Volume 13 Number 53
                       Produced: Mon Jun 13  8:33:00 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
         [Rabbi Meilech Leib DuBrow]
B"SD, B"H (5)
         [Meir Lehrer, Moishe Kimelman, Yisrael Sundick, Phil
Chernofsky, Jeffrey Woolf]
Better or Correct in Halakha
         [David Sherman]
Cans on Shabbos
         [Herb Taragin]
Differences in Ashkenaz
         [Fred Dweck]
Living Wills
         [Barry Freundel]
Makhloket on facts
         [Eli Turkel]
Mode of Address in Chassidic Couples
         [Sam Juni]
         [Mordecai Miller]
The Holocaust and Israel Reborn
         [Monty Noam Penkower]


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 17:38:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Abbreviation 

Any abbreviation fans out there?  The following string has puzzled me and
some other people.

Magen Avraham to Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 284 (resh peh dalet), in a 
discussion of reading haftarah from parchment (a recent subject of discussion
on mj).  Paraphrase: ...printing is a superior way of writing, as is written
in mem-ayin Chapter 93, and mem-bet and lamed-het...  It seems that these 
three are names of books, but which books?  

Aliza Berger


From: <SMDUBRO@...> (Rabbi Meilech Leib DuBrow)
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 1994 19:13:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Astrology

In response to B. Freundel's comments on Astrology, it may be useful to
distinguish two uses of astrology before debunking it out of hand.

1.  Prediction
2.  Personality Analysis

I would tend to agree with Freundel's comments with regard to
astrology's use for the first purpose.  There are numerous sources which
indicate that Jews are not under the influence of mazalos.

However, the second use, much less often spoken of, is a legitimate and
efficacious method of improving our understanding of our selves and in
turn, our service of our Creator.

Of course, all of the aove is relevant only when speaking about
legitimate Jewish astrology, such as is found in the Sefer Yetzirah.


From: lehrer%<milcse@...> (Meir Lehrer)
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 1994 23:55:56 -0400
Subject: Re: B"SD, B"H

>Is there any halachic basis or source for writing B"SD or B"H at the top
>of a letter? Looking through the sources, I couldn't find any, but I
>have heard that both a gemara (Rosh Hashana, I think) and a teshuva of
>R' Ovadia indicated that one shouldn't. What is the historical basis for
>this minhag?  And does anyone know a single source refering directly to

I've not seen any responsa dealing with it, but my Rav had told me a
long time ago that one should only use B"H on a letter which is strictly
Torah in nature. For a personal letter, or business, or anything other
than straight Torah Studies, he'd told me to use BS"D.

*  Meir Lehrer  [Motorola Israel Ltd. Cellular Software Engineering]
*  (W): 03-5658422; (H): 03-6189322; Email: lehrer%<milcse@...>

From: Moishe Kimelman <kimel@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 14:10:18 +1000 (EST)
Subject: B"SD, B"H

See Piskei T'shuvah (a collection of short and interesting responsa
first published 5693 in Pietrokow, Poland, and republished a number of
times since - I have the 5746 Israeli edition) section 3, responsa
(responsum?) 293, where Rabbi Yosef Rozin (the Rogatchover Gaon) writes
that it is improper to write "B'H" as one is thereby writing one letter
of "Hashem" - the "He".

In his approbation to this section, the Imrei Emes disagrees with the
Rogatchover Gaon, and he notes that in one of the responsa in the book,
the Rogatchover Gaon himself wrote "B'H".  The Imrei Emes also points
out that his great-grandfather the Chidushei Harim wrote "B'H" on every
page that he wrote, and that he himself has manuscripts of Rabbi
Meshullam Igra where "B'H" appears numerous times on each page.

Moishe Kimelman

From: Yisrael Sundick <sas34@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 1994 13:36:48 -0400
Subject: Re: B"SD, B"H

I believe there was an article in one of the journals (Tradition seems
like a likely possibility) about putting BS"D on top of a letter.  As I
recall, the authors conclusion was that it is based on the WRITERS
keeping G-d's omnipresenence in mind.  As such, the BS"D should really
be affixed to the desk, or in modern times the computer terminal :-).

*     Yisrael Sundick       *        Libi beMizrach VeAni                   * 
*   <sas34@...>    *             beColumbia                        *

From: Phil Chernofsky <philch@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 01:58:28 -0400
Subject: B"SD, B"H

I have learned (unfortunately, I don't remember a source) that the
origin of the custom of writing B"H (or something like it) in the corner
of a page was specifically in a personal, social letter where the
temptation and likelihood of writing gossip (or worse) was great. If I'm
not mistaken, the original form of this custom might have been a
separate piece of paper or whatever upon which was written "Shiviti
HaShem...". This "reminder" was propped up in front of the letter-writer
to warn him against r'chilut, lashon hara, etc. This evolved into a set
of initials in the corner. If this is so, then the use of B"H on Torah
notes, etc. would be unnecessary.

The BS"D came about as a replacement for B"H to avoid even the letter
HEI which stands for G-d's Name (BS"D meaning B'si'ata d'shmaya - with
Heaven's help).

Phil Chernofsky, associate director of the OU/NCSY Israel Center, Jerusalem
Email address (Internet): <philch@...>
Tel: +972 2 384 206      Fax: +972 2 385 186      Home phone: +972 2 819169
Voice mail (messages): (02) 277 677, extension 5757

From: Jeffrey Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 08:45:25 -0400
Subject: Re: B"SD, B"H

For what it's worth, it was well-known that Rav Soloveitchik Zatzal did
not write B'H or BS'D in the corner of his letters.


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 94 19:35:19 EDT
Subject: Better or Correct in Halakha

> My first impression was that, "Better" is not a word that can be used
> for "Kosher" or any other hallachicaly defined obligation.  It is
> strictly a case of "right or wrong", not "good or bad". 

Someone who learns for an hour a day and otherwise keeps all
mitzvos is doing things "correct".  What if that person then begins
to learn two hours a day?  Is that not "better"?  Was what he was
doing before "wrong"?

Why can the same principle not be applied to kashrus or other mitzvos?
I.e., X is kosher, but Y is preferable?

David Sherman


From: Herb Taragin <taragin@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 1994 00:14:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Cans on Shabbos

Would like some interesting HALACHIC input relevant to opening cans on 
Shabbos. Secondly, is there any difference between a large (peach, etc.) 
can and a small (tuna) can. Thirdly, is there any difference between a 
regular can and a flip top-- such as soda or beer. 
Herb Taragin
P.S. anyone ever notice beer CANS at a b'nei torah sholom zochor


From: Fred Dweck <71214.3575@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 01:58:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Differences in Ashkenaz

In M-J 13:47 Meir Lehrer states: 

<<< Both say that they have the true Nusach Ha'ri, but as the Ari Z"L
was in Baghdad before coming to Eretz Yisrael, and not in Russia... draw
your own conclusions as to who has more first hand knowledge.>>>

The Ari Z"L was NOT in Baghdad before coming to Eretz Yisrael, he was
raised in Egypt, in the home of his mother's brother. However, his
rational still stands.

Fred E. Dweck (Los Angeles, CA)


From: <Dialectic@...> (Barry Freundel)
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 1994 13:36:32 -0400
Subject: Re: Living Wills

Living wills are a subject of controversy. Agudah has one that
essentially says in all cases cylor. The RCA has one with many choices
but does not allow as many options as a standard living will. Either
organization will provide one and I modified the RCA document in some
ways for my community. I would be glad to provide a copy though my shul
requests a $10 donation for the paperwork and mailing and handling.


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 94 00:27:44 +0300
Subject: Makhloket on facts

    Mark Steiner quotes the Rashba on Chullin that chazal did not argue
in cases which could be verified by tasting.
     However, this argument applies only to cases that can be verified
by an easy experiment. However, there are many arguments in the Gemara
over historical facts, e.g. who various personalities were: Mordechai,
Daniel, Elijah etc. . There are many arguments concerning the way that
sacrifices were brought in the Temple. Arguments about the construction
of the Mishkan, the original letters of the Torah etc.
     In addition there appears to be arguments about various scientific
facts which are not easily verifiable.



From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 15:25:02 -0400
Subject: Mode of Address in Chassidic Couples

Pinchus Laufer (5/24/94) cites a pattern in Modern America where parents
are refered to as "Mom" and "Dad", in response to my "missive" about
address in Orthodox couples.

My focus is on the modes of address between one spouse and another.  If
Pinchus is indeed referring to this interaction and relegating it to
respect, I would like to hear more. [I asked Pinchus this and he
confirmed that this is what he meant. Mod.]  In fact, I would be curious
how such couples address each other before they have children. (Maybe
they don't talk at all, beacuse there is nothing to say yet.)

P.S. Since Pinchus seems to have an "in" vis a vis the "Zug Nor" form of
address, is there any more info on "Herr Nor" and any others?

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <MordecaiM@...> (Mordecai Miller)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 17:33:17 -0400
Subject: Naming

We're all familiar with the Ashkenazic practice of not naming a child
after a living relative.  Can anyone inform me about a case where there
are two deceased relatives in a family, who had the same name.  Is it
possible to name two grandchildren (each with different parents) after a
different relative, but with the net result being that the grandchildren
wind up with the same name?  If you don't know the answer, who might
know/where might I look this up?  Mordecai


From: Monty Noam Penkower <penkower@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 08:05:43 -0400
Subject: The Holocaust and Israel Reborn

	This August, the Univ. of Illinois Press will publish my volume
The Holocaust and Israel Reborn: From Catastrophe to Sovereignty. This
is a collection of essays on the connection between these two major
events in Jewish history.
	I would appreciate from all interested correspondents responses
to two items in this regard:
	a) In my research over the past decade, I have found little
sustained scholarship which examines the bond that exists between the
Shoa and the rise of Israel in 1948. Why is this so? While the bond is
either taken as a truism or denied in some circles, few have explored
the subject in depth. Any reasons for this?
	b) I would appreciate any references to articles which have,
indeed, studied this historical connection. My main interest in
historical, although references to theological and philosophical ties
would also be appreciated.
	Thanks in advance.     Monty Noam Penkower


End of Volume 13 Issue 53