Volume 15 Number 57
                       Produced: Fri Oct  7 13:07:39 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Translations
         [Finley Shapiro]
Eating Esrog
         [Eli Turkel]
Fireproof safes for Sifrei Torah
         [Naftoli Biber]
Kashrus Newsletters
         [Stuart Scharf]
         [Ira Rubin]
Monsey Bus Reprise
         ["Yaakov Menken"]
Pesach in the Southern Hemisphere
         [Arthur Roth]
Pets on Shabbos
         [Gad Frenkel]
Sanctity of the Synagogue
         [Barry Siegel]
sanctity of the synagogue
         [Anthony Fiorino]


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 4 Oct 1994 17:48:55 U
Subject: Administrivia - Translations

[Maybe if I put it in from someone else, more people will listen to it?
:-). Seriously, look at Finley's list and use that to help gauge what
additional words you should translate when you use them. Mod.]

I think it may be time to remind people who submit postings to
mail.jewish of the need to include translations of Hebrew and Aramaic
terms with which many readers may not be familiar.  Here are some
examples from several different postings in a single recent issue.
Translations were not included for these terms, but I think they should
have been.  In some cases, perhaps the English word could simply have
been used.

kedushat sheveit
otzar beit din (used as an adjectival phrase in "otzar beit din etrog")
yamim noraim
heter mechira

Finley Shapiro


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 94 09:56:10+020
Subject: Eating Esrog

   Michael Broyde points out that many poskim allow eating shemiitah
esrogim from an Otzar Bet Din. However, this is only eating in the
"normal way". Is making the esrog into a jam its normal way?



From: Naftoli Biber <bibern@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 1994 23:12:04 
Subject: Fireproof safes for Sifrei Torah

I imagine that most mail-jewish subcribers will be aware of the tragic
fire that occured at Central Synagogue in Sydney on Hoshana Rabba.  The
greatest tragedy was that 17 Sifrei Torah were destroyed despite being
housed in a "fireproof" safe in the Aron Kodesh.
 It seems that while the door was made of steel the side walls and rear
were made of 23mm thick plasterboard and timber frames. This was
obviously completely inadequate in the face of a fire which took 15 fire
units over one hour to control.

The point of this letter is to request information of any mail-jewish
readers who may have experience in the assessment and/or purchase of
fire safes for Sifrei Torah.  I know that many shuls in the States have
these safes and I know of at least one shul where the Sifrei Torah were
saved, despite the shul burning to the ground, because of such a safe.
A number of us concerned with general security for shuls have been
discussing this and would like any informed information that you could

Please reply to my e-mail address regarding this.

   Naftoli Biber                           <bibern@...>
   Melbourne, Australia                    Voice & Fax: +61-3-527-5370


From: <ss@...> (Stuart Scharf)
Date: Fri,  7 Oct 94 09:54:50 -0400
Subject: Kashrus Newsletters

Kashrus Magazine has a fairly complete listing of all of the Kosher
symbols and agencies which includes newsletters and their addresses.
The last list published was Nov. '93. 

Arlene J. Mathes-Scharf


From: Ira Rubin <73140.413@...>
Date: 05 Oct 94 18:06:00 EDT
Subject: Mezuzzah

Dear Friends,
   My daughter just moved to an apartment in Vicksburg, MS that has seen
several uses over the last 150 years or so. Having been at various times
an office building and retail store, she finds herself in the rather odd
position of having one of her two outside doors in her bathroom. To 
further complicate the issue, this door goes into what might best be 
described as a common hallway shared with other tennants. Incidentally,
the door swings into the hallway if that is important.
   My question is:  Is it appropriate to put a mezuzzah on this door?
   She does have a "normal" door elseware in the apartment. If a
mezuzzah is installed on the bathroom door in the usual manner then it
will be inside of the room. Is that ok?
   Any help would be appreciated.
                                                   Thank you,
                                                        Ira Rubin


From: "Yaakov Menken" <ny000548@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 94 16:34:48 -0400
Subject: Monsey Bus Reprise

I got a real surprise today.  In "my circles", there is basically a
unanimous opinion that the whole "Monsey Bus" controversy is a case of
Jewish anti-Semitism.  Why would anyone pick up the case of a woman who
had deliberately provoked religious Jews in the past?  What sort of case
can be brought against the company when a) the driver wasn't involved,
and b) the men ended up leaving the bus, while she stayed where she was?

But a woman told me today that many Orthodox women agree with her that a
bus company has no right to take public funds while having a mechitza.
She argued that it is discriminatory for a bus to insist on operating
with a structure that even _expects_ men and women to sit apart.  This
is because there is definite intimidation - an expectation that she will
have to sit apart from men.

So I'm posting this here in an attempt to hear the range of "Orthodox"
reactions on this issue.  I believe that what she is talking about is
tyranny of the majority.  The Chassidic community, where the WOMEN are
just as adamant as the men about having a wall between them, should have
the same rights as anyone else to have public transportation services, 
and companies should be able to receive public mass-transit subsidies 
while providing for the needs of that company.

But what do YOU think?

Yaakov Menken


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 1994 20:52:55 -0500
Subject: Pesach in the Southern Hemisphere

In MJ 15:39, David Curwin asks two questions on this topic.  Ben Katz
(<bkatz@...>) saw David's post and directed the following
reply through me, since he is not a subscriber of MJ:

The reason we begin saying v'sayn tal umata levracha in galut on December
4th or so is that we calculate the autumnal equinox according to Shmuel who
was following the Julian calendar.  In the sixteenth century Pope Gregory
(or one of his mathematicians) noticed that the sun was not coming through a
certain window of the Vatican on Easter anymore.  (Easter is the only
Christian holiday that still is moon-dependent -- it occurs on the first
Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox; that is why
Easter and Pesach often coincide, because that full moon is often 15 Nisan.
Easter represents the last vestige of a lunar calendar in Christianity and
was a compromise made I believe in the fifth century or so between those
Christians who wanted to keep some ties with Judaism and those who wanted to
sever all such ties.)  It was calculated that the Julian calendar (in which
the months July and August had been added [explaining why September,
October, November and December are the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth
months and not the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months, as their
prefixes would imply] and in which there is a leap year every fourth year)
was off by about 3 days every four hundred years; in other words, the solar
year was getting ahead of the seasons by almost a day a century.  Therefore,
at the end of the sixteenth century Pope Gregory decreed that 10 days should
be skipped.  This was followed by all Christian countries immediately but
only adopted by Protestant countries piecemeal over the next few centuries.
For example, in the U.S. and all countries under the British, the change was
not made until 1752.  (Thus George Washington was actually born on February
11; this became February 22nd in 1752.)  What they actually did was skip 11
days in October (thus, e.g., Mon. Oct 4 was followed by Tuesday Oct. 15).
Russia did not accept the Gregorian calendar until this century.  In
addition to skipping the requisite number of days, three leap years every
four hundred years are skipped so that another such correction will be
unnecessary.  The decision was made to skip century leap years not divisible
by 400; thus the year 1900 was not a leap year (and we went eight years
without a February 29th); 2000 will be a leap year.
Since Jews still use the Julian system for calculating the autumn equinox,
our autumnal equinox gains about one day a century; we really should begin
vsayn tal umatar levracha on November 22nd (which Russian Jews do, probably
because they kept the Julian calendar till fairly recently).  My assumption,
therefore, is that the spring equinox is also about March 27, or 12 days
after the true March 15th date.
Regarding Jews in the Southern hemisphere -- the fact of the matter is that
when the Jewish calendar was fixed by Hillel II in the fourth century it was
not realized that the farther North or South one went that the length of the
days changed.  I believe the first Jew to write about this was the Vilna
Gaon.  I am not sure there were any Jews living South of the equator when
the calendar was finalized, thus it was also a nonissue at the time.  
It does not seem logical to me that Hillel would have intended for Jews to
observe Pesach in the Winter or that Shmuel wished the date of vsayn tal
umatar levracha to change every century. Whether anything can or should be
done about this, however, is  a touchy issue which I will not address any
further at this time, although reasoned discourse would be welcome.
Anyone wishing to investigate these matters for him or herself (as the
calendar is an area of fascination for me) can read the introduction to
Birchas Hachama in the Artscroll series and the relevant chapters in James
Burkes' Connections, Daniel Boorstin's The Discoverers, and James Parks' The
Seperation of Church and Synagogue.

(Ben's reply ends here.  Let me add that it clearly explains the reason
that on those rare occasions when Easter does NOT coincide with Pesach,
the two differ by approximately an entire month, i.e., they cannot miss
each other by only a little.  This is one of the few aspects of Ben's
reply that I had known in detail before seeing it.  I learned quite a
bit from almost all the rest of it, and I wish to publicly thank Ben for
the effort he made to contribute to a list that he is not himself a
regular part of.)

Arthur Roth


From: Gad Frenkel <0003921724@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 94 09:19 EST
Subject: Pets on Shabbos

I have been looking for modern Tshuvahs regarding pets on Shabbos.  The
SA says that animals are muktza. The MB says that they are muktza like
sticks and stones, which is interesting because sticks and stones that
are given a funtion before Shabbos (such as a door stop) are no longer
muktza.  My thinking is that this might apply to pets who serve a
function of being pettable, as opposed to farm animals that have no
function on Shabbos.  It seems clear that petting is not a issue since
even if pets are muktza, according to my understanding, the issur
regarding muktza is one of moving the object, not simply touching it.
The question that I am most concerned with is actually lifting or
holding an animal such as a hamster or a cat.


From: Barry Siegel <sieg@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 94 9:13:16 EDT
Subject: Sanctity of the Synagogue

>Does anyone have any idea where i can buy a book called
>`the sanctity of the synagogue'(about mechitza)?
>I've seen it twice in my life and have never seen it in a bookstore.

There is a book called:
	"Mikdash Me'at on The Sanctity Of The Synagogue"

This book deals with the topics of:
	1) talking in the synagouge (during services)
	2) answering AMEN properly

This book along with other information (various posters & the popular 
"Chofetz Chaim" picture) on the above topics are available for free from:

	Project SHUL:  (908) 901-8944 or by mail from

World Society for the Sanctity of the Synagouge
1274 - 49'th St. Suite 11
Brooklyn, NY 11219

From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 17:13:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: sanctity of the synagogue

> Does anyone have any idea where i can buy a book called
> `the sanctity of the synagogue'(about mechitza)?
> I've seen it twice in my life and have never seen it in a bookstore.

Seth, you can order the book from Ktav (Hoboken, NJ), who recently
republished it.  The original editor was Baruch Letvin; I think the new
edition is edited by his daughter or granddaughter, Jeanne Letvin.  The
book was orginially published by the Spiro Foundation.  I think YU still
distributes this at the chag ha-smicha.

Eitan Fiorino


End of Volume 15 Issue 57