Volume 11 Number 72
                       Produced: Tue Feb  8  8:24:09 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bar Mitzva and Parshat Zachor
         [David Kramer]
Conservative Shuls
         [Harry Weiss]
Correction re: Genesis and the Big Bang
         [Robert Israel]
Halakhic approach to mental illness
         [Matthew Epstein]
Hechsherim on Whiskys and beers
         [Avi Weinstein]
Jews and Dogs
         [Etan Shalom Diamond]
         [Alan Davidson]
Kippah Sizes
         [Janice Gelb]
         [Marc Warren]
Mezuza on office door
         [Janice Gelb]
Rabbi Gedaliah Felder ztz"l
         [David Sherman]
Seagram's Chivas Regal
         [Stephen Phillips]
         [Seth Magot]


From: <davidk@...> (David Kramer)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 04:11:17 -0500
Subject: Bar Mitzva and Parshat Zachor

Ben Svetitsky asked a couple of weeks ago about the source for R. Simcha
Kooks hestation to have a boy who had just become a Bar Mitzva to read
Parshat Zachor. The principle of relying on the majority (Rov) to assume
that a boy who has reached 13 years has 'two hairs' is known as 'chazaka
derava' (because the amora rava is the proponent of this principle). The
poskim say that we rely on this chazaka for 'deraban's but not 'deoraita's.
See the Encyclopedia Talmudit under 'Gadol' (there is also some discussion
under 'Chazaka',subsection 'chazaka dehashta').

[  David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
[ Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-8754 ]


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 94 16:40:04 
Subject: Conservative Shuls

In MJ 11-67 Bob Smith discusses attending Conservative Shuls. 
Numerous poskim from all walks of Orthodoxy have absolutely
prohibited davening in a Conservative Shul.  They have prohibited
that, even if it would mean davening at home on Rosh Hashanah and
not hearing the Shofar.

These prohibitions do not prohibit one from socializing and
interacting with individual Jews who happen  to be affiliated with
a Conservative temple.  (I will not discuss the sensitive issue of
inter synagogue organizations such as Synagogue Council of
America.)  Orthodox Jews and members of non Orthodox organizations
participate in organizations such as Jewish Community Centers,
Jewish Federations, Jewish Family Services etc. as well as informal

In our community Orthodox Jews frequently attend Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
at the Conservative Synagogue.  They daven first at the Orthodox
Shul and walk over to the Conservative facility for the Kiddush.


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 02:56:18 -0500
Subject: Correction re: Genesis and the Big Bang

In my calculation (vol. 11 #66) of how to make 15 billion years into 6 days 
by staying near the event horizon of a black hole, I unfortunately referred 
to r as a "distance".  In fact, the r coordinate is not really a distance.
The true distance from the observer's location r = (1 + 10^(-24)) 2M to the
event horizon at r = 2M is (2 * 10^(-12)) 2M.  For a black hole of the mass
of the sun, this distance would be about 6 * 10^(-9) metres.  This is still
rather small, about 1/3 the diameter of a small virus, but within the
resolving power of a good electron microscope. 

Robert Israel                            <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics             
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Y4


From: <Matthew_B._Epstein_at_ANE100@...> (Matthew Epstein)
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 94 14:39:40 EST
Subject: Halakhic approach to mental illness

I couldn't attend Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler's lecture this past weekend on
Jews with physical disabilities.  A thorough discussion of this topic
was long overdue.  Unfortunately, the Jewish community is afflicted with
mental illness as well as physical illness.  This subject is so taboo
that it's very hard to get anyone to talk about it.  Perhaps the
mljewish readership could help steer me toward sources that discuss the
halakhic approach to mental illness.

Matthew Epstein


From: Avi Weinstein <0003396650@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 14:52:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Hechsherim on Whiskys and beers

Let me clarify, I don't think you should take my word for whether Chivas
Regal is kosher, but the word of the innumerable supervising bodies that
allow Chivas Regal whisky to be served at glatt kosher functions.  It is
unusual for beers and whiskys in general to require hechsherim, maybe this
is changing, but in the bars of glat hotels in Israel and all over the world
one can find scotch without hechsherim, because it was not deigned necessary
by the supervising bodies.  Liqueurs, however which are suspected of having
wine in them do need a hechsher. I don't think beers, also a grain based
beverage,  have a hechsher and yet there is no reluctance in serving these
items either.  

My "informal" investigation was made in order to set the record straight. 
There is no wine in Chivas Regal, I don't know of any Scotch that has formal
supervision, yet it is always available at affairs where the supervision is
glatt.  It would be indeed ironic if the reason for a hechsher would be to
squelch unfounded rumors and not for any other reason.  

One possible reason that a formal hechsher may not be required may be that
U.S. government regulation is so meticulous regarding spirits that it may be
relied upon.

Of course, I once saw a bottle of Schweppes soda water in Israel the
hechsher of which testified to the fact that Terumos and Ma'asros were taken
by the Rabbanut of Rechovot :).


From: Etan Shalom Diamond <ed16+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Mon,  7 Feb 1994 16:28:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Jews and Dogs

   A discussion with some of my grad student colleagues has left them
dumbfounded as to why there is this historical dislike of dogs by Jews.
I told them it had something to do with Cossacks and dogs and pogroms,
but they seemed unconvinced.  Can anyone help?  And while we're at it,
are there any pets or animals that we are known for liking? If the
reason for dislike is the Cossack/pogrom, then what is the deal with
Sephardic Jewry--do they have more of an affinity to man's best friend?


Etan Diamond
Department of History - Carnegie Mellon University


From: Alan Davidson <DAVIDSON@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 02:56:23 -0500
Subject: Kel_Adon

I checked my Artscroll Siddur, and it made no mention of a controversy
at all.  It seemed to suggest, though, that this Piyut and the Prayer
for Shabbos following it are extensions of Hakol.  We might want to ask
how Hakol is legitimately used when it isn't inserted during the week if
it is just an issue of "interruption."


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 02:56:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Kippah Sizes

Back before my tendinitis, when I was crocheting kippot, I was told to
check the size by having the intended wearer make a fist. The width of
the four fingers held this way was supposedly the correct size for the 
radius of the kippah.

I have absolutely *no* idea what the basis for this measurement 
was, but I'm not the only woman who measured for kippot this way!

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 


From: <warren@...> (Marc Warren)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 03:21:07 -0500
Subject: Lipsinging

A few months ago, the Miami Boys Choir performed at SUNY Binghamton.  To
the audiences dismay, almost the whole performance was lipsung.  During
the intermission Mr. Begun, the choir leader, was approached and told
that people were furious that the somgs were being lipsung.  He replied
that all proffesionals lipsing, and therefore it was all right for him
to do it.  A large percent of the audience walked out.  The Jewish
Student Union, which sposored the event has asked without success for a
refund.  Does anyone know whether it is Halachaly permissible to
lipsing, without first informing people before they buy the tickets.  I
would think at the very least it would be "geneva da'at"

Marc Warren


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 02:56:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Mezuza on office door

In mail.jewish Vol. 11 #68 Digest, Jeff Finger says:

>From page 4:
> ...
> 2. One should put a mezuzah on the doorpost of a private office in a
> company. *42 However, this should not be done 
> until one is sure of remaining with the company. *43

Given the current economic climate, I don't think this is something 
any of us need worry about...

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 94 14:57:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbi Gedaliah Felder ztz"l

> From: Jeff Finger <jfinger@...>
> is on laws of mezuzot. The book has haskamot of Rabbi Moishe
> Feinstein, ztz"l and Rabbi Gedaliah Felder shlit"a of Toronto, Ontario.

That would be Rabbi Gedaliah Felder ztz"l, who passed away a year
or two ago.

David Sherman


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 14:52:42 -0500
Subject: Seagram's Chivas Regal

> From: <HREICH@...> (Howard Reich)
>      Should the public accept and rely upon the conclusions concerning
> kashruth that a Seagram employee has drawn after an informal
> investigation?  Seagram's reluctance to obtain reliable kashruth
> certification is curious in light of its professed desire for Chivas
> Regal to be accepted by the public as kosher, and its sale of Chametz
> before Pesach through the OU.  Is there any reason why the public should
> not as a matter of policy, insist upon reliable kashruth certification?
>           Howard Reich (<hreich@...>)

Three points on this:-

1. As far as I am aware, all Scotch whisky is distilled and bottled
in Scotland. It is not considered Scotch otherwise. Perhaps Segrams
are the U.S. distributors and have put on their own label.

2. All Scotch whisky is acceptable as being kosher, at least here in

3. If a company sells it Chometz for Pesach, then if it continues to
trade in its Chometz products the sale becomes void. I remember
discussing this point with the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel
(Orthodox) in Schenectady N.Y. with regard to the Price Chopper chain
of supermarkets which is owned by the Golub Corporation. Once upon a
time they used to sell their Chometz through a previous Rabbi of
Congregation Beth Israel, but the Rabbi I spoke to said that it was a
nonsense as Price Chopper remained open for business during Pesach.

Stephen Phillips


From: Seth Magot <MAGOT@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 94 02:56:09 -0500
Subject: Women

As I have come to understand, women are basically exempt from time 
related mitzvot.  In many ways it makes sense.  Women, because 
they run the household are quiet often not the masters of their time.  
But, there has been a change in society.  There are households now 
in which it is the man is the one who stays home doing what one 
might classify as 'women's work' - keeping the household going.  On 
the same theme, obviously, there are women who work strictly in 
business (ie - not household work).  What happens in these 
situations?  Are the men still obligated to perform the time related 
mitzvot, though they are performing a class of work that in the past 
has been freed of some obligations?  And of course the reverse, are 
those women mentioned above now  obligated?

Seth Magot


End of Volume 11 Issue 72