Volume 10 Number 25
                       Produced: Thu Nov 25 21:32:59 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ear Piercing
         [Shoshana Socher]
Jewish Cemeteries
         [Finley Shapiro]
Jonathan Pollard
         [J. Leci]
Kosher Fast food
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Minhagim; Age of Universe
         [Ed Cohen]
         [Yaakov Menken]
Trip to Israel
         [Meir Laker]
         [Anthony Fiorino]
         [David Charlap]


From: Shoshana Socher <apsocher@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 93 20:57:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Ear Piercing

It is hard to imagine when ear piercing became popular, but we know that
in Bresheet 24:47, Eliezer "...put the ring on her nose and the bands
are her arms."  Anyway, it must be an ancient practice.  This isn't an
ok to pierce our noses though, is it?

Abe Socher's wife (Shoshana)


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 93 15:15:29 -0500
Subject: Jewish Cemeteries

Gary Levin writes:

> I have visited a jewish cemetery where the headstones are flat with
> the earth. I was told that they are flat for maintenance of the lawn
> (grass). I noticed that the lawnmowers drive over the graves of people
> to cut the grass.
> Isn't this disrespectful to the dead ? Is this within the bounds of
> halacha to cut grass and maintain the cemetaries this way ?

Several of my relatives decided before they died that they would be
buried in a section of a cemetery where only flat ground level plaques
are permitted.  They preferred this more subdued type of grave marker.

Before the introduction of lawnmowers, grass in cemeteries was trimmed
by herding sheep through them.  The sheep ate the grass, but also left
their droppings.  This certainly seems disrespectful to the dead, and
also an annoyance to the living when they visited the cemetery.

Finley Shapiro


From: J. Leci <te2005@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 93 09:14:45 -0500
Subject: Jonathan Pollard

Please send this message to President Clinton asking for clemency for
Jonathan Pollard. <PRESIDENT@...>


The President receives a summary of all emails sent to him every week.
Help us get the case of Joathan Pollard on that list every week until
Jonathan is releaesed.

The Mitzva (commandments) of Piduon Shevoim (redeming the captives) is
one of the greatest mitzvot. You can help to fulfil that Mitzvah NOW!!


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 93 02:19:42 -0500
Subject: Kosher Fast food

Burger Ranch is Kosher in Rehovot, and is one of the best fast food
"joints" I've ever eaten in!


From: Ed Cohen <ELCSG@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 93 12:36:50 EST
Subject: Minhagim; Age of Universe

(1) In reply to Joel Wein's request (v9,#44), for sources on minhagim,
there is a book called *The Minhagim* (The Customs and Ceremonies of
Judaism, Their Origins and Rationale) by Abraham Chill, Sepher-Hermon
Press, NY, 1979.  It does not answer all his questions, but there is an
annotated list of 27 sources that should help.

(2) In reference to G. Friedenberg's subject: Age of the Universe
(v10,#4), the book I assume he is referring to is *In the Beginning*
(Biblical Creation & Science) by Nathan _Aviezer_, Professor of Physics
at Bar-Ilan University, published by KTAV Publishing House, Inc.,
Hoboken, NJ 07030, 1990.

One aspect I dislike about some postings in mail.jewish are the
incomplete references (in the above case even a wrong name). It would
better serve if the posters held off a day or two to verify the facts
about a book to give the complete reference--this includes the G'mara
also; I'm referring to those people who say that the quote is in "I
think Rosh Hashanah, maybe page 21a," etc. This is IMHO of little help.
Thanks for letting me say this.  It has been on my mind ever since I
started reading m-j.  

[Thanks for that comment, Edward. I think that it would be a good idea
if in general people who are posting to the list, first mail the reply
to themselves and then read it a few hours later. I suspect that many of
us would make some changes before sending it to the list. Mod.]

Prof. Edward L. Cohen 
Department of Mathematics
University of Ottawa Ottawa, ON, CANADA K1N 6N5


From: Yaakov Menken <menken@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 93 03:17:35 -0500
Subject: Pronunciation

In v10 n17, Alan Mizrahi wondered about the pronunciation of a taf
without a dagesh: "Though taf without the dagesh almost surely was not
pronounced the same as taf with a dagesh, I would think that the sound
was more similar to a t then an s."

Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of the pronunciation expert who
ex- plained this to me... but I do recall the explanation.  Several
letters in Hebrew exist with and without a dagesh: Bet, Gimmel, Dalet,
Kaf, Pay, and Taf.  In all cases, the sound with a dagesh is what is
termed in phonetics a "stop."  The converse of a stop is called a
"fricottal," and in three cases all agree that without a dagesh, the
sound is made by producing a fricottal in the same part of the mouth:
Vet, Chaf, Fay (try it!).

Similarly, I believe the Yemenites still have a Zhimmel, although some
sort of Thzaled is totally out of circulation.  An 's' sound actually is
produced quite close to a 't', and is therefore probably pretty
accurate.  It is mis- takenly believed (by many) that the Yemenites use
a 'th' (as in, Bnai Brith) - the actual sound is a moderately bad lisp -
quite close in position to a 't'.

Yaakov Menken


From: Meir Laker <meir@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 93 19:40:13 -0500
Subject: Trip to Israel

 From a brochure I received in the mail:

The Jewish Learning Exchange of Ohr Sameach is sponsoring a 3 week
program of study and learning for "Jewish men between the ages of 19 and
30 with demonstrated academic achievement and sincere motivation to
explore their roots".

When: Dec 22, 1993 - Jan 10, 1994

Cost: full price $1399
      scholarship price: $499

A limited number of scholarships are available based on academic
achievement and financial ability.

Information: 800-431-2272 (212-344-2000)


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 06:19:29 -0500
Subject: Tzitzit

Danny Skaist wrote:

> Most of the answers to this question about Tzitzis assumed the same thing,
> that is "sleeping things" are excluded because they are worn only at night.
> My question is, who gets up before dawn *every* day.  Bedspreads, sheets,
> blankets etc. ARE used during the daytime, in the early AM, most of the
> year. This is not an exceptional use of nightime clothes in the daytime but
> rather the standard use of these "garments" is for both nightime AND early
> daytime.

As I had pointed out in my earlier posting, the nature of the garment
determines whether the garment requires tzitzit or not.  Those garments
defined as night garments are exempt, even if worn during the day.  It
is not correct to say they are exempt because they are only worn at

I see no problem with sheets.  Assuming that sheets in fact fall into the
halachic category of "garment" in the first place, then it is clear that
they are a garment worn mainly at night.  It doesn't matter if one is
actually wrapped up in one's sheets during the daytime.

Eitan Fiorino


From: <dic5340@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 93 12:27:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Yaacov

<zisblatt@...> (Sam Zisblatt) writes:
> Uri Meth recently included in a posting that each of the AVOS (fathers)
>had a special quality, and that Yakov's was Emes (honesty).  But it was
>only this past week that we read in Parshas Toldos about Yakov deceiving
>his father to get the Blessing of the Bechor (First born).  Any thoughts?

First of all, Emes is not honesty but truth.  Truth goes much further
than simply not deceiving people.  It includes the "higher" truth of God
and other truths.

Either way, it should be noted that Yaakov does not deceive his father
in reality.  At that point, the birthright was his to receive, because
Esav sold it for a bowl of soup.

Furthermore, Esav was a hunter and a fighter.  A person completely
devoid of any spirituality.  He was not worthy of the birthright.  The
"true" heir to Yitzchak was Yaakov, even though he was technically born
after his twin.


End of Volume 10 Issue 25