Volume 12 Number 26
                       Produced: Wed Mar 23 19:31:52 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beer -- is it kosher?
         [Ben Pashkoff]
Cutting Stones For The Temple & the Shamir
         [Moshe Shamah]
German/Yiddish Etymology of Gebrockt / Gebrocktes
         [Leora Morgenstern]
         [Susan Sterngold]
Metal implements and the Temple
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Ownership of Chometz
         [David Griboff]
Reading a Ketuba
         [Ari Shapiro]
She-lo asani Ishah
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Suggestions re: Yom Hazikaron requested
         [Arvin Levine]
Time Bound Commandments
         [Joel Goldberg]
Water drills and the Third Temple
         [Sam Gamoran]


From: <ben@...> (Ben Pashkoff)
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 18:56:45 -0500
Subject: Beer -- is it kosher?

>From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
>Subject: Re: Beer -- is it kosher?
>I believe beer contains an ingredient called Isinglass (sp?) which is
>of animal origin, but the amount involved is so small as to be
>considered "Botul Beshishim" [nullified because the amount is less
>than one sixtieth]. 

If I  remember correctly, we should be very carefull when using a term like
Btul B'Shishim. If memory serves me correctly, this can only be declared of
a foodstuff for which a treif material was added by accident, and not as
one of the ingredients. If it is added as an ingredient, even if it is of
quantity 1/60 or less, there are many that would still declare the food
treif. An example would be to add a spoonful of lard to a cholent to add
tatse, but since it is less than a 1/60 of the total volume to declare it

Ben Pashkoff                           <BEN@...>
Head Systems Engineer      VMS, PC,  MAC systems
Computer Center                   Phone:(972)-4-292177 
Haifa, Israel 32000                Fax : (972)-4-236212


From: <MSHAMAH@...> (Moshe Shamah)
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 1994 00:31:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cutting Stones For The Temple & the Shamir

In m-j 12:17 David Charlop writes: 

>I remember learning, years ago, that no metal tools may be used to
>cut the bricks for the Beit Ha'Mikdash.  Originally, there was a
>worm of some kind [the Shamir] that would eat through the rocks
>and that was used.... One of the problems Torah scholars have
>today is that creature is believed to be extinct.  So how do we
>cut the stones without steel?

According to the Rambam there is no problem.  He writes that the
stonecutting and chiseling for the stones of the Temple should not
be done at the Temple Mount but outside and brought in finished. 
This that metal tools are not to be used refers to the Temple Mount
only.  This is what was done in King Solomon's Temple as stated in
I Kings 6:7; 7:9-12.  (Hilkhot Beit Habehirah 1:8) 

In rejecting the explanation of the Shamir in construction the
Rambam followed Rabbi Nehemiah who told Rabbi Yehuda (Masekhet Sota
48b) "How is it possible to say this (that Solomon built with the
Shamir), does Scripture not state explicitly that the stones were
cut with tools?  Therefore the explanation is that he did the metal
work outside and brought them in finished."  

Perhaps the primary source for the Rambam's view is the Mekhilta. 
On the verse "And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not
build them hewn; for by wielding your tool upon it you have
profaned it" (Exodus 20:22), the Mekhilta comments that this law
only applies to stones for the altar, not stones for the Heikhal
and the Holy of Holies.  Do not build "them" finely finished
(gazit) - the stones for the altar may not be finely finished, but
other sanctuary stones may be so finished.  The Mekhilta continues:
the explanation of the verse in I Kings 6:7"....and there was
neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the House while
being built" is that at the Temple site such tools were not heard,
but they were heard outside.  There is no controversy on this point
in the Mekhilta.

In the above-cited Talmudic passage there is a follow up question
by the anonymous questioner: according to Rabbi Nehemiah what was
the shamir used for? The answer: for engraving the precious stones
[of the Hoshen and Ephod]. Interestingly, in codifying the laws of
engraving the stones (Kele Mikdash 9:7) the Rambam doesn't mention
the shamir.  This has puzzled some commentators.  Perhaps, since
the shamir is not available, as stated in the Mishnah preceding
that passage, "From the time of the Temple destruction the shamir
has become annulled", the Rambam's position is that the work must
proceed as best as possible without it.  Or perhaps there is
another explanation to the Rambam, but not for now.


From: <leora@...> (Leora Morgenstern)
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 94 09:16:15 EST
Subject: German/Yiddish Etymology of Gebrockt / Gebrocktes

As I understand it,  the word gebrockt, referring on Pesach to foods
that consist of matza or matza meal which has come into contact
with liquids, comes from the German word brocken,  the infinitive
verb form, meaning to break.  (The original gebrockt food was probably
matza broken into soup.)   The past participle is gebrockt,  and is
used as an adjective.  The noun form is created by adding an e and an s
(since the noun is a neuter, neither masculine nor feminine);
thus we have das gebrocktes.  (Gebrocktes has three syllables.)

My question is:  In newspapers, letters,  and speech,  I keep coming
across the word "gebroks" --   no t, no e, just 2 syllables,  and often
used as an adjective as well as a noun,  e.g.,  gebroks cooking.
Is this the correct Yiddish form,  or is this just a mistake in
spelling, pronunciation,  and usage that has become common?
If this is the correct Yiddish form,  what are the Yiddish rules of
derivation from the original German word that result in the form gebroks?
Is there perhaps another etymological source that would explain
the word gebroks?

On a related topic,  can anyone recommend a good Yiddish dictionary
and a good Yiddish grammar book?


From: Susan Sterngold <ss117@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 18:56:12 -0500
Subject: Kibbud

As a newcomer to the list, please forgive me if I ask questions which
may appear obvious and ignorant. I was wondering about kibbud-does
respect mean obedience, especially in adults to their parents? Does this
concept go both ways, that the parents should also respect their



From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 18:57:16 -0500
Subject: Metal implements and the Temple

The use of metal implements in building the Temple is discussed in the
last chapter of Sotah.  The conclusions, as I recall from a shiur some
years ago, are that (1) Solomon cut stones with metal implements -- the
Biblical account mentions "gazit" - hewn stone; (2) he could have done
the cutting at the Temple Mount, since there is no rule against it, but
he chose not to in order to keep swords and their kin away; (3) thus the
cutting -- with metal implements -- was done at the quarry; (4) the shamir,
contrary to accounts in the Midrash, was not used at all in the building
of the Temple but was used in fashioning the stones embedded in the
High Priest's breastplate, which had to be "engraved" and "whole" at the
same time -- thus the need for a miraculous worm.

The only actual halacha dealing with metal implements is that which
prohibits their use in cutting stones for the Altar.

Ben Svetitsky        <bqs@...>


From: David Griboff <TKISG02%<EZMAIL@...>
Date: Mon 14 Mar 1994 15:27 ET
Subject: Ownership of Chometz

Reading all the articles about the acceptability of Jews benefiting from
Meat and Dairy together (especially stockholders), and with Pesah around
the corner, I thought of the following question:

If a Jew owns stock in a public corporation (i.e., McDonalds), and the
corporation benefits from chometz on Pesah, is this a problem?  Or is
the ownership of the Chometz attached to the owners of the franchise
outlets only?  Would the Jew who owns a few shares (out of millions)
have a problem with benefit/ownership over Pesah?

David Griboff


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 21:33:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Reading a Ketuba

The Ketuba is a contract.  The groom knowingly commits himself to pay 
x amount on death or divorce.  As long as he knows that she is not a 
virgin and he still agrees to pay the 200 zuz it is not a problem.  In 
theory he could agree to pay a million dollars.  The point is that the 
ketuba is a contract that he enters into willingly and therefore whatever 
he agrees on is fine.

Ari Shapiro


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 18:56:20 -0500
Subject: She-lo asani Ishah

Arthur Roth is correct that this Beracha as the preceeding two (Goy and
Aved) relate to the obligation in mitzvot. So sayeth the Yerushalmi
explicitly. The explanation I believe closest to the truth is that of
Rav Reuven Margoliyot in his Nitsotsei Ohr. The greater the number of
mitzvot you have, the greater the potential for divine reward, but also
the greater the risk. A non-Jews who fulfills his 7 mitzvot will
undoubtedly get a share in the world to come; but it is a smaller share
than that of a Jew who fulfills all of his. Yet, a Jew can also receive
greater punishment if (s)he violates her/his thou shalt nots or doesn't
fulfill the thou shalts. Hence, more mitzvot is a risky business. Each,
male or female accepts the role they were given with all the risks and
dangers (this is referred in halakhic literature as Matzdik alav et
ha-din).  Hence we say: look G-d, you could have made me a non-Jew with
fewer risks, but you didn't. I accept it."Blessed art thou..WHO didn't
make me a non-Jew" (WHO not BECAUSE). You could have made me a
non-Jewish slave to a Jew (A demi-Jew with partial Mitzvot and no
Kedushat Yisrael). My life of mitzvot would have been easier. But you
decided not to. I can live with that: "Blessed art thou...who didn't
make me a slave". Male say: Look G-d, you could have made me a woman.
She has the Sanctity of a Jew like me, yet she has the option to decide
whether she wants to do time determined positive commandments. If she
doesn't sit in the succah, or hear Shofar, or shake lulav, or wear
tsitsit - nobody can fault her. But if she does she gets reward. If I
fulfill these mitsvot, indeed my reward is greater - but on the other
hand, if I don't I get punished. It's not completely fair. At least give
me the option to decide which system I want to work under! (:)). OK I
accept your divine edict not to make me a woman. "Blessed art thou...who
didn't make me a Woman." Greater risk, but also greater POTENTIAL
reward. How much reward I get depends of course on me.


From: <LEVINE_ARVIN@...> (Arvin Levine)
Date: 16 Mar 94 06:55:00 -0800
Subject: Suggestions re: Yom Hazikaron requested

Teaneck's Orthodox community is planning a Yom Haatzmaut celebration
in conjunction with Mincha for Yom Hazikaron, followed by Ma'ariv.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a short (15 minute approx) ceremony/a-v
 or readings to use to commemorate Yom hazikaron between Mincha & Ma'ariv?

/Arvin Levine


From: <goldberg@...> (Joel Goldberg)
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 94 18:56:24 -0500
Subject: Time Bound Commandments

<jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum) observed

> In our day of less rigid social and familial roles, issues can be raised
> in individual cases.  It is still difficult to change the general rule.
> With regard to men as primary caregivers, IMHO with the modern
> conveniences we have it is still generally possible to fulfil the
> weekday mitzvot in the proper time.

  I am in the rather unique position, due to my wife's 100% disability, of
 having the expectation of caring for, I"YH, many young children. Currently,
 we have a son aged four months. Since his birth I am no longer able to
 attend all minyanim. While we have aides at various times of the day (as
 when I am here at Bar-Ilan) and I do attend shacharit minyan, mincha and
 ma'ariv, often become "at home." Similarly, I can no longer attend shiurim
 spontaneously. A baby sitter is necessary, so availability and cost are
 factors. On the other hand, I do perform mitzvot b'zman, so presumably
 even married women could as well if the effort required to do so were seen
 as warranted.


From: gamoran%<milcse@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 94 00:11:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Water drills and the Third Temple

How about heat-intensive lasers, propane/acetylene torches...


End of Volume 12 Issue 26