Volume 12 Number 39
                       Produced: Tue Apr  5 14:01:08 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Assorted Comments
         [Freda Birnbaum]
Codes and Consequences
         ["R. Shaya Karlinsky"]
Fasting BeHaB and Pesach Sheni
         [Art Werschulz]
Hebron massacre
         [Marc Shapiro]
Hot-Chocolate She'avar Alav HaPesach?
         [Averick, Rani Y]
         [David Charlap]
Minhagim for a baby girl
         [Joseph Greenberg]


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 11:11:14 -0500
Subject: Assorted Comments

Re Eitan's comment:

>A recent posting contained the statement that the Nazis made soap from
>human fat.  I have seen noted in many places that this particular
>atrocity in fact never took place.  I mention this only as a point of
>historical accuracy.

In what places have you seen this statement, I'd like to check this out.
I have heard from people who said they saw such stuff in a museum (many
years ago).

And on a less unpleasant note...
THANKS for Ben Svetitsky's resounding statement on glatt pots, chumras,
sinas chinom, etc.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbbirnbaum@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: "R. Shaya Karlinsky" <msbillk@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 1994 18:27:23 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Codes and Consequences

     Being in a very "elevated" state on Purim (helped along by some
liquid liberator) I threw out a question to a couple of our students who
had originally been brought in to Torah Judaism through Discovery and the
"Codes."  Their answers sobered me up very quickly. After a couple of
follow-up discussions with them, I think the question should be shared
and thought about, since I worry that their response may not be an
exceptional one.
     Here is the question:  What if one would find a set of codes that
spelled out "Jesus is Messiah - move the Sabbath to Sunday?"  What would
your reaction be? What conclusion should be drawn?
     One of the students kept insisting over and over that he was
convinced that it was _impossible_, and that he wouldn't speculate on
impossible situations. I finally got him to relate to it on a "What if"
basis.  His answer: "I don't know.  At that point, I would have to
rethink everything." The student didn't mean he would rethink whether the
codes were a correct way of extracting information. He had become
absolutely convinced that this is one of the ways G-d communicates with
us.  (Teachers of the codes should take note of this!)  His refusal to
accept the possibility of this ever ocurring was because he would then
have to conclude that G-d was sending us a different message than the one
all the Rabbis had been teaching him.
     It got ME thinking as to how clear it would be to each of us about
what the proper conclusion should be from such a discovery.  As Torah
believing Jews, would it prove to us that the codes had no significance?
How would we respond to Jews who now believe in and keep the Torah mainly
because of the codes (despite the disclaimers and admonishments of those
who teach the codes).
     The way I explained it was that this would be similar to a situation
of a prophet, one who has validated himself through miracles and true
predictions, now telling us (chas v'chalilahh) that Jesus is the Messiah
and G-d is commanding us to move the Sabbath to Sunday. And he validates
the authenticity of this prophecy with astounding overt miracles.  Our
response to such an occurence is spelled out clearly in the Rambam
(Chapter 9, Yesodei HaTorah, and in his Introduction to Peirush
HaMishnayot) based on the verses (Devarim Ch. 18, V. 18-22) of the false
prophet: He is supposed to be executed by the Beit Din [Jewish court].
     The Rambam (Chapter 8, Yesodei HaTorah) and the Ramban (Devarim Ch.
4, V. 9; see also his "Torat HaShem Temimah", pgs. 147-148, Chavel
edition of Kitvei HaRamban) both make it very clear to us: The source of
our belief and knowledge that the entire Torah that Moshe brought down
from  Sinai and taught the Jewish people - both written and oral - is not
because of the miracles that he did.  If we believed in Moshe because of
the miracles, that would leave us open to alternative prophets performing
greater miracles to communicate contradictory information.  WE witnessed
the Torah being given at Sinai, that is the source of our belief, and
anything that is inconsistent with what we know to be true as emenating
from that experience as passed on through our tradition is to be
rejected.  G-d has already told us clearly: If someone claims to have
that contradictory information through prophecy, he is to be executed.
G-d's support of that prophecy (through the miracles used to validate it)
is done as a test of our convictions in the eternity of our Torah
     I think the maximum conclusion that can be garnered from the
existence of "codes" (finding "Nazi" or "Shoah" in the section dealing
with tragedy that will befall the Jewish nation, Yaarzheit dates with a
correlation beyond any probability of chance, et al) is that the Torah
was not written by human hand, but is a Divinely written document.  A
discovered "code" that contradicted our knowledge and beliefs would not
need to undermine that conclusion, if one is clear as to the source of
that knowledge and belief.
     The need for clarity on this fundamental point is in fact how the
above mention Ramban understands the commanded prohibition in Devarim
(4:9-10) "...Take great heed...lest you forget things which your own eyes
have seen...but bring them to the knowledge of your descendants, the day
that you stood before G-d (at Sinai)..."  We need to constantly be
thinking about, analyzing, and reviewing what we know and how we know it
to be true.  Ultimately, that is what Torah study is all about.

Shaya Karlinsky <msbillk@...>
Darche Noam/Shapell's      		
PO Box 35209			Tel: 02-511-178
Jerusalem, Israel		Fax: 02-520-801	


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 12:00:12 -0400
Subject: Fasting BeHaB and Pesach Sheni


There is a custom observed by some of fasting BeHaB.  This means that
one fasts the first Monday, first Thursday, and second Monday after
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan and Iyar, as a fast of tshuva for any sins
committed during the respective yom tov seasons of Tishrei and
Nissan. ("BeHaB" is an acronym for the leters Bet, Heh, Bet, which
stand for the second and fifth days of the first week, and the second
day of the second week.)

This year, the third of these fasts is on Pesach Sheni (25 April/14
Nisan).  Many have the custom of not saying Tachanun during Pesach
Sheni; in fact, some eat a piece of matza on Pesach Sheni.

Clearly the observance of the last day of BeHaB will conflict with the
spirit and customs of our current commemoration of Pesach Sheni.  How
is this conflict resolved by those who keep both?

Note that the small "Shul Luach" put out by Ziegelheim has both
occasions (BeHaB and Pesach Sheni) mentioned for this date, but with
no elaboration.

Isru chag sameach.

   Art Werschulz (8-{)}  "You can't make an ondelette without breaking waves."
   InterNet:  <agw@...>
   ATTnet:    Columbia University (212) 939-7061
              Fordham University  (212) 636-6325


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 15:35:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hebron massacre

	It has been [over a month now, Mod.] since the Hebron massacre
and there hasn't been any discussion of it on the line. This is strange
since the perpetrator, and his supporters, claim to be religious. I
think it is incumbent upon us to ask how we got to this stage, and how
is it that a bunch of [edited] -- biryonim in the Talmudic idiom --arose
out of our midst. It is especially troubling because, as I said above,
they believe that they are religious, wear tsitsit, daven three times a
day etc. As Rabbi David Henshke asked in an article, "What is happening
to the Orot of Rav Kook." Notice that in the public statement of the
Hesder yeshivot -- which was signed by a number of Mercaz graduates such
as Rav Aviner-- they didn't merely condemn the murder in the most harsh
terms, but also spoke about the need to uproot any views which try to
justify it. Let us not forget, Baruch Goldstein is the first Jewish mass
murderer since the days of the wicked kings of Israel. Assuming he was
not crazy, he is an evil man and we should place yemach shemo after his
name (he is also indirectly responsible for the attack in Brooklyn).
However, the [edited] are building a shrine for him. No one knows how
far these people will go.  Since they view Rabin and Peres as traitors,
it wouldn't be surprising if they supported assasination of them, after
all, the penalty for traitors is death.
	This brings me to another issue. I bought last week's Jewish Press 
just to see how low this rag could sink, and even I was shocked. Not only 
did they defend Goldstein, blame the government etc (just wait till the 
letters come in) but they even published an article which claimed that 
the only thing terrible about the massacre was that one Jew died and that 
the massacre was the greatest kiddush hashem since Entebbe (One Orthodox 
Jew who was exposed to this has told me that she no longer believes in 
Orthodoxy. I think she went from faith to heresy in one week, but  can we 
blame her? She was taught that Orthodoxy teaches respect for human life 
and then she saw the reaction in her shul she gave up all belief)
	For the sake of the Lord, we dare not be silent, for we shall be 
called to account for the murderers in our midst and our own hands will 
soaked in innocent blood.
						Marc Shapiro


From: <rya@...> (Averick, Rani Y)
Date: 1 Apr 1994  10:20 EST
Subject: Hot-Chocolate She'avar Alav HaPesach?

Is the following a case of Chametz She'avar Alav HaPesach
(Chametz owned by a Jew during Pesach, making it forbidden
for a Jew to ever use)?  Note that I'm asking because it just
happened and it's rather unusual, and it involve some
important halachic issues, tho it admittedly involves 
trivial subject-matter:

In Chicago, where my parents live, there is a non-Jewish co-worker 
of my father (named Daisy) who is very close to our family.  
Daisy wanted to buy a "treat" for my sister and brother-in-law 
& kids who are visiting from Israel, spending Pesach 
with his side of the family in Potomac.

Daisy knows that my brother-in-law likes a certain (kosher) brand of 
hot-chocolate that is not available in Israel, so, during Pesach,
she bought lots of hot-chocolate and gave it to my 
Mom to send to Potomac -- my Mom was sending a bunch of gifts there
anyway.  My Mom put the hot-chocolate in a box along with some other
gifts, and she then UPS'd the box to Potomac.  This box will
arrive in Potomac while it is still Pesach.


Are my sister and brother-in-law allowed to ever use this 

They never "took posession" of the hot-chocolate over Pesach, and they 
will not "take possession" of the box that my Mom sent them until after 
Pesach, since they can't because the hot-chocolate is in it.

(Actually, there's another question here: can they accept the UPS 
delivery on Pesach at all?  even if in their minds they have not 
"taken possession" of it yet?)

Did my Mom, by the act of taking it from Daisy's hands 
on Pesach, unwittingly cause it to become "owned" by a Jew,   
even though it does not belong to my Mom since it is a gift for
someone else?  (She should have just explained to Daisy 
that she cannot take the hot-chocolate during Pesach, but the mistake 
already happened...)

Actually, there is perfectly good hot-chocolate available in Israel,
so don't be afraid to let us know if they can't use this gift! :)

Thanks -- Rani


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Subject: Kitniyot

<segs@...> (Susan Slusky) writes:
>>...people were using grains that are not of the five (like corn and
>>rice) to bake cakes and pasries and stuff.  This was destroying the
>>spirit of Pesach, since the people were eating what is basically the
>>same things they always ate, but with slightly different
>>ingredients.  So the ban on Kitniot. 
>I think we're back in trouble then ... I can now buy, certified
>pesadike by the O-U ... They're all made with matzo cake meal, which
>is finer than matzo meal. ... Seems like the same problem all over

Most of the passover cakes I've seen are made with potato flour, not
matzo meal.  And these things are so much unlike normal cake that I
don't think anyone would consider them "normal" food.

And even if this isn't the case, I think if any rabbis tried banning
potato, they would all find themselves without wives, really fast!


From: Joseph Greenberg <72600.225@...>
Date: 01 Apr 94 10:33:39 EST
Subject: Minhagim for a baby girl

I hope that this gets posted soon enough..... my wife and I are
b'sha'a tova expecting a baby the Shabbat after Pesach. Given the two
previous children (boys), we are expecting to be a _little_ early
(like wed or thurs). By now I an an almost-expert at the technical
issues of celebrating a brit; however, in the event that it is a
girl, what are some possibilities that would be acceptable, like a
simchat bat? I need to know some specifics, like timing (is there a
minhag to do it on Friday night?), or specifically on Shabbat
  I remember this being discussed sometime ago, but I no longer have
ftp access. I do remember some people talking about Sephardi minhagim
like a Sebet, that include various "recitations" and in fact may
include naming the baby girl. If someone could email me at
<72600.225@...> with info and mekorot (I don't want our
Rabbi to think that I have become totally loony), I would _greatly_
appreciate it.
  Thanks very much.


End of Volume 12 Issue 39