Volume 15 Number 22
                       Produced: Mon Sep 12  5:36:31 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Appliances for an Orthodox Kitchen
         [Arthur Roth]
         [Yechiel Wachtel]
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
         [Norman Tuttle]
Ham: Curse vs. Mitzvah
         [Mitchel Berger]
Racism (2)
         [Joseph Steinberg, David Charlap]
Vinegar and Shofars - Don't
         [Steve Wildstrom]


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 16:15:17 -0500
Subject: Appliances for an Orthodox Kitchen

    We are considering redoing our kitchen and are investigating various
brands/models of ovens, stove tops, and refrigerators.  Either we are
not looking in the right places, or modern technology has taken a giant
step backwards with respect to Orthodox homes.  Specifically ---
  1. Almost all built-in ovens seem to have digitial controls, which
would seem to preclude changing temperatures on Yom Tov.  And it doesn't
seem to matter whether the ovens are gas or electric.  (I have seen a
few gas ovens with the old style circular dial controls, so I at first
thought that once the oven was lit --- eliminating the need to use the
electronic ignition --- the dial could be adjusted on Yom Tov.  However,
it seems that even these dials go click- click-click as you turn them,
i.e., each temperature change seems to cause some new electronic
  2. Most of today's built-in ovens have a "wonderful" safety device
that makes them automatically shut off after they've been left on for 24
hours.  The Yom Tov problem here is obvious.  There are some exceptions,
but you have to look hard.
  3. Our kitchen is small enough that we probably will need one of the
expensive built-in refrigerators (Subzero, GE Monogram, etc.) in order
to have enough space without a very awkward look.  However, all of those
have both fans that go off and light bulbs that go on every time the
door is opened.  The light bulb is easy enough to unscrew (or we can
tape the switch).  The fan is a bigger problem, as the switch is in some
cases not easy to get to.  Even in the models where the switch is easily
accessible, taping it will interfere with the normal operation of the
machine, i.e., having the fan operate while the door is open will bring
in lots of warm, humid air and could drastically shorten the life of a
several thousand dollar machine over the course of time.  (Incidentally,
most of these models have separate such fans for the refrigerator and
the freezer compartments.)

There must be some of you out there who have remodeled a kitchen
recently and encountered the same problems.  Perhaps we can benefit from
your experiences.  Can anybody either
  (i) suggest some brands/models that circumvent these problems and/or
  (ii) talk about any heterim they've received from a LOR (or heard of
from other sources) which argue that the use of one or more of the above
devices is permissible despite the apparent problems?

Any help would be appreciated.  In some ways, it's getting easier to be
Jewish, but this isn't one of them!


From: Yechiel Wachtel <YWACHTEL@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 94 03:23:21 PDT
Subject: Coffee...Eggs

	In case you did not have time to wean yourself from coffee
before Yom Kippur (for those with caffeine withdrawal symptoms) try 2
asprin last thing before the fast, its my mother in laws trick, and
	I do not know where Entermans buys there eggs, but I used to
work for a breaker that sold to among others CPC (helmens mayonnaise).
The breaking is all mechanized, and there is an operator at each
breaking machine who checked all the eggs for freshness, and blood
spots.  Any egg with a blood spot was dumped.  This is a USDA rule as
well.  The eggs where also candled before breaking. There was a sensor
on the market at the time that was able to detect blood spots in eggs,
but the cost was prohibitive.  After the eggs are broken, they are
transported either in liquid form (tankers) or frozen (cans) to the
customer, or sent on to be dried.


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 94 23:10:42 -0800
Subject: Contra-racism

I believe that Dr. Lester caved in too quickly when he wrote that he is
concerned only whether people act on their racism, not whether they are
racists.  IMHO there are cogent reasons to believe that the Torah
eschews any racism, even the kind held in pectore.

There are sources - both halachic and aggadic - that demand that we
value the notion of tzelem Elokim, the image of G-d resident in every
human being.  (Without taking the time to check sources, I believe that
the reader will find material to begin the search by looking at the
difference between the Rambam's articualtion of practices banned because
of aivah (stimulating non-Jewish enmity of Jews) (essentially pragmatic
and self-serving), and the obligations of Darchei Shalom.  I believe
that the writings of Rav Kook also have a good deal on the obligation of
Ahavas Habrios (love of ALL people.)  To be sure, as many have pointed
out, Chazal see a hierarchical world, and permit and encourage the
disparaging of certain people : Amalek, idolators.  The point, I think,
is that you need a good REASON to dismiss someone else.  Chazal were
literally surrounded by idolators, and were extremely harsh in their
condemnation of them.  Even non-idolators can lose their tzelem Elokim.
Let evil be despised and resisted wherever there is evidence that it
exists within a given individual.  But to uncritically dismiss a group
of people for a reason that simply does not apply to all of them, would
seem to betray a lack of a midah [characteristic] that is very
important: recognizing the bit of Hashem's majesty that is reflected in
the human state.

I would further argue, although the argument requires fuller treatment,
that behavior and inner life cannot be separated in the Torah system.
If an evil midah exists, it is bound to lead to evil behavior; sometimes
the real objection to evil behavior is that it reflects an evil midah,
which is what the Torah really objects to.  (e.g. hating the ger seems
to be prohibited not to protect the ger, but to protect the Jew from a
lapse of hakaras hatov (recognizing a debt of gratitude.)

Equally important is the idea that even if mekoros exist that support
the idea of a curse upon some race or races, this should be entirely
irrelevant to us!  As Rav Dessler points out (in reference to the curse
of all mankind that they must struggle for sustenance), OUR JOB IS TO
MINIMIZE CURSES, NOT TO COMPOUND THEM.  Do we eschew anasthesia in
childbirth (as some fundamentalist Christian groups reportedly did)
because Chava was cursed with the pain of labor?  If oppression and pain
are things we are to be sensitive to, and strive to resist, does it
matter if we know that the pain began because of a curse of Cham?  Every
illness, in our thinking, comes from a gezerah [edict] of Hashem.  Do we
stop treating the sick, or looking for global cures for various scourges
of mankind?  Chas v'shalom!

Please note that I am not advocating the Western/ liberal form of
rejecting racism.  There are legitimate grounds for distancing oneself
from individuals, or from thousands of individual, when they have given
you good reason to.  But the evidence must be there, on the individual
level, or the hatred crushes and smothers what the Torah would want in
its place: a deep seated recognition that chaviv adam shenivrah btzelem
[dear is Man, who is created in the Image].


From: <ntuttle@...> (Norman Tuttle)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 94 09:03:50 -0400
Subject: Eruvim

The following question was put to me in private e-mail conversation
recently, but I think that my response is quite relevant to m-jer's,
especially with the holiday of Sukot coming up:

>Do you hold by eruvim?

And here is an excerpt of my response, edited slightly for m-j

Of course, all Frum Jews "hold by" the concept of Eruv.  The question is
the status of "community Eruv", especially those which encompass large
thoroughfares.  R. Yaakov Kaminecky, ZT"L, of Monsey Poskined that
those leniencies which made this type of Eruv necessary in Europe were
not applicable in America, since we don't have that type of
communal-based society.  Therefore, many residents of Monsey still
continue to NOT rely on the Monsey community Eruv even after the Rabbi
ZT"L's passing.  Of course, there are those who do, and the Viznitz
Chassidism even formed their own Eruv!

I understand that there are other reasons NOT TO besides the ones above.

My personal practice is to generally NOT use the Monsey Eruv, or any
community Eruvs.  But I will use private Eruvs, and I will also use the
community Eruvs (if they are reliable) in case of emergency (for
instance, to get rid of Chametz before/on Pesach, or to save a Siddur
from desecration, etc).  My reasoning is that Jews have to act on a
global level, in a sense that certain practices must transcend
geographical location.  Especially now, when with transportation we can
get to anywhere around the world within just hours, we must consider the
possibility of being in another location for Shabbat.  Of course, the
majority of the world is NOT surrounded by an Eruv.  And as practices
often sink in, if one would start accustoming oneself to use an Eruv in
one location, it would be all the more easy to continue the same
practices in locations which either have no Eruv or a less reliable one,
and lead Chas V'Shalom (heaven forbid) to a desecration of Shabbat.  But
I don't mind if someone else, even my host, does rely on the Eruv, since
this is anyway a personal Chumra, and there are are reasons to be

Nosson Tuttle
ktiva v'chatima tovah, & good yom tov

P.S.  Anybody going to Chalet Vim for Labor Day weekend (Ohr Someach JLE
Singles Event), I'll see you there, IY"H.


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 11:26:39 -0400
Subject: Ham: Curse vs. Mitzvah

Justifying prejudice by quoting Ham's curse has a number of problems:

1- You assume that blacks do come from Ham, even post-Sanheirev. We
   don't make this assumption about Amalek, Ammon, or Moav.

2- I don't know too many prejudiced people who limit that prejudice to
   blacks, and not Hispanics, Italians, and other groups -- thereby
   proving that the prejudice ate-dates the excuse.

3- Hopefully this is the dawn of the messianic age. We should assume
   that the curse's duration is over.

4- Most importantly: Who said we are obligated to fulfil a curse? Was
   Paroah obligated to enslave us to fulfil Hashem's words to Abraham?
   Perhaps this is how the curse should be read: Through the iniquity of
   others you will be a victim of slavery. A prophecy which has turned
   out to be true, not a mitzvah commanding us to oppress.


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 10:04:02 -0400
Subject: Racism

I have already mentioned that misinterpreting psukim to prove non-racism
is wrong -- another example:

:stuff" or cliches. The same Torah that offers meticulous criteria for
:kashruth also orders us to love one's neighbor as oneself.

It is talking about another Jew!!!

: The same:
:Torah that provedes exacting specifications for lulav and etrog also
:orders us to treat the Ger with respect. 

Ger -- a convert -- i.e., ANOTHER JEW...
(even the other type of 'Ger' is a  non-JEw who accepts all 7 Noachide 
commandmants becasue they were given by G-d -- somthing not found too 
commonly today... (the Noachide commandmants explicitly prohibit abortion 
and adultery -- both legal in the USA...)

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 11:26:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Racism

I think everybody is attacking this problem from the wrong direction.

It makes no difference whether Canaan's curse applies today or not.  And
it makes no difference whether there is any commandment that forbids
racism or not.  It's a simply matter of Kiddush vs. Chillul Hashem.

Every time a black person perceives an act of racism by a Jew, it can
(and often does) cause that person to feel hatred towards that Jew, and
towards Jews in general.  This is a clear-cut case of Chillul Hashem.
Above and beyond things like pointing out a cashier's error in a store -
racism (especially against the more vocal minorities) directly leads to
people who hate Jews, curse Jews, and eventually attack and kill Jews.

On the other hand, showing common "western" decency can be a great
Kiddush Hashem.  I'm not saying you should go and hang out with gangs,
but getting to know your neighbors and establishing a minimal level of
friendship very often has the effect of causing the neighbor to re-think
what he believes about Jews, leading to less hatred and violence.

-- David


From: Steve Wildstrom <swild@...>
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 94 15:11:43 EST
Subject: Vinegar and Shofars - Don't

>From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...> Subject: Re: Shofar care
>>From: <jpw@...> (Joe Wetstein)
>>Does anyone have any suggestions for how to treat a shofar (which is 
>>rather old) that is getting quite 'dry' and I am afraid that it may 
>>be getting brittle.
>I was once told to use vinegar.

     Don't even think about it! Vinegar will soften up that old shofar, but 
     it will do it by dissolving calcium carbonate, decalcifying the horn. 
     You could end up with a floppy shofar. (To amuse yourself or kids, let 
     a chicken leg bone soak in vinegar. After three or four days, you can 
     tie a knot in it.)


End of Volume 15 Issue 22