Volume 13 Number 25
                       Produced: Mon May 23 17:52:44 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Creation for 6,000 years
         [R. Shaya Karlinsky]
Electricity and Shabbat
         [Eli Turkel]
Faucets, refrigerators, auto sensors on Shabbat
         [Jules Reichel]
Humorous customs
         [Sam Saal]
         [Sam Juni]
Lecha Dodi (v13 #18)
         [Reuven Cohn]
Looking for a Good Book on Women in Tanach
         [Jay Denkberg]
Raising and Lowering Current on Shabbat
         [Michael Broyde]
Sim Shalom
         [Charles R. Azer]
Water meters, refrigerators et al
         [Ezra Rosenfeld]
Yochanan ben Zakkai and Abayye and Rabbah
         [Chaim Schild]


From: R. Shaya Karlinsky <msbillk@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 18:17:48 +0300
Subject: Creation for 6,000 years

     The Gemara in Sanhedrin 97 a-b and Avodah Zara 9a teaches in the name
of Dvei Eliyahu: 6,000 years is the world.  2,000 years of "tohu" (chaos),
2,000 years of Torah (begun when Avraham Avinu was 52 years old, which
according to one Midrash is the time that he recognized G-d; see Rashi on
both Gemarot), and 2,000 years of "yemot Hamshiach" (Messianic age).


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Mon, 23 May 94 11:53:54 +0300
Subject: Electricity and Shabbat

> From: <ce157@...> (Eric W. Mack)
> Cleveland Heights (Ohio) Water Dept. recently installed electronic
> water meters.  It is a Badger Meter Model 25.  Is this in use in
> other cities?  Has anyone researched whether this is a problem on
> Shabbat?

    In the recent copy of yom hashishi (an Israeli dati newspaper) there
was an article (based on an interview with the head of Tzomet - Rabbi Rosen)
on modern problems that people are not even aware of.

    His first example is that in some tall buildings there are problems
with water pressure. To overcome that problem some builders install an
electric pump. Thus opening the water faucet is liable to start the pump
working. He mentions that it is only grama and probably not pesik resha.
Nevertheless, he points out that many people would not want to rely on
such leniencies (i.e. people who don't open their refrigerator when the
motor is off). He also claims that many "shabbat elevators" have problems
that are not realized which is why tzomet gives its "hechsher" to some
shabbat elevators. Similarly mainly refrigerators have a separate fan
for the freezer which automatically goes on whenever the freezer door is

    His next example is that of the electronic water meter made by an
Israeli company, "ered"  (he claims that such a system doesnt exist outside
of Israel - I guess Cleveland may actually be first in something !!).
This company went, on their own volition, to Tzomet  to work out a way
to avoid problems with shabbat.

     He further points out that many alarm systems are still working even
when turned off. Hence, if the system is turned off for shabbat there may
still be rays emitted which may create Shabbat difficulties.

    His last example is of a new invention - thermal ceramics. In this
invention one cooks directly on the tiles. Rabbi Rosen says it is not
clear if one can use this device for both meat and dairy. Normally one
can use the same burners for both meat and dairy since the metal burners
get "kashered" automatically when turning on the flame for the next dish.
This is much more problematical for ceramic tiles.



From: <JPREICHEL@...> (Jules Reichel)
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 15:49:17 -0400
Subject: Faucets, refrigerators, auto sensors on Shabbat

Tom Anderson's posting on technology devices is a clear statement of the
problem. His list of a half dozen technology items is only a fraction of
the number of devices which will result in work. Finding solutions
one-at-a-time will result in very odd set of practices. I think that
there are only two lines of solution available: 1. Redefine the threshold
of significance from perceptible energy to forms of energy use literally
practiced in the days of the temple.  Thereby, excluding all recent
techologies. and 2. Try to find a compromise which says to what degree
electricity is like fire. Just because they are say 30% overlapped in
concept doesn't mean that they are 100% overlapped.  My belief is that
the community would find solution #1 more valid.  Jules


From: Sam Saal <SSAAL@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 94 10:02:00 PDT
Subject: Humorous customs

In mail.jewish, Volume 13 Number 18 Reuven Cohn <ReuvenC@...> 
follows up on the subject Re: Lecha Dodi.  He mentions his father, alav 
ha-shalom, who enjoyed seeing the humor in situations, told him that he 
suspected that the custom of facing the back for the end of lecha dodi had 
some possible connection with something that he had heard about growing up 
in Germany.  There was a small town in which the custom was to face the back 
of the shul for Av ha-Rachamim [or perhaps he told me that it was Yekum 
purkan].  No one knew the reason for the minhag or when it had originated. 
 Then during some work to fix up the shul building, it was discovered under 
many coats of paint, that the prayer for which they turned to the back of 
the shul had been painted on that wall.

A while ago someone posted the story of why bananas were not considered 
kosher for Pesach.

My favorite story was a small shul that had the custom of bowing to the amud 
as they took the torahs back to the aron before Musaf on Shabbat. People 
wondered why they had this custom and one day an elderly ex-resident was 
visiting and explained.  There had a been a beam that had fallen from the 
ceiling and it took a while for it to be repaired. People had to duck to get 
under it and even when it was repaired, people still bowed at first possibly 
as a joke but later out of habit.

Sam Saal
Vayiphtach HaShem et Peah HaAtone


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 13:08:45 -0400
Subject: Jihad

     In light Arafat's latest double-talk, I am curious about the true
linguistic meaning of "jihad". Is it ever used as a euphemism for non-
violent efforts (i.e., as a parallel to the term "campaign" which can be
used in two modes), or is this alternate interpretation a blatant lie by
Arafat? I would appreciate getting input from an Arabic language expert,
as I have already gotten the opinion of the shmoozers in my section of

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


From: Reuven Cohn <ReuvenC@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 16:09:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Lecha Dodi (v13 #18)

 >> I recall growing up davening with Rav Soloveitchik that one year he
 >>announced that the appropriate way to recite the last paragraph of lecha
 >>dodi was to face not the back of the shul, but rather the door wherever
 >>it might be located.

I guess it depends on which siddur you use.  Artscroll says to face the
rear, and Philip Birnbaum says to face the door.

Facing the door makes more sense to me.  We are greeting a visiting
dignitary.  Does the visitor sneak in through a minuscule crack in the
back wall, or enter proudly through the doorway?

The only way to be sure we're doing it right is to daven in a shul that
has a door at the back.  <G>


From: <JDENKBERG@...> (Jay Denkberg)
Date: Sun, 22 May 1994 23:19:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Looking for a Good Book on Women in Tanach

Can anyone recommend a book (besides the original :) ) in english,  about
the women in Tanach. I'm more interested in getting reading material on
the women in the Prophets and after. (Devora, Yael, Chana etc).

Thanks in advance.


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Sun, 22 May 1994 23:40:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Raising and Lowering Current on Shabbat

A number of questions have been posed concerning various electrical
appliances whose essencial question revolves around the issue of raising
and lowering current on shabbat.  This issue is widely discussed.  When
changing the current flow causes no other visable changes in the item,
Rabbi Auerbach permits this conduct (Minchat Shlomo page 67), Rabbi
Feinstein permists this in a case of extenuating circumstance (Iggrot
Moshe OC 4:85.  Rav Ovadiah Yosef appears to permit this Yabia Omer 1:19
as does Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 23:53.  The custom, IMHO is only to
do this in a time of need or though a peski resha or grama.


From: Charles R. Azer <azer@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 12:13:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sim Shalom

All of the people who posted the rules about saying sim shalom vs. shalom 
rav forgot to mention the Chabad custom (which I happen to follow).  It's 
the easiest to explain of all:  According to Nusach Ha-Ari Zal, sim shalom 
is **always** said.


From: Ezra Rosenfeld <zomet@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 09:41:20 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Water meters, refrigerators et al

I would like to clarify some of the points made by Tom Anderson.

1. Assuming the existence of a mechanical water meter, there is no
problem in using water on Shabbat. The fact that the meter registers the
amount of water used is not considered a problem, as no melacha is
taking place. Assuming an electronic meter, the problem which could
arise would be if circuits were opened and shut as a result of my using
water. This gets us into the more complicated question of is there an
issur of doing such, under which melacha category it would fall and what
type of a 'psik raisha' is it.

2. Regarding the refrigerator, various halachic opinions abound ranging
from those who see no halachic problem whatsoever in opening a
refrigerator door at any time (even if the door remains open long enough
to activate the motor, the entry of warm air into the fridge and the
subsequent early activation of the motor is 'lo nicha lei') to those who
permit opening the door only when the motor is running (causing the
motor to stay on longer is a secondary problem referred to in
techno-halachic jargon as 'hamschachat matzav' - causing staus quo to
continue). Actually, Zomet designed a mechanism years ago which solves
the problem by overriding the thermostat and setting dials (before
Shabbat) which determine at what intervals and for how long the motor
will cool the inside of the fridge. For various reasons, unrelated to
the system itself, only a a few dozen individuals purchased the
mechanism which at the time cost only $60-$70 .

3. I would like to receive more information about the background to the
story about the auto sensing traffic lights in Australia. A similar
problem exists in home security systems where the perimeter lights are
activated whenever someone walks past the house. I would be interested
in hearing whether mjers have asked their LOR this question and what the
responses have been.

4. Comparing the breaking of a beam to a microphone system is IMHO
incorrect. The use of condensor microphones (where the speaker is not
creating current but rather modulating an already existing one) would
appear not to be a Shabbat problem at all. Recent Piskei Halacha by Rav
Shaul Yisraeli, Dayan Pinchas Toledano of London and Rav Chaim David
Halevi of Tel Aviv have approved the use of condensor microphones on
Shabbat assuming that the system meets with Zomet requirements (systems
have already been installed in a number of cities in Israel with the
halachic o.k. of the Chief Rabbis of those cities, and a number of
orthodox shuls in North America are considering installing these systems
before the coming Yamin Noraim). Breaking a light beam may involve an
issur d'rabbanan although the jury is still out on the question of
exactly which rubric would be the relevant one.


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 07:59:43 -0400
Subject: Yochanan ben Zakkai and Abayye and Rabbah

I stumbled across a Gemara (Succah 28a) that is non-sequitur....
It says that the abilities of R. Yochanan ben Zakkai includes D'var
katan and says this is the arguments of Abayye and Rabbah.....yet
R. Yochanan ben Zakkai preceded these two in time. What are we supposed
to learn from this ???



End of Volume 13 Issue 25