Volume 13 Number 1
                       Produced: Fri May  6 15:52:50 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adjusting electric stoves on Yom Tov
         [Zev Farkas]
Ani ma'amin
         [Gedalyah Berger]
Awaiting Moshiach
         [Jonathan Baker]
Dina Dimalchusa, Facing East, Software Info
         [Mechy Frankel]
Direction during prayer (2)
         [Shirley Gee, Lon Eisenberg]
L'cha Dodi
         [Yisrael Medad]
Lecha Dodi
         [Rivka Goldfinger]
Sim Shalom and facing East
         [Eric Leibowitz]
Traffic Laws
         [Eric Safern]


From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Tue, 3 May 1994 01:26:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Adjusting electric stoves on Yom Tov

 Date: Tue, 5 Apr 94 16:36:48 EDT  (I'm a bit behind...  :)    )
Gerald Sacks <sacks@...> asks about a pilot light for
an electric stove:
>  This tends to be rather pricy.  Are there any EE's
> out there who can tell me if it's safe to place a simple neon bulb in
> parallel to the burner?

provided that the bulb has a propper dropping resistor, and you do the
wiring correctly, yes.  Another possibility would be to put the
bulb-resistor combination in parallel with the switching element, so
that the bulb glows when the heating element is OFF.

However, since we are dealing with an electric stove, I don't recommend
this as your first project in basic electicity.  :)

As a general rule, though, electrical appliances are often a lot more
complicated than we might think they are, so it would be a good idea to
CYLOR&EE :) with regard to your specific stove, and the very non-trivial
halachic issues involved.

Zev Farkas, PE                                :)
<farkas@...>       718 829 5278


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Thu, 5 May 1994 12:14:44 -0400
Subject: Ani ma'amin

One further note on the "achakeh lo bechol yom sheyavo" issue.  We have
been discussing the twelfth of the Rambam's `ikkarim (principles of
faith); now, the Rambam, of course, did not write the "ani ma'amin"s.
They are a later, semi-poetic rendering of the principles he delineated
in the Perush Hamishnayot to perek Chelek in Sanhedrin.  (Compare
Yigdal, a real poem along the same lines.)  The Rambam himself does not
say anything to indicate that one must expect that moshiach is coming
*today*; in fact, he includes as one of the aspects of this `ikkar that
it is impermissible to be mechashev kitzim (try to figure out when
moshiach will arrive).

Kol tuv,

Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS


From: <baker@...> (Jonathan Baker)
Date: Fri, 6 May 1994 10:46:02 -0400
Subject: Awaiting Moshiach

(R'?) Yacov Barber writes:

    It seems totally illogical that something as fundemental as the 13
    principles of faith, Rambam would prefer writing in a particular style
    simply because of a "poetic syntax". The Rambam wrote this principal in
    this manner to impress upon us that 'achakei', we must anxiously wait,
    'lo' for Moshiach, 'bchol yom sheyovo' every single day for his arrival.

Might I remind the participants in this discussion, that the Rambam was 
*not* the author of the Ani Maamin creed?  It was written by an unidentified
author some time after the Rambam.  To draw significance from the exact
wording of the Ani Maamin is fine, but to imbue that significance with
the authority of the Rambam is misleading.  As Mr. (R'?) Barber goes on
to quote and explain the Rambam, I can hardly think that he is unaware
that the wording "achakeh lo bechol yom sheyavo" is not to be found in
the Rambam, neither in the introduction to perek Chelek nor in the
Mishneh Torah.

The Rambam's total opinion on how one should wait for the Messiah is, as
quoted by Yacov, "l'haamin u-l'amet sheyavo v'lo yachshov sheyitacher im
yitmahmeha chakeh lo" [to believe and to regard as truth that he will come,
and not to think that he is late, if he tarries wait for him.].  The rest
of the material on "waiting all day" or "every day" is external, and may
come from the Shemoneh Esreh's wording in the 15th blessing, "u-l'yshuat'cha
kivinu col hayom" [and for your salvation we wait all the day].  Note
that this wording does not appear either in the Geonic Siddurim (R' 
Amram and R' Saadiah Gaon) or in the nusach found in the Rambam's 
Mishneh Torah. (nusach variations from Jacobson's "The Weekday Siddur").

It might be interesting to know when these two sentiments were added 
to the davening [prayer service].  It is clear that to the later Acharonim
such as those quoted by Yacov (the Gri"z Soloveichik and the Chofetz
Chaim), the anxiety is part and parcel of the waiting.  It is not clear
that the Rambam would have said that one who doesn't believe that the
Messiah is coming *now* is a kofer.  The Rambam attributes kefirah to
those who do not believe that the Messiah will come at all, given that
the Torah tells us that he will.  The Rambam also has a very low opinion 
of those who calculate the time of the Messiah's arrival.  It seems to me
that insisting that the Messiah will arrive "now" is a form of "calculating
the time".  

One should be very careful how one reads the Rambam, since he was very 
careful to be precise in his language.  To attribute the anxiety 
of the waiting to Rambam is a bit of a stretch.

	Jonathan Baker


From: Mechy Frankel <frankel@...>
Date: Tue, 3 May 1994 10:55:15 EST
Subject: Dina Dimalchusa, Facing East, Software Info

Some addtional random thoughts on topics in recent volumes:

1. Dina Dimalchusa Dina: I'm reminded of a rather original
interpretation of this maimra which I heard in class years ago by one of
the more colorful and iconoclastic (i.e. hardly anybody ever agreed with
him) Jewish historians, Prof. Irving Agus z''l. It was Dr. Agus's
fervent contention that this injunction actually had nothing to do with
Jews in the Middle Ages, but was rather the Jewish perception of the
legal obligation owed by the goyim to their own governments. i.e. that
it was only dina dimalchusa for the goyim but Jews in the Middle Ages
would never consider themselves bound by this. This approach
complemented well Dr. Agus's unique and highly entertaining version of
an Ashkenazi supremacy theory of history.  It should be noted that Dr.
Agus was one of the pioneers in utilization of responsa literature as a
source for medieval European history.

2. Facing East: Nothing to add to halachic sourcing back and forth but
the following anecdote. R. Hershel Shachter in a recent talk in Silver
Spring recounted that the Rav's father, R. Moshe Soloveichik z"l, who
lived near YU, would walk down to Bais Medrash Hagadol (on 175th St)
where my uncle Abe's (z"l) brother, R. Morris/Moshe Besdin z''l, was the
rabbi because the YU bais medrash shul didn't face east and he felt
uncomfortable davening there.

3. This is my second posting of a request for Tanachic/Talmudic software
information. (I received a few responses to the first posting suggesting
I contact Kabbala Software which I will do). I am interested in knowing
whether anybody out there actually has experience working with these CD
ROM packages, the ease of doing searches on Tanach letter usage/taamim,
Talmudic topics by word or subject, whether alternate mesorahs are
included, and stuff like that.  also whether any recent review articles
on such stuff has appeared anywhere.  Either private response or public
posting would be appreciated.

Mechy Frankel                                  W: (703) 325-1277
<frankel@...>                            H: (301) 593-3949


From: <gee@...> (Shirley Gee)
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 94 09:37:45 PDT
Subject: Re: Direction during prayer

	This is what I learned on a recent trip to Israel:

[1] When outside of Israel, one faces Israel (which is presumed to be due
[2] When inside of Israel but not in Jerusalem, one faces Jerusalem (whatever
    that direction that may be, e.g., southeast from Haifa, northwest from the
    Dead Sea, etc.)
[3] When in Jerusalem, one faces the Kotel (again, whatever direction that may

	I'm guessing that the generalized direction of "east" when outside
Israel is an extension of what we do when at the Kotel. I noticed that the
shuls I visited in Israel had their arks placed so that, when facing the
ark, you were automatically oriented correctly.

	On a related issue, what direction will one face when the Temple is
rebuilt and one is actually in it?

Shirley J. Gee

From: eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Sun, 1 May 1994 02:19:28 -0400
Subject: Re:  Direction during prayer

It seems to me that from most places in the U.S., the correct direction
to face is northeast!  Isn't that the direction in which you fly to
Israel (great circle route)?


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Thu, 5 May 94 16:21 IST
Subject: L'cha Dodi

Re Seth Ness' posting, Vol 12 Number 92:-

As I wrote in the previous discussion on this topic some three years
ago, the Rav of Shiloh decided that based on the Talmudic dictum of
"the Divine Presence is in the West", that the direction that we turn
in symbolically greeting the Sabbath Queen on the last verse of L'cha
Dodi should be West.  It has nothing to do with the doors because we
really don't expect "Shabbat" to be a person and walk in.

In France, my neighbor Professor Ely Mertzbach told me that there is a
synagogue where the Ark faces west and thus, when the congregation says
the Amidah prayer, they face Jerusalem, with their backs to the Aron Kodesh!

Yisrael Medad


From: <RGOLDFINGER@...> (Rivka Goldfinger)
Date: Tue, 3 May 1994 11:00:55 -0400
Subject: Re: Lecha Dodi

In response to what Seth Ness wrote about facing the doors of the Shul 
for the last verse of Lecha Dodi--When I was in Tzefat several years ago,
I davened in the Breslover Shul on friday night.  When it came time for
The last verse of Lecha Dodi, I turned to the North--because in America
I always face west, and turn toward Yerushalayim (east) for the last 
"boee Chalah".  From Tzefat, Yerushalayim is south, the direction for 
Tefilah, and so I turned to the north.

After the service, Someone came over and asked me if I had ever been to 
Tzefat before.  I told them I hadn't, and asked them how they could tell.
She said that She noticed that I faced North for that line, and only people
who haven't been there before do that.  She said that everyone in Tzefat
knows that for that line we face left, then turn to the right until we 
face Yerushalayim.

When I returned to Tzefat for Shabbos last year, I remembered the incident
and watched to see what the Rabbi in the Shul I was at did (it was the 
Ari-Ashkenaz, but I'm not sure who the rabbi was).  All of the men turned to
the west, and then turned to the right until they faced Yerushalayim, in
this case south.  I didn't ask anyone specifically about this, but since
Lecha Dodi was written in Tzefat, I assumed that they have some idea of 
What they are talking about.

As to turning to face the doors of the Shul, what if the doors are on the
east side of the Shul...?



From: Eric Leibowitz <el75@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 17:01:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sim Shalom and facing East

There was a recent comment that if one accidentaly said "Shalom Rav"
instead of "Sim Shalom" by Shacharis it's OK because it's another
community's Nusach. Someone should check that out, I don't think that
this is the Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch.

Facing East: Just an interesting comment that may have been mentioned.
Rabbi Yaakov Emden, in the begining of his siddur writes that facing
East during Shmoneh Esre is a substitute for actually davening in
Israel. It only works, so to speak, if one is really not able to be


From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Tue, 3 May 1994 13:50:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Traffic Laws

Eli Turkel suggests we treat traffic and health regulations as 'revenue
enhancers.'  Yet, if we treat them as taxes, we are obligated to pay
them *before we are caught*!

Should we mail in a check every time we exceed 55 MPH?

If he wishes to claim "this is a madrega most haven't yet reached," he
must demonstrate a halachic difference between the speed laws and income
taxes - which I am sure he agrees should be payed promptly.

What are the parameters for "extortion?"  Perhaps selective enforcement
is considered extortion?  I understand the gemara permits lying to the
tax collector in certain cases.

As for the laws for 'social benefit,' does halacha give the government
(as opposed to a beis din) authority to legislate benefit for society at
the expense of the individual?


End of Volume 13 Issue 1