Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 230

Fri, 11 Nov 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 11:02:06 -0800
[Avodah] mar'at ayin-sources

>>But in any case, that's NOT the question being asked. The question being 
asked is about an action which is halachically allowed but socially 
unacceptable. I would think such activities to be not Maarit Ayin, but 
Chilul Hashem, because it causes the onlooker to have lessened respect for 
HaShem and for Torah people

----'socially acceptable''  by whom?     an example  would  help.     is 
he referring to actions  like  'poliical correctness' of   general society 
 , so your doing them  may be  a chillul hahsem legabei hagoyim?    or is 
he talking about  eg   wearing the wrong colored shirt/style of kipa  that 
is muttar lechatchila    but  socially unacceptable in certain circles? in 
which case  it may not be assur at all, but still get one in all types of 
social stigma  [thrown out of yeshiva, no shidduchim, etc] 

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Message: 2
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 14:20:21 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Maarit Ayin - Sources?

My understanding is that Maarit Ayin relates to confusion over whether
something is assur or mutar, such as such as when you do something which is
halachically allowed, but people will think that you're doing something
wrong. For example, entering a non-kosher restaurant to use their bathroom
-- some people may mistakenly think that you're eating the non-kosher food,
and some people may mistakenly think that the restaurant is kosher.
(Actually, I think one of those is Maarit Ayin, and the other not, and I
don't remember which.)

It's both
Joel rich

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Message: 3
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 20:15:06 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Maarit Ayin - Sources?

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 1:33 PM, <kennethgmil...@juno.com> wrote:
> My understanding is that Maarit Ayin relates to confusion over whether
> something is assur or mutar...

> But in any case, that's NOT the question being asked. The question being
> asked is about an action which is halachically allowed but socially
> unacceptable. I would think such activities to be not Maarit Ayin, but
> Chilul Hashem...

> I'm not sure what the questioner means by "or just something most people
> are ignorant about". Perhaps he means "an action which is socially
> unacceptable, but people are ignorant about why it ought to be socially
> okay". I so, I would imagine this to still be a Chilul Hashem, because the
> net result will still be that - rightly or wrongly - it causes the onlooker
> to have lessened respect for HaShem and for Torah people.

The questioner was definitely asking about "ignorance" in halacha. Let's
say there is something that can be purchased which is kosher from a
non-kosher restaurant. How do the parameters of Maarit Ayin allow/prohibit
this? For example, we do see frum people ordering a coke from non-kosher

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Message: 4
From: D&E-H Bannett <db...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 22:36:54 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Change Has Come To Modena

The only R' Yehiel Mikhl Epstein I knew of is the author of 
the Arukh Hashulchan who was born in 1829.

I didn't think he had anything to do with the Kitzur 
Ha-shlah in 1683.
So I looked and found another Y.M. Epstein (with an 'ayyin, 
not an alef) mi-Brisk who lived in the 1600's.  Seder 
Hadorot lists him as author of Kitzur Hash'lah.

He was the son-in-law of the Ba'al Hal'vushim R' Mordekhai 
Yoffe so I am surprised to find he was a follower of 
Shabbetai Tzvi. Shabbetai lived in the late 1600's so the 
timing is more or less right.  Interesting.


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Message: 5
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 12:20:11 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Change Has Come To Modena

On 11/9/2011 7:25 AM, Prof. Levine wrote:
> The Kitzur Shelah by Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein, was first published 
> in Frth in 1683. It was not truly an abridgement of the Shnai Luchos 
> HaBris, but rather a Sefer which stood on its own...
> Chapter 5 of Post Sabbatean Sabbatianism by Rabbi Dr. Bezalel Naor 
> goes into the reasons why Rav Yakov Emden blacklisted this book...

If this is correct, what would the status of the Aruch HaShulchan be?


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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 15:50:22 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Change Has Come To Modena

On Wed, Nov 09, 2011 at 12:20:11PM -0600, Lisa Liel wrote:
: If this is correct, what would the status of the Aruch HaShulchan be?

The kitzur haShelah was put out in 1693 by a different RYME, who lived
in Germany and died in 1706. Well before the R YM Epstein who wrote
the AhS.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 17:25:46 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Is there any issur here al pi halacha?

On Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 04:26:55PM +0000, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
: My guess is that this case is unusual, because "omeid lamus" takes it
: out of the ordinary tzedakah category, and puts it in pikuach nefesh,
: and I would have to give it to the starving man. But if not for that,
: I'd be able to give it to either or neither.

: But that's not really relevant to the kidney question, because even
: if the poor person is in front of me, and is truly omeid lamus, even
: pikuach nefesh is not enough to force me to donate my kidney...

I believe you switched cases... I was arguing against kidney brokering,
not selling. Can a broker take money to get a kidney from a poor person
to a gevir rather than putting it in the hands of the people who follow
rules of triage? Realize also that most of the money is going to pay the
broker for assuming risk, and that if he were just paying costs, many
more people could afford to buy one.

We're assuming that:

1- Without the broker, this particular kidney wouldn't go to anyone,
but overall, we have no reason to believe more donatable kidneys would
be available.

2- The system of triage works, IOW, that it maximizes life (or if we
were following Horios: mitzvos). Thus, the broker isn't choosing life
vs life, but will in the long run reduce the number of man-years.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When one truly looks at everyone's good side,
mi...@aishdas.org        others come to love him very naturally, and
http://www.aishdas.org   he does not need even a speck of flattery.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabbi AY Kook

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 17:30:24 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Maarit Ayin - Sources?

To repeat part of my post of Feb 2006

The usual use of mar'is ayin is to refer to the prohibition against
giving people reason to think one is sinning. "... Vehiyisem neqiyyim
meiHashem umiYyisra'el" (Bamidbar 32:22).

The problem with [ben paquah] is cheshah -- that people will accidentally
or through habit violate the din. The question with almond milk is
vehiyisem neqiyim[, and thus mar'is ayin]. Different thing. Don't let
the words "mar'is ayin" occlude the core deOraisa.

One difference: With cheshash, we assume people will believe the
person is acting kehalakhah, misunderstanding what the person is doing,
and therefore learn to do something keneged halakhah. With vehiyisem
neqiyim, the assumption is that we know the halakhah and what he's doing,
and therefore infer the person isn't "naqi".

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Rescue me from the desire to win every
mi...@aishdas.org        argument and to always be right.
http://www.aishdas.org              - Rav Nassan of Breslav
Fax: (270) 514-1507                   Likutei Tefilos 94:964

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 17:32:08 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Maarit Ayin - Sources?

PS: As for chillul Hashem... I don't think violating expected behavior
qualifies. However, in most cases, the issue causing chillul Hashem
is a violation of qedoshim tihyu, ve'asisa hayashar vehatov, or the
like. Not a voilation of black-letter halakhah, but assur none the less.

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Message: 10
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 15:53:49 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Change Has Come To Modena

At 03:36 PM 11/9/2011, D&E-H Bannett wrote:
>The only R' Yehiel Mikhl Epstein I knew of is the author of the 
>Arukh Hashulchan who was born in 1829.
>I didn't think he had anything to do with the Kitzur Ha-shlah in 1683.
>So I looked and found another Y.M. Epstein (with an 'ayyin, not an 
>alef) mi-Brisk who lived in the 1600's.  Seder Hadorot lists him as 
>author of Kitzur Hash'lah.
>He was the son-in-law of the Ba'al Hal'vushim R' Mordekhai Yoffe so 
>I am surprised to find he was a follower of Shabbetai Tzvi. 
>Shabbetai lived in the late 1600's so the timing is more or less 
>right.  Interesting.

Shabbatai Tzvi lived from 1626 to 1676.

It is hard for people today to realize that the ST messianic movement 
swept most of Jewry at the time and had many followers, both among 
the "common people" and the rabbonim.  At the end of my article 
Recife - The First Jewish Community In The New 
World  (http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/19153) I wrote, 
"After finishing this article I discovered that Rabbi Isaac Aboab da 
Fonseca was apparently a follower of Shabbtai Tzvi. (See 
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/344-aboab#anchor9 , The 
Sabbatean Prophets by Matt Goldish page 33, and Sabbatai Sevi by 
Gershom Scholem, pages 520-522.) To put it mildly, I was shocked, 
given the greatness of Rabbi Aboab. However, it made me realize how 
strong the messianic movement in the 17th century must have been to 
gain adherents of Rabbi Aboab`s caliber."
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Message: 11
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 08:03:25 -0800
[Avodah] mixed married mezuza


i assume chabad would pasken differently....

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Message: 12
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:39:30 -0800
[Avodah] 50-45-40-36?

when RBSO  consents to save  for   45 , is the assumption  that avraham 
incuded  9  x   [no.of cities saved]=   45,36,27,18,9    included 
automatically but unstated in his requests?       and   why davka  9   and 
not  8 ?      after all  40= 4 x10 or    5 x8    ;   30= 10 x3   or  5x6   
 [ and  6 or  8  could be rounded to 10 ] 
do any of the mforshim talk about this?

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Message: 13
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:05:37 -0500
[Avodah] The Dangers of Complete Isolation from the World

The following if from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 20:1.  Please 
note in particular what he writes in the paragraph beginning "On the 
other hand .."

201 Avraham journeyed forth from there to the south country and 
settled between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar.

Avraham settled (i.e., took up permanent residence) between Kadesh
and Shur, but he also sojourned (i.e., took up temporary residence) in
Gerar. What were the reasons for these two contrasting actions?
We have seen that, initially, Avraham sought to isolate himself and
his household from the atmosphere and society of the cities. For this
reason he first settled in the desolate south, and only gradually established
ties with the cities, finally settling among his allies, Aner, Eshkol,
and Mamre, who related to him with respect and esteem.

Now we see him, in his waning years, returning to the south. He
settles between Kadesh and Shur, in an isolated, uninhabited area near
the wilderness of Shur, which is known as a complete wasteland. At the
same time, however, he seeks contact with city life and occasionally
stays in Gerar, the capital of the Philistine kings.

Unless we are totally mistaken, we would venture to say that what
prompted Avraham and Sarah to change their place of residence was
the expectation of the imminent birth of their son. A Yitzchak should
be educated in isolation, far removed from any negative influence.

On the other hand, complete isolation, which denies the student all
contact with people who think differently and whose aims and way of
life differ from his own, is a dangerous educational mistake. A young
person who has never seen a way of life other than that of his parents,
never had an opportunity to compare his parents' lifestyle with that of
others, and never learned to appreciate the moral contrast between the
two, will never learn to value, respect and hold fast to the ways his
parents have taught him. He will surely fall victim to outside influences
at his first encounter with them, just as one who fears the fresh air and
closets himself in his room can be sure of catching cold as soon as he
goes outdoors.

Avraham's son, the future bearer of Avraham's heritage, should, from
time to time, enter the world that is alien to the spirit of Avraham.
There he can evaluate opposing ideas and strengthen himself to keep
to the ways of Avraham in a world that is opposed to them. For this
purpose Avraham chooses the capital of a Philistine prince.

In the land of the Philistines the degeneracy had apparently not spread
to the extent that it had reached in Canaan; hence the Philistines were not
subject to the destruction decreed upon their Emorite neighbors.
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Message: 14
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:40:17 -0500
[Avodah] Jewish Tefila is Antithetical to the Common

The following is a selection from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 20

7 Now, therefore, restore the wife of the man, 
because he is a prophet, so that he will pray for 
you and you will remain alive. But if you
will not restore her, know that you will surely 
die, you and all that are yours.

V'yispalal ba'adcha ? from the root palal (to 
judge), related to balal As we have
already seen in the account of the dor haflaga (above, 11:7), the bolel does
not mix materials together; rather, he introduces a foreign element into
a substance and integrates some of the new into every particle of the
old, thus creating a new substance. According to the Jewish conception,
this is the task of the judge. Lies and injustice cause division, create
conflict and dispute. A judge introduces justice, the Divine truth of
things, into the disputed matter, creating harmonious unity where lies
and injustice had caused conflict and division.

Hispalal means: to perform this task (palal ) upon oneself, to infuse every
aspect of one?s being and existence with God?s truth, and thus attain for
oneself harmonious integrity of all of life by the light of God?s Countenance.

Jewish tefila , then, is antithetical to the common conception of
?prayer.? Tefila is not an outpouring from within, an expression of what
the heart already feels ? for that we have other 
terms: t'china , si'ach , and the
like. Rather, tefila means infusing the heart with truths that come from
outside oneself.

Tefila is avodah sheb'lev; mispallel means to 
work on refining one?s inner self,
to elevate one?s mind and heart to the lofty heights of recognition of
truth and desire for serving God.

If this were not the case, if tefila were but an outpouring of our
emotions, it would make no sense to have fixed times and fixed texts
for our prayers. How could we assume that all the members of the
community would be imbued with the same thoughts and the same
emotions at certain predetermined times?

Moreover, prayer that is merely an expression of feeling is superfluous.
Thoughts and emotions that are already alive within us do not
require expression, least of all expression in set phrases formulated by
others than ourselves. Deep inner experience always finds its own way
of self-expression; and where the inner experience is exceedingly grand
and profound, it is beyond all expression, and the most appropriate
expression is silence.

It follows, then, that the whole purpose of our fixed prayers is to
awaken the heart and to revive within it those timeless values that still
require reinforcement and special care. One can truly say that the less
we feel in the mood for prayer, the greater is our need to pray, and
the greater is the redeeming power and sublime value of the work
upon ourselves that we perform through tefila . The absence of the
mood for prayer is in itself the surest sign of the obscurement and
dimming of that spirit that is not the basis for tefila but its goal and
exalted purpose .
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Message: 15
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 01:53:23 -0500
Re: [Avodah] 50-45-40-36?

On 10/11/2011 4:39 PM, Saul.Z.New...@kp.org wrote:
> when RBSO consents to save for 45 , is the assumption that avraham
> incuded 9 x [no.of cities saved]= 45,36,27,18,9 included automatically
> but unstated in his requests? and why davka 9 and not 8 ? after all
> 40= 4 x10 or 5 x8 ; 30= 10 x3 or 5x6 [ and 6 or 8 could be rounded to
> 10 ]
> do any of the mforshim talk about this?

See Rashi.  He knew 8 wouldn't work because it didn't work for the mabul.

Zev Sero        If they use these guns against us once, at that moment
z...@sero.name   the Oslo Accord will be annulled and the IDF will
                 return to all the places that have been given to them.
                                            - Yitzchak Rabin


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Message: 16
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 11:56:28 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Tefila Over Loudspeakers At a Big Gatherings

RTK writes:

> A lady in South Africa (who was nominally Orthodox but not fully
> observant -- typical of many South Africans) once told me that one time
> she was out shopping and realized that she would not be home in time to
> light candles Friday evening.? So she called home and asked her maid to
> light the candles and to hold the phone near the candles, so that she
> (the madam) could make the bracha on the phone.? The lady asked me if
> she had done the right thing.? I had a hard time keeping myself from
> laughing but I tried to answer her seriously and told her no, she had
> not done the right thing, a bracha on the phone didn't count.? (She
> then asked me if it would have been better to have gone home and lit
> the candles herself?after it was dark already -- of course I told her
> that would be even worse!)? However, now I am wondering:? aside from
> the fact that this lady was obviously going to be mechallel Shabbos --
> she still had to finish shopping and get home -- but aside from that,
> is it possible that her saying the bracha over the phone could be a
> real bracha in any possible sense?? Or was it purely and simply a
> bracha levatalah?? Would it make a difference if a Jew had lit the
> candles and had answered Amen to the bracha?

This is an extremely interesting question.  It seems to me that it can be
divided into two parts: - the first is should she have phoned home and asked
the maid to light? And the second is about the bracha.

The first question is relatively easy.  One of the specific permissions
given in the Shulchan Aruch (Orech Chaim siman 261 'if 1) regarding amira
l'akum if it is a safek whether it is dark yet or not or if it is bein
hashmashos, is to allow one to tell a non Jew to light the shabbas candles
as that is l'ztorech mitzvah.  It thus seems to me that, while if the
husband was home, it would have been better to get him to light the candles
(and in his absence another adult Jew, who could be her shaliach) and he (or
they) could bless (and she could answer amen over the telephone as per Rav
Ovadiah) (it seems that, unlike Chanukah candles, shabbas candles are not a
mitzvah shebegufo - since there is a lot of discussion about the woman being
the shaliach of the husband - although the form of the bracha l'hadlik would
seem somewhat against this, and makes one wonder why the formulation is not
"al neherot Shabbat"), if there was no Jew available, the next best thing
was indeed to phone before shabbas and get the maid to light.  Indeed the
Marharam  rules (according to the Magen Avraham 263:11) in situations where
there was a chuppah on erev shabbas, and the woman did not want to bring in
shabbas before going to the chuppah, and by the time she got back, it would
be dark, recommended as one of his solutions that the woman ask a non Jew to
light for her.

However the bracha is more tricky, the Marharam quoted above says that the
woman makes the bracha when she gets back from the chuppah after dark on the
candles that the maid has lit prior to dark (or alternatively that she
lights before the chuppah without a bracha, and then when she gets back,
puts her hands over the candles and then blesses).  The Magen Avraham is not
very keen on this, but does say that b'dieved if she lit candles before
shabbas but forgot to bless then she can rely on this Maharam - so
similarly, it would seem to me, that the most straightforward solution,
assuming she is Ashkenazi, would be to rely on this Maharam, get the maid to
light  before shabbas and for her to make the bracha when she gets home (and
indeed, for those who hold that the ikar of accepting shabbas is on lighting
the candles and making the bracha, since the last thing we want her to do is
bring in shabbas early and have more shabbas violations out shopping, if the
bracha were in any way to be effective via the telephone, that would make
her have accepted shabbas, unless she made a tnai to the contrary).  Of
course this making the bracha afterwards certainly doesn't work if she holds
like the Sephardi poskim (eg ROY) that say one must make the bracha over the
candles before lighting the candles, otherwise the time for making the
bracha has passed.  In which case I do wonder if this wouldn't be effective
on some level (especially if she had a video phone, and could make the
bracha and then watch the maid light).  The main reason I would tend to
reject this is  because a non Jew generally cannot be a shaliach for a d'var
mitzvah - but given that the Maharam and others appear to allow a bracha on
candles lit by a non Jew, there must be something different going on here. 

 One might say that in the case of the Maharam, the mitzvah is that there
should be "lit candles" which there are at the time of the bracha, not *to
light candles* and since there are lit candles on shabbas a bracha can be
made but (a) the bracha does say "lehadlik ner" - ie "to light" not on the
existence of lit candles where surely it should be "al hanerot Shabbat" or
some such; and (b) while there is the opinion of Tosphos in Shabbas 25b
"chova" that if there is already lights lit, there is no obligation to light
specifically for shabbas,  we appear to follow Rabbanu Tam there, who
disagrees, and requires at least one candle to be extinguished and relit for
shabbas, so surely the maid is doing something which appears to be the
performance of a mitzvah.  

Shmiras shabbas K'hilchasa 43:14 does seem to says that if the non Jew
lights during ben hashmashos, "ain mevarchin al bracha zu shel nochri", but
it is not clear from there whether the "zu" is on the essential lighting of
one candle, or on the additional candles that he rules one may also ask the
non Jew to light over and above the necessary one (or two) or in a case
where the lighting takes place in the presence of electric lights which are
already on (the comment "ain mevarchin al bracha zu shel nochri" is at the
end of this whole piece allowing one to ask the non Jew to light extra).  As
his source for this he cites Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Orech Chaim siman 261, si'if
katan 1) in the footnotes  - and reading that Rabbi Akiva Eiger, he doesn't
seem (IMHO, but I could be wrong here) to be contradicting the Magen Avraham
who allows bidieved to make the bracha later (RAE specifically says that
what the Magen Avraham permits is that the non Jew lights and the woman
later blesses) - but only commenting on the situation where more lights are
added to one already existing as shabbas comes in - so I *think* he (and
hence SSK) is restricting making the brocha to such a case.

So I am not quite sure what is going on here - but it seems to me, that if
we can rely on the Maharam who allows a Jew to make a bracha on a non Jew's
lighting, then why shouldn't the woman's bracha down the telephone (or at
least the video phone where she sees the candles being lit) count?  A half
way house would seem to be, let us say that a disabled Jewish woman lived
alone with her non Jewish carer.  And she was sufficiently disabled to be
unable to light candles herself, but able to tell her non Jewish carer to
light the candles on her behalf - could she not make the bracha (even before
the lighting, as per ROY)?   The implication from the Maharam and the Magen
Avraham would seem to be yes (although as I mention above I don't quite know
why, given that non Jew cannot be a shaliach for a d'var mitzvah).  But if
that case is correct, then why would the bracha down the phone be any
different (especially if she was watching the maid lighting on her video
phone)?  Mostly of course the straightforward course is to appoint another
Jewish person to be a shaliach, and then bless, assuming it is not a mitzvah
shebegufo, where one can't.  And mostly where one is dealing with a mitzvah
shebegufo, one could not be in a different place from the place where the
mitzvah is performed (although the existence of robots that can be
controlled remotely might be changing this - how about if a man ordered a
robot remotely to pick up a lulav and esrog?  No non Jew complications
involved here - if he couldn't do that, why could a Jew with a bionic arm do
it, and yet I can't imagine anybody objecting to that).  One case I did
think of was if there was a bris, and the father was, say overseas or in
hospital, and they had a video link up to the bris - why couldn't the father
say the father's bracha over the bris from where he is, assuming he sees it
all happening, even though via video link up?  It would not seem to be a
bracha l'vatala - there is a tzorech, the bris has been performed and he
knows it has, according to his instructions.  Instead of seeing the bris via
light waves bouncing off the baby, they bounce through some video camera,
are turned into other forms of electricity, bounce around the world and end
up in his eyes.  Is that really so different? That is my instinctive
response, but there may be other issues I haven't thought of at stake here.

> --Toby Katz

Shabbat Shalom



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