Volume 12 Number 72
                       Produced: Thu Apr 21 12:37:56 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Susan Sterngold]
Jewish Humor
         [Sam Juni]
Norelco Shavers
         [Ari Shapiro]
Origins of Yahrzeit Candles
         [Francine S. Glazer]
Potato Cakes
         [Danny Skaist]
Primers on Judaism
         [Maidi Katz]
Reason for Bar Mitzva at 13?
         [Etan Shalom Diamond]
         [Mitch Berger]
Teaching Torah to non-Jews (2)
         [Anthony Fiorino, Joel Sisenwine]
Teaching Torah to non_Jews
         [David Charlap]
Use of Avraham "Avinu"
         [Mitchell J. Schoen]
Vitamin E
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Susan Sterngold <ss117@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 1994 23:32:05 -0400
Subject: Dogs

what's the scoop :) on observant Jews having dogs? Someone told me that
they were treif, but dogs aren't for eating! Pets...what does halacha
say about them? thanks susan

[You may want to check the following issues out from the archives:

	Dogs, Pets and Halakha [v11n84]
	Dogs and Halacha [v2n32, v2n36]
	Jews & dogs [v11n77, v11n88]
	Jews and Dogs [v11n72-v11n73, v11n77, v11n81]
	sources on dogs [v11n35]



From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 14:02:20 -0400
Subject: Jewish Humor

I am finalizing a treatise on masochistic aspects of Jewish Humor, and would
appreciate any citations which could be helpful. The outline of my work is
as follows:
      A. Masochistic humor is a humor of the marginal. It is not intrinsically
         Jewish, though it has come to be identified as such because of the
         chronic historical marginality of the Jew in history.
      B. Masochism in humor cannot be taken as implying pathology, since the
         style is in fact adaptive and helps the oppressed manage an other-
         wise intollerable situation.
      C. There is a progressive continuum beginning from masochistic humor,
         which seems limited to Jews, in contrast to other oppressed
         minorities. The humor in this continuum can be characterized as
            1. Identifcation with the aggressor. Features where the victim
               participates with the aggressor in inflicting pain on himself.
               The dynamic here involves a challenge to the adversarial role
               of the aggressor.
            2. Irony. A Challenge to the negative value of despair. Featuring
               Tevye the Milkman, the Schlemiel, and the "sad clown who laughs
               with one eye while the other weeps."
            3. The Challenge to Logic. Featuring the entire genre of Chelm
               stories, where internal peace is valued over external reality.

 Any help will be appreciated. And that's no joke!

      Dr. Sam Juni                      Tel: (212) 998-5548
      N.Y.U.   400 East                 Fax: (718) 338-6774
      New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 94 21:50:09 -0400
Subject: Norelco Shavers

I have heard recently that Norelco lift and cut shavers are halachically
problematic (see Rabbi Blumenkranz's Pesach book). Does anyone know how 
they work as opposed to other brands like Braun, Remington and why this 
creates a halachic problem?
Ari Shapiro

[Checking the index, you may want to check out the following issues:

	Electric Shavers [v7n32]
	Norelco Shavers [v7n50, v7n53]
	Shavers [v7n36, v7n42, v7n50, v7n52, v7n63]



From: <fglazer@...> (Francine S. Glazer)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 94 09:42:47 EDT
Subject: Origins of Yahrzeit Candles

Does anyone have information on the _origins_ of the custom of lighting 
yahrzeit candles?  Sources (in English) would be appreciated.

I am posting this request for my husband, Harry, who does not have access 
to email.  You can reply by email through me, or can call him directly at 
work, 1-800-765-6200.


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 03:43:07 -0400
Subject: Potato Cakes

>Esther R Posen
>Although both our families eat "gebrokts" we generally don't bake much
>matzoh cake due to the expense ...
>                Suffice it
>to say we bake mostly what we affectionately call "Potato Cake".

What bracho do you make on your cakes?

If you can't tell the difference between matzo meal cakes (m'zonot) and
potato cakes (she'hakol) just by looking at them, shouldn't that bring up a
whole host of questions. No fair looking at who made it or where it is. Do
you make a borey pri ha'etz if you eat applesause out of the can ? (that's
"out of the jar" in America)



From: Maidi Katz <Katz+atwain%DEBEVOISE_&<_PLIMPTON@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 94 12:02 EST
Subject: Primers on Judaism

Can anyone recommend a general book on "Judaism"/Jewish Law for a
highly intelligent, very well secularly educated person with very
little formal or informal Jewish education (i.e. only Sunday
Hebrew school kind of thing.)  Nothing "Art Scroll like", nothing
right wing and nothing too touchy-feely please.  Thanks.


From: Etan Shalom Diamond <ed16+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 16:35:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Reason for Bar Mitzva at 13?

In another of our many ecumenical discussions in the department, someone
asked why Bar Mitzvahs were at age 13 and Bat mitzvahs at age 12.  I
said the spiritual maturity was related to physical maturity; hence the
slight age discrepancy.  Is this true?  What are the sources for age 13
as Bar Mitzvah?

Thanks in advance.

Etan Diamond
Department of History
Carnegie Mellon University 


From: <mberger@...> (Mitch Berger)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 1994 16:08:01 -0400
Subject: Smoking

In my sophomore year at YU I had the zechus [privilege] of being in R.
Nissin Alpert zt"l's shi'ur [class]. I remember comming back from lunch
seeing Rabbi Alpert sitting near the window, with a gemara and his
ever-present notebook (to record chiddushim [novel thoughts] as they
came to him) puffing away on his cigar, the room filled with smoke.

I also remember the subsequent years, watching R. Alpert's health
deteriorate.  It always bothered me that Rav Moshe zt"l was capable of
watching his talmid muvhaq [dearest student] slowly kill himself, and
never came out stronger against smoking.

| Micha Berger       | (201) 916-0287 | On Torah, on worship, and |    |  |   |
| <mberger@...> |<- new address  |   on supporting kindness  |    |  |   |


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 10:36:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Teaching Torah to non-Jews

R. J. D. Bleich devoted his "Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical
Literature" column to this topic in the Summer 1980 _Tradition_, vol 18
#2, pp192-211.

R. I. Mann explored the historical development of the prohibition in his
"The prohibition of teaching non-Jews Torah: its historical development,"
_Gesher_ #8 pp122-173.  This article is a nice compliment to Rabbi
Bleich's article. 

I believe a recent RJJ Journal contained an article on this topic as well.

Eitan Fiorino

From: <jsisen@...> (Joel Sisenwine)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 94 17:07:41 EDT
Subject: Teaching Torah to non-Jews

A lengthy discourse concerning the topic of teaching Torah to non-Jews
can be found in The Journal of Contemporary Society and Halacha.  (I
believe that it appeared two issues ago.)

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 94 11:22:40 -0400
Subject: Teaching Torah to non_Jews

Eric  Leibowitz <el75@...> writes:
>Is anyone familiar with the Halachos concerning teaching Torah to
>Gentiles(non-Christian)? What are the parameters?

I assume you mean non-Jew, and not non-Christian here.

Let me begin by stating that you should ask a competant rabbi for a Psak
here before taking any action on your own.  In general, it is not
allowed.  However, I think certain leniencies may be taken in this day
and age.  Certainly, the "secrets" of Torah - the Remez and Sod
knowledge - should never be tought to non-Jews.  I would also think that
the Drashos (deeper meanings) should not be taught either.  As for the
P'shat (simple meanings) of the text, you might be able to teach some of
it.  I say this because the Christians have their own translation of the
Torah (their "bible").

I would consider it 100% permissible to teach Torah from the perspective
of pointing out where Christian texts are in error.  (Don't tell the
non-Jew that it is in error, just say "different" - there is no need to
offend anybody.)  I might also find it permissible to teach the stories
and moral lessons involved in the Torah.  I would not want to discuss
Halacha at all, since this would require teaching Drashos in order to
not give false impressions.

>What if they ask questions on why we do certain things (eg. Mezuzah,

I see no problems with explaining customs.  This isn't the same as
opening a Chumash and teaching Torah from it.


From: Mitchell J. Schoen <72277.715@...>
Date: 19 Apr 94 15:20:16 EDT
Subject: Use of Avraham "Avinu"

Sherman Marcus wrote:
>>At the conversion Brit of my adopted son, however, my LOR
>>preferred using "ben Avraham Avinu".  When I asked him about
>>that in light of what Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote, he assured
>>me that from now on, my name can be used in the paternal
>>part of my son's name.

This brings to light yet another matter, the use of the term "Avraham
_AVINU_".  I recently heard of a case where a ger who was properly
converted was called to the Torah as "ben Avraham Avinu" instead of just
as "ben Avraham".  My understanding is that he was insulted, feeling
that the addition of "Avinu" constituted labelling him as a ger, whereas
calling him as just "ben Avraham" would not do so.

This man is a real ger tzedek, and I've never known him to take offense
at much of anything--he tends to be really mild-mannered--and usually
identifies himself as a ger early in a friendship.  Yet he felt that
while he may choose to do so privately, the public identification of him
as "ben Avraham Avinu" was incorrect.  I tend to agree with him, but I
thought I'd solicit other thoughts.


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 94 08:40 IST
Subject: Vitamin E

Re posting Vol 12 # 50

My wife, Batya, reports that she is fairly sure that Vitamin E oil, used
in cosmetics and for burn treatment as a natural medicine is basically
wheat oil.

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 12 Issue 72