hakadashim..."

The gemara could simply have written that *everyone* should face the
Kodesh Hakadashim, but that's not how Torah works. We aim for what is
clear and simple, even if it is not the height of scientific accuracy. At
the Kotel we face straight ahead at the Beis Hamikdash, not at a diagonal
towards the Kodesh Hakadashim. And in America we face east, not northeast
nor southeast.

I believe that this is what the halacha asks, and it is certainly how
most people act. I offer two pieces of evidence:

(1) How many American shuls face northeast? Very few. The attempt is to
face plain east.

(2) Even the "east" is not "true east" but rather "the direction
which most people perceive as being east". For example, the streets of
Manhattan do not run due east and west, but are distinctly off from that.
When people follow the construction of the streets and buildings when
deciding which way to daven in their offices, what they think is "east"
is actually somewhat *south*east, and I've never heard anyone suggest
facing diagonally to the left a bit.

Another argument in favor of facing due east rather than along the "great
circle": We've had poskim in western and central Europe for at least
a thousand years. For most or all of that time, cartography has been
sufficiently developed for people to realize that Eretz Yisrael was in
the southeast. Did any of those poskim ever suggest facing southeast for
accuracy's sake? I never heard of any such, but maybe someone else has.

PS: Questions about whether people in *eastern* Europe should have
faced due *south* is a whole 'nother topic. One which I do believe
we've discussed in the past, but I don't remember when. In any case,
I'm mentioning it now simply to point out that it is a different question
and should not interfere with this current question.

In other words, it seems to me that although R"n Katz was scientifically
mistaken, we *do* follow her logic.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:10:50 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@fandz.com>
Airplane bathrooms

[Bounced from Areivim. -mi]

RSBA (IIRC) raised the issue last night of davening outside bathroom
doors. The same kuntres I quoted last night (u'Blechtecha ba'Derech)
brings in the name of the CI (IIRC) that our bathrooms are not considered
a Beis HaKisei and it is mutar to daven while facing their doors.

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:41:17 +0200
From: "Avi Burstein" <betera@012.net.il>
RE: Airplane bathrooms

> RSBA (IIRC) raised the issue last night of davening outside bathroom
> doors. The same kuntres I quoted last night (u'Blechtecha ba'Derech)
> brings in the name of the CI (IIRC) that our bathrooms are not
> considered a Beis HaKisei and it is mutar to daven while facing their
> doors.

Presumably that's because bathrooms nowadays are very clean. If that's
the reason, I wonder if it applies to airplane bathrooms which aren't as
clean as household ones and often have strong odors emanating from them.

Avi Burstein

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 18:26:14 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@fandz.com>
RE: Airplane bathrooms

On 28 Jan 2004 at 17:41, Avi Burstein wrote:
>> RSBA (IIRC) raised the issue last night of davening outside bathroom
>> doors. The same kuntres I quoted last night (u'Blechtecha ba'Derech)
>> brings in the name of the CI (IIRC) that our bathrooms are not
>> considered a Beis HaKisei and it is mutar to daven while facing
>> their doors.

> Presumably that's because bathrooms nowadays are very clean. If that's
> the reason, I wonder if it applies to airplane bathrooms which aren't
> as clean as household ones and often have strong odors emanating from
> them.

The kuntres deals with halachos of travelling. I see your point, but 
the implication is the author's belief that the CI would have allowed 

And while the bathroom smells, it is rare that you smell them through 
the closed doors - in my experience anyway.

 - Carl

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 10:35:06 -0600 (CST)
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: Airplane bathrooms

On issues of modern bath/washrooms, see listmember R' Ari Zivotofsky's
article "Your Camp Shall Be Holy: Halacha and Modern Plumbing" in the
Spring '95 RJJ Journal.

Gil Student

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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 00:35:12 EST
From: EMPreil@aol.com
Re: Beis hakisay today

> The same kuntres I quoted last night (u'Blechtecha 
> ba'Derech) brings in the name of the CI (IIRC) that our bathrooms are 
> not considered a Beis HaKisei and it is mutar to daven while facing 
> their doors. 

1975-76 (5736) was the first year Rabbi Frand led a shiur (then called a 
"chaburah") at NIRC.  We learned Berachos that year, and the RY, Rav Ruderman 
zt"l, tested us on the 3rd perek.  His first question was - may one say a beracha 
in our bathrooms. The correct answer was yes, because ours today do not have a 
"din" of a "bais hakisay" as in Gemara times because of flushing (v'hamayvin 

Kol tuv,
Elozor (Class of '75-'78)

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 23:39:48 -0500
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Halloween & money

<<<BTW, while discussing things that I don't understand how they're mutar,
what about the eye-and-pyramid on the back of the $1 bill? I never got
a poweiq to take this question seriously, but the I can't see how the
picture is anything less that outright AZ.>>>

See Avodah Zarah 50a Tosafot d"h H"G - regarding b'nan shel kedoshim,
R' Menachem bar R' Simai, who would not look at the image on a coin
(tzurta d'zuza) - this is clearly considered extra chasidus whichi
implies that it is halachically permitted. According to Tosafot there,
looking at coins is not a violation of "al tifnu el ha'elilim" because
people are constantly used to seeing them (ragil lirot bah tadir). Also
see Shabbat 149a Tosafot d"h "U'dyokni," discussing the same person -
which says that it is not forbidden to look at images which are for the
purpose of decoration (l'shem noy), as opposed to worship.

Biur Halacha (307:16) cites Magen Avraham OC 307:23 - we hold like Tosafot
in Shabbat that it is mutar if it is not for purposes of worship, and
in any case r'iyah b'alma (as opposed to histaklut) is mutar.

 - Ilana

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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 10:17:45 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.net>
Slavery in the Torah

In message <200401261923.i0QJNLi12128@heras.host4u.net>, areivim-RZS 
>  Avadim have no family, an eved can be bred to any
>shifcha that his master chooses, even close relations that would be
>forbidden to a ben-noach,

Why is it not be forbidden under the same takana that forbids a ger from
marrying a close relative? The issues and considerations are clearly
the same.

>> To assume that treating slaves either kindly either as a midas chasidus
>> or as a mitzvah kiyumis turns the pshat of the previously cited Rambam
>> inside out .

>I'm sorry, I have no idea what this sentence means.  I'm not sure if
>you're claiming that the cited Rambam is some sort of din, but if you
>are claiming that, then you have not read it.  The Rambam clearly says
>that you *are* allowed to treat your slave cruelly, but that 'es passt
>nisht far a yid'.

Err, I think part of the problem is that were are freely translating
the term "b'farech" as used in the Rambam as cruelty. However, b'farech
has a particular meaning, (see the discussion regarding the din of eved
ivri in Rambam hilchos avadim perek 1 halacha 6, and the kesef mishna
there). B'farech means getting the person to do something that one
does not in fact need - eg getting them to cook food that one does not
actually want to eat (ie giving them pointless tasks to keep them busy).
One is not allowed to do this to an eved ivri, but one is allowed to do
this to an eved k'nani.

While we might well want to say that giving somebody pointless tasks is a
form of cruelty, it is not what springs to mind when using the term cruel
in English - and I suspect many of us work in organisations that require
work which is clearly b'farech. Not to mention, that if you have ever
worked as the boss of, or supervised somebody more junior than yourself,
you might realise that it is actually quite difficult to try and make
sure that everything you give them to do has a point, and is of value -
this is not an easy thing to do in any work context (especially when
you want them out of your hair for a few hours), and clearly it is one
of the things that make holding an eved ivri extraordinarily hard.

What the Rambam then goes on to say (as brought previously in perek 9
halacha 5) is that while you can make an eved knani work b'farech, it is
a midus chassidus and derech chochma to - give you avadim knanim from the
same food that you eat, and to make sure they are fed before you are,
and not to lose your temper at them and not to upset or embarrass them
(ie to basically treat them as well as or better than you treat your
own family). But you are not *required* to do all of this.

>> You think the Torah permits you to beat and whip into submission
>> another human being and to treat him like an animal?

>Yes, absolutely.  It's ethically wrong, that's not how zera avraham
>behaves, but it's clearly muttar.


I think there is some confusion here (just as there was a few weeks
ago regarding relations between a husband and wife) between what you are
permitted by the Torah to do, and what behaviour is regarded as so heinous
that bet din is required or will step in and force the two people apart.

The basic principle is as follows: anybody who strikes his chaver is
over a lav in the Torah (and even if he raises his hand to his chaver,
he is called a rasha). An eved knani is considered within the category
of chaver, because he is chayav b'mitzvos.

Agreed, there is a machlokus about whether, if the master of that
particular eved strikes his eved and inflicts on him damage which is
less than a shava pruta, whether that master is chayav malkos or not
(see Choshen Mishpat, siman 420, si'if 2 ). The issue stems from the
basic laws of damages and punishments. If you take a stam yid who strikes
another stam yid (in violation of the lav). If he inflicts damage of more
than a shava pruta, he is liable to pay the chamesh d'varim. Because he
has to pay, is is patur from the malkos that would normally accompany a
violation of the lav. However, in circumstances where he strikes the yid
but inflicts damage of less than a shava pruta, since he is not obligated
to pay, the liability for malkos kicks in. However, there is a machlokus
in the case of the master of an eved, whether, given that if he has to
pay damages, he ends up paying damages to himself, since the money of
his eved is his own, whether if he inflicts damage of less than a shava
pruta he should similarly be exempt from malkos (even assuming there
was two eidim and hasra and all the other things one needs to inflict a
punishment min haTorah). The Beis Yosef says he doesn't understand the
position of the Rambam and others that exempts the adon, on the grounds
that an eved is one's chaver b'mitzvos, and the exemption to pay damages
is only technical, but others think that because of the ptur from paying,
there should also be ptur from malkos in such circumstances.

In addition, there is the issue of the extent to which an adon, like
a rav of a talmid or a husband of a wife, is allowed to use physical
force to enforce compliance with mitzvos (I know Avi Shafran just wrote
a piece, which was serialised in the Jewish Tribune here, regarding how
the reading of the Rambam that was brought by some feminist was in error
- but of course these apologetics do tend to ignore the quite extensive
literature (say forget the Rambam, try the Rama in the Shulchan Aruch!)
which appears to allow wife beating in such circumstances. The general
view taken today, from what I understand, is that we do not posken like
this Rema - and it would follow that we do not posken like those who allow
an adon to use physical force to enforce compliance with mitzvos either).

But this is a far cry from saying that one is permitted to beat and
whip and eved (or wife) into submission like an animal. You are clearly
forbidden to do that - it is just that, if you do, the Torah is more
reluctant to get involved in a "domestic" situation than it is in general
(and as we have discussed, even in general, the Torah is extremely
reluctant to get involved at all, with the requirements of two kosher
edim and hasrah making any form of beis din inflicted punishment pretty
unlikely). This is not very different to the situation between husband
and wife - and yes, we know that this can (and does) lead to injustice
(talk to some of the people who work with agunos). And there is clearly
a moral issue involved here, very similar to the moral issue regarding
husbands and wives (or talmidim and rebbeim for that matter), as to why
the Torah is willing to stand back and allow injustice to occur.

>> We are required to treat slaves humanely and even give
>> up our own pillows for their comfort, while we sleep without one.

>Only an eved ivri.  An eved knaani doesn't have to be given food, let
>alone a pillow, though once again that's not how a yid behaves.

Again, not technically correct. An eved knani is required to be supported
from general tzadaka, it is just that the adon has no greater obligation
than the general (ie you and me) - whereas one might have thought that
he ought to have by virtue of his position.

The issue of why the Torah does not impose such an obligation (and make
it beis din enforceable in the way mezonos of a wife is) and the wider
question of why the Torah seems to stand back and allow people to "get
away with murder" as well as lesser crimes, such as the agony of agunos,
is one of the fundamental moral questions that we all have to grapple
with. It feeds straight back to the discussion that was raised on this
list briefly a few months ago regarding the implementation of Torah law
versus goyishe law, and the position of the Ran that such injustices
are ironed out by way of din melech.

But regarding the issue in question, the basic starting point has to
be that an eved knani is regarded as a chaver b'mitzvos, albeit one
that has chosen a lower level when he could have chosen a higher level,
and to take one's focus away from that basic point means that you end
up misunderstanding the whole relationship.


Chana Luntz

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Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 13:18:36 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
airplane bathrooms

R' Carl Sherer wrote <<< RSBA (IIRC) raised the issue last night of
davening outside bathroom doors. The same kuntres I quoted last night
(u'Blechtecha ba'Derech) brings in the name of the CI (IIRC) that our
bathrooms are not considered a Beis HaKisei and it is mutar to daven
while facing their doors. >>>

I've long wondered whether that applies to airplanes or not. The logic,
if I'm not mistaken has to do with the toilet being a mere *temporary*
receptacle, because of the flushing, which does not apply to an outhouse.

Does anyone know where the storage tanks are on a typical airplane? Is
it more similar to an outhouse or to a modern lavatory?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 10:30:19 +0200
From: Ari Zivotofsky <zivotoa@mail.biu.ac.il>
Re: airplane bathrooms

Kenneth G Miller wrote:
>I've long wondered whether that applies to airplanes or not. The logic,
>if I'm not mistaken has to do with the toilet being a mere *temporary*
>receptacle, because of the flushing, which does not apply to an outhouse.

>Does anyone know where the storage tanks are on a typical airplane? Is it
>more similar to an outhouse or to a modern lavatory?

I thank Reb Gil for pointing out my article "Your Camp Shall Be Holy:
Halacha and Modern Plumbing" that appeared in the Spring '95 RJJ Journal.
I no longer remember if my comments on the airplane bathroom made it
passed the editors knife. But it seemed to me they were more severe than
home bathrooms. THe kula for modern bathrooms is their similarity to
the talmudic beis kisei Parsai. The unique feature of this is that the
tzo'a immediately rolled away, or in the case of the modern bathroom,
is submerged. An airplane bathroom is more like a real beis kisei that
is cleaned out on a very regular basis.

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Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 15:44:47 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Hachodesh hazeh

[I got confused, so perhaps others will as well. Maskil LiShelomo
was written by the mashgiach of Chaim Berlin, cousin of the singer
with the same name. -mi]

Nice vort (from sefer Maskil LiShelomo, from Rav Shelomo Carlebach;
I've mentioned it previously):

We say in kiddush levana, "velalevana amar shetischadesh". Where do we
find that HKB"H told the levana to be mischadesh?

At the time of the kitrug of "ein shenei melachim mishtamshim bekeser
echad", He told the levana "lechi uma'ati es atzmech". This implies
total mi'ut combined with, perforce, chidush.

The same way Kelal Yisrael was called "ki atem hame'at mikol ho'amim",
implying that "shehem asidim lehischadesh kemosah".


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