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Volume 31: Number 1

Tue, 01 Jan 2013

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 12:41:14 -0000
[Avodah] Halachic basis for child support

On Arevim, in a discussion on  the topic of "In Groundbreaking Decision,
Rabbinic Court Equates Lesbian and  Heterosexual Relations"RZS asks:

Why would this necessarily follow?  What is the halachic basis for
obligating a father to support his children?

There is disagreement amongst the rishonim whether the obligation to support
children is from the Torah up until the age of six, and then rabbinic froms
six until they are no longer katanim (shte sieros) - the latter enactment
being that of the takana of Usha (as set out in Kesubos 49b), or whether it
is all rabbinic, based on the takana of Usha, and the distinction is whether
the beis din can go down onto the father's property (yes before six, no
after) or whether the obligation remains if the children have other property
(eg inherited from their mother's father) (yes before six, no after).  The
Rambam is generally held as holding that the obligation is min haTorah,
while the Tur does not.

The modern rabbanut, by takana, extended this obligation to support to ages
fifteen or sixteen, but it is only an extension of something that already
existed up until 12 or 13.

>  At least past a certain point it's one of the tena'ei ketuba, which this
wife has forfeited.

No. As set out in the Beis Yosef Even HaEzer siman 71 - "from the words of
the Rosh in his teshuva clal 17 siman 7 we see explicitly that one who has
relations with a penuya and she gives birth from him a son or daughter is
obligated to sustain them and so writes the Ravya in teshuva siman 41" (so
long as he concedes that the child is his). And so is codified in Shulchan
Aruch Even HaEzer siman 71 si'if 3. That is, the obligation is based (at
least partly, if not fully) on the takana of Usha (or alternatively at least
partially on an independent d'orisa obligation), which is completely
separate to the takanos that gave rise to the kesuba.

>And even before then, I'd seriously like to know what is the halachic basis
of a father's obligation to support children who have been taken away from
>him and given to someone else to raise.

I would be surprised if anybody is assuming that he is raising the children
of the penuya. 

> I've never come across such a concept in halacha, and would like to know
on what basis the modern rabbinate came up with it, and what give them the
>right to impose it on anyone.  

To turn the question around, where do we see the concept of a man raising a
child in halacha?  We do see obligations on the father, including to teach a
son torah - but mostly, since the days of Yehoshua ben Gamla that obligation
has been delegated to a rebbe in school.  I can see an argument that if the
father insisted, after a son reached the age of chinuch, in learning with
him personally, rather than delegating such education to a school, there
might be some argument for requiring access for that purpose, and similarly
to enable him to fulfil the obligation personally to be mechanech his son -
(although given that it is minhag haolam to pass most of this to a school it
seems difficult to insist upon what is now a chumra and all of this would
not apply to a daughter anyway).  I can certainly see the halachic argument
that if there was a dispute between the man and woman about which school to
send a son to, then the father ought to prima facie have the stronger claim,
given his level of obligation, but where do we ever see the concept of a
father having to, or indeed being expected to, live with his child in

We do see it by the mother, up until around six (and maybe later) we have a
halachic concept of a child who needs his mother - and hence cannot go on
aliya l'regel, is not halachically obligated in sukkah etc etc (and this
concept may in turn create some level of obligation upon the mother up until
that age to stick around the child which the father may be able to enforce -
he certainly can vis a vis nursing the child).  After this it is not at all
clear that women have any halachic obligation whatsoever to their children
(although there are indeed those who hold that a woman is obligated to be
mechanech her children - despite the gemora in Nazir 29a, see discussion
surrounding the actions of Helena Hamalka at the bottom of SUkkah 2b and
Rashi Chagiga 2a).

But where do we see that chinuch necessitates any form of living
arrangements?  Rabbeim have since the dawn of time fulfilled the obligation
to be mechanech their charges without needing to live with them. And
similarly adults quite adequately fulfil their obligations of kibud av v'am
without needing to live with their parents.

So as far as I can see this whole idea of custody, and the fact that men and
women fight over it, doesn't prima facie seem to have anything to do with

>Zev Sero        "Natural resources are not finite in any meaningful



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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:42:47 -0500
Re: [Avodah] What date was the Torah given? The 6th of Sivan

On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 03:00:17PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
>> Because it doesn't really matter what date it was. It was 50 days
>> after Yetziyat Mitzrayim.

> Actually 51, if we accept that YM was on a Thursday and MT on a Shabbos.

I like the Maadanei Yom Tov's framing: It was the 50th yom tamim after
yetzi'as mitzrayim.

The MAY explains that Shavous is the 50th whole day -- "tisperu 50 yom"
-- but the beginning of the sequence is day number zero. Which is why
the mitzvah of counting is only to 49. Since on the first Pesach the
redemption began at midnight, 15 Nissan wasn't tamim, and therefore it
couldn't be day 0. Day zero was the 16th. Nowadays, though, day zero is
the 15th and we count day 1 of the omer on the 16th.

The point of all this being... Shavuos isn't a date, but a the endpoint
of a 50 day process, as Lisa writes. Which would explain Zev's assertion
that people before our current day-planner-influenced zeitgeist wouldn't
pay enough attention to retain the actual date.

But I like the thought, because it explains why our observance lines up
with theirs, despite the "51 days" (or as the MAY would have us put it,
50 + 3/4 days) thing.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             With the "Echad" of the Shema, the Jew crowns
mi...@aishdas.org        G-d as King of the entire cosmos and all four
http://www.aishdas.org   corners of the world, but sometimes he forgets
Fax: (270) 514-1507      to include himself.     - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 3
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:45:56 -0500
Re: [Avodah] IVF Mitzvah

R Zilberstein lists several objections to IVF

1) Poskim have doubts about the Yichus of the child, eg if the father is a Cohen or if the child inherits the fayher
and if the father fulfills pru u-revu through IVF

2) This goes against the kedusha that exists between husband and wife and now there is a doctor involved.
Therefore it is funny (me-guchach) for someone who already has children to use IVF to form a child with problems.
In particular the Steipler objected to all artificial means for having a baby for this destroys the tahara in
the creation of the baby. Siddur Beis Yaakov states that the quality of a child depends on the tzniut of the couple
which obviously does not occur through IVF.

Therefore R. Zilberstein concludes that Daas Torah is that the Torah does not demand that a couple use IVF
and they are not fulfilling the wishes of G-d. However, if the couple wants IVF for their natural desire to have a baby
it is difficult to prohibit it as long as they make sure that there is no outside sperm added and that the sperm of the
husband used is kept to a minimum to prevent destruction of sperm.
IIUC these objections could also apply to AIH(artificial
insemination-husband).	I find the juxtaposition of ?they are not
fulfilling the wishes of G-d.? and ? However, if the couple wants IVF for
their natural desire ? intriguing.  From whence does this natural desire
spring if not from HKB?H and our focus (which imho flows from the will) on
family? Why would it be difficult to prohibit ?
Joel Rich

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Message: 4
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@xgmail.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 18:53:56 +0200
[Avodah] IVF

Since I received several questions about IVF I am enclosing a summary of an
entry in the encylopedia on Hilchatit Refuit by Rabbi Dr. A. Steinberg.
For more details see the first bvolume

The gemara and medrash seem to assume that a woman can get pregnant in a
bathtub/pool without direct contact.

The first IVF in a human was by Marion Simes in 1866. It was advanced by
Robert Dickenson at the end of the 19th century. Sperm banks have been in
use since 1940.

For halacha we shall assume that only the husband's sperm is being used
(more later)

1) Waste of semen:
Divrei Malkiel (died 1910)  prohibits IVF on the ground of waste of semen.
Later poskim including R. Uziel, Yakil Avdi, CI agree either because it
doesnt help that later the spem will be used or else because inevitably not
all the sperm is used.

Most poskim disagree including Yaavetz, Maharsham, Har Tzvi, Minchat
Yitzchak, ROY, RMF, RSZA, Sridei Eish etc

For those that allow it there are various differing opinions as to the best
way to obtain the sperm.
They also have several restrictions eg the couple wait 10 years.
Certification by 2 doctors that the woman doesnt have fertility problems
and of course making sure that other semen is not mixed in with the

RSZA is not sure if a woman demands a get because her husband cant father a
child whether he can offer IVF or rather the woman can demand natural means

It is a debate whther the man satisfies the mitza of Pru U-rvu through IVF.
 R. Uziel, Yaskil Avdi. Others claim that IVF is considered during a deed,
Divrei Malkiel, R. Frank, Minchat Yitzchak, ROY, Tzitz Eliezer while others
claim that only the outcome of a child matters, Chelkat Mechokek, Beis
Shmuel, Minchat Chinuch

RSZA was in doubt if the child of IVF can have a milah on shabbat

There was no mention of some of the pther problems R. Zilberstein raised
like inhertitance

sperm donot is the halachic father. This would create problems in several
areas including marriage, inhertiance, being a Cohen etc. There are
arguments about mamzerut
This is especially a problem because of secrecy laws

Using a nonJewish donor is discouraged by all poskim. RSZA and RMF did
allow it in extenuating circumstances

Eli Turkel

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Message: 5
From: T6...@xaol.com
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 12:04:00 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] IVF

In a message dated 12/31/2012 11:53am EST,  elitur...@gmail.com writes:
> The  first IVF in a human was by Marion Simes in 1866. 

I think you are confusing IVF with AI (artificial insemination).

From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
>> R. Zilberstein and  Rav Elyashiv maintain that there is no mitzvah to use
>> artificial means to do  the mitzvah and pru u_revu and that they in fact did
>> not like the idea of  IVF

> What is the Sevara for this? Is there a health  risk?

I think the main objection is the necessity of fertilizing the ovum
outside the woman's body -- how do you get the necessary sperm? (Some
require that it be collected in a condom derech biah, but then what if the
wife is a nidah on the critical day of the cycle?) (And another shailah
is, is there is a problem with implantation when the wife is nidah? --- I
think the consensus is there is no problem, not sure.) There are certainly
also health risks. There is also the difficulty of assuring that what was
ne'elam min ha'ayin is what it purports to be -- i.e., how can you assure
that they didn't mix up one person's eggs and/or sperm with another's?
There have been such mix-ups in fertility clinics, and very expensive
lawsuits. The lawsuits do provide some assurance, also DNA testing.
In Israeli clinics I think they have an actual shomer (mashgiach?) who
stays with the biological material from collection to implantation.

--Toby Katz

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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@xgmail.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 19:49:43 +0200
[Avodah] IVF - correction

In terms of the historical data that I gave Rbn Katz is correct that
what I gave was for AI and not IVF.
The first test tube baby born was in England in 1978 and then 2 years
later to the same couple. By 1983 the success rate was 30% with 139
babies born with IVF.

As far as halacha goes all the issues I mentioned in my previous post
hold for IVF also.
In summary assuming the husband-wife pair are using the IVF without any
outside sources ROY allows it under the condition that there is no
other choice.

Tzitz Eliezer, R. Shterbuch (seemingly the Steipler) say that the problem
of misuse of semen is worse than for AI since it is being put into a
test tube and therefore forbid IVF. Others object to IVF on moral grounds
(eg R. Zilberstein) that it causes chaos and destroys the kedusha of
the Jewish people.
Others disagree and claim that one obeys the mitzva of Pru Urevu through
IVF and there are no problems of destroying semen. As to the moral problem
they basically agree that IVF should not become a standard but say it
should be used when medically necessary.

When the carrier of the fetus is not the genetic mother there is a
big argument about who is the halachic mother and will leave it for
another post

Eli Turkel

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Message: 7
From: saul newman <saulnewma...@xgmail.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:36:47 -0800
[Avodah] experiments in hag'alah


reactions to the  kashrut  hag'alah experiments

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 15:18:44 -0500
Re: [Avodah] If you have an electronic water meter, can you

RDE just pointed to a link on this subject to an essay by R' Simcha Bunim
Lazerson based on RSZA. (RSBL is the editor of Shulchan Shelomo, and a
talmid muvhaq of RSZA.)

So, in the machloqes between RCKaniefsky and R Mordechai Grossman,
he concludes that RSZA was meiqil. He also spends time discussing RSZA's
and the CI's shitos, which RDE found enlightening, but I haven't read

See the qunterus on Scribd at <http://j.mp/Xbz6X4>.

Unfortunately, I didn't get permission to furher distribute the document,
which has a password. So, while I 

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is a glorious thing to be indifferent to
mi...@aishdas.org        suffering, but only to one's own suffering.
http://www.aishdas.org                 -Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 9
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <r...@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 22:47:41 GMT
Re: [Avodah] What date was the Torah given? The 6th of Sivan

RMarty Bluke asked,
>The obvious question is how can there be a dispute about the date of Matan
Torah? Matan Torah was/is THE most important event by far in Jewish
history, how can we not know what date it took place? In fact, you would
think that every last detail about matan torah would be burned into
everyone's memory including everything that happened that week, so how can
we not know whether there were 2 days of perisha or 3? The fact is that
each one tries to prove his position by darshening the pesukim their way
but no one brings a mesora and says I have a kabbala that matan torah was
on this date. Why not?<

     My father z"l said that the ambiguity as to both the time and place of
     mattan Torah (no one knows which mountain is Sinai) serves to
     emphasize that Torah is not bound to any specific time or place.


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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 02:31:42 -0500
Re: [Avodah] What date was the Torah given? The 6th of Sivan

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:47:41PM +0000, Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
: My father z"l said that the ambiguity as to both the time and place of
: mattan Torah (no one knows which mountain is Sinai) serves to emphasize
: that Torah is not bound to any specific time or place.

This answers the "why". RMBluke's question, IMHO, reflected the "how"
-- how could a group of people who experienced the most momentous event
in history possibly not record its date?

To use RMTeitz's idea to answer the original question, we would have to
then ask how did Hashem covertly -- or perhaps even overtly -- intervene
in history so as to insure we would either not know the date or forget it
(while still preserving our free will) so as to emphasize that the Torah
is not connected to any one time over any other?

While writing this, it struck me that perhaps the majority of Jews never
knew the date. Rosh Chodesh had no halakhos lemaaseh yet, did it? Yes
we were already given the mitzvah of "ke-'zeh' re'eih veqadeish". But did
the 70 zeqeinim have any motive for sharing the dates of RC Iyyar or Sivan
with the masses, or the masses for paying much attention if they did?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
mi...@aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 11
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 09:33:37 +0200
[Avodah] IVF

<<The article on medicine and halacha in which they bring Rav Mordechai
Eliyahu's opinion that if the couple is childless they should be
encouraged to use artificial means (assuming there is no medical reason
not to).  If they have children but are having trouble having more
(something known) then there is no reason not use the treatment.>>

However, it bstates explicitly in the article that R. Eliyahu said that one
is NOT required to use IVF.
Again some poskim feel that one is not yotze the mitzvah of pru urevu with
IVF (or even AI) and so according to them one is certainly not required to
use IVF

Eli Turkel
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Message: 12
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 22:51:39 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Why Lie When Truth Can Also Achieve Peace

RSZ wrote:
> How do you know what Hashem would or would not disclose?  In general
> ruach hakodesh reveals all.  For 22 years Yaacov didn't have ruach
> hakodesh.  It's not just that Hashem kept this from him, but otherwise
> gave him access to ruach hakodesh; rather, the whole ruach hakodesh
> went away, and Yaacov had no access to special information at all.
> Once it came back, what was to prevent him from learning this information?

What do you base that on? Prophecy and ruach hakodesh are not at the whims
of the prophet. As Rambam explained, one can be ready for prophecy yet not
get any.

Wouldn't it make more sense to posit that one only sees what G"d wants to
reveal to him? No X-Ray Rabbi.

Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Schnellkurs im j?dischen Grundwissen: I. Der Schabbat (Audio)
* Warum beschneiden Juden ihre Knaben ? Multimedia-Vortrag
* Beschneidung, die aktuelle Rechtslage ? Multimedia Schiur
* Was mir in Holocaust Museen fehlt
* Beschneidungslerntag ? Schlu?worte (Multimedia)
* Paneldiskussion zur Beschneidung ? Audio-Datei
* Welche B?nde gibt es zwischen Mensch und G?tt? (Multimedia)
* R?ckblick Gedenkfeier F?rstenfeldbruck
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Message: 13
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2013 17:39:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Why Lie When Truth Can Also Achieve Peace

On 1/01/2013 4:51 PM, Arie Folger wrote:
> What do you base that on? Prophecy and ruach hakodesh are not at the
> whims of the prophet. As Rambam explained, one can be ready for prophecy
> yet not get any.
> Wouldn't it make more sense to posit that one only sees what G"d wants
> to reveal to him? No X-Ray Rabbi.

Prophecy and Ruach Hakodesh are not the same thing.  Nevuah went away.
Ruach Hakodesh never went away; it's what tzadikim today have.  It's
not direct communication of information; it's an ability to see the
hidden truth.  So by default he would know everything that it's relevant
for him to know, unless Hashem specifically hides it from him.

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
z...@sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan


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