Volume 17 Number 1
                       Produced: Thu Dec  1 22:11:37 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bishul Akum & Hashgachas
         [Norman Schloss]
Bishul Akum and Microwave Cooking
         [Jeff Korbman]
Bishul Akum-update
         [Norman Schloss]
Chanukkah and fighting
         [Eli Turkel]
Facing  Eretz Yisroel
         [Martin Friederwitzer]
Iggrot Moshe about subway cars
         [Michael Broyde]
Jewish view of capital punishment?
         [Cleveland College of Jewish Studies]
Kashrus Organizations
         [Sam Gamoran]
         [Mark Steiner]
Overheard in the supermarket
         [Deborah J. Stepelman]
waiters on Shabbos
         [Andrew Weiss]
Where the sun goes at night
         [Shalom Carmy]
Zmanim Software
         [Zal Suldan]


From: <nschloss@...> (Norman Schloss)
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 1994 07:53:28 -0600
Subject: Bishul Akum & Hashgachas

Regarding the question of bishul akum in factories there are a number of
other factors that come into play besides the t'shuva mentioned by
Michael Broyde.

1) Aino oleh al shulchan melachim- almost lit. is it fit for a king? for
much of the industry where finished consumer products are not produced
this principal would certainly apply.As far as finished consumer goods
go, I wonder how much of all the junk food etc. would really be fit for
a king.

2) al aish- according to most in the kashruth industry, for cooking to
be considered bishul it must be over an actual fire. I serve as a
Mashgiach for the O.U., O.K.,as well as a number of other agencies and
the overwhelming method of cooking is using steam or steam jacketed
vessels. This would remove the label of Bishul akum especially when
taken into consideration of the t'shuva cited and reason no.1.

The problem of listing Hashgachos according to their reliability is very
complex. As was mentioned the foremost problem is opening yourself up to
libel suits. The other more complex issue is that many of the
"unreliable' Hashgachos also give supervision to inherently Kosher items
( salt, sugar, basic spices). The problem in the field for Mashgichim is
that we will tell a company that Hashgocha X is not acceptable. A
product like sugar will come in with Hashgocha X on it. On one hand
you're saying that the Hashgocha is no good and on the other hand you
seem to legitimize the Hashgocha if you allow the sugar to be used. Very
problematic especially when the item may be harder to substitute than
sugar. Finally, even the O.U., O.K. Star K, etc.  basically reliable
Hashgachos, have their detractors.


From: <JEKORBMAN@...> (Jeff Korbman)
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 1994 14:08:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Bishul Akum and Microwave Cooking

J Baily asks a good question regarding the Bishul Akum article written by 
Rabbi Luban in the recent OU magazine: Why not forbid the Eating with the 
non Jews if that's the real concern.
Call me crazy, but perhaps the rabbi's were, at that point in time, also 
concerned about the ingredients being kosher as well, and bishul akum was 
a way to regulate - to some degree - what was going on the 
kitchen.........but that's not really why I'm writing.

My question is:  Is Bishul Akum applicable to microwave cooking? (Can you 
tell what kind of diet I keep).  In other words, what is "bishul" and, 
for the heck of it, how does this relate to cooking on shabbat?


From: <nschloss@...> (Norman Schloss)
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 1994 15:52:10 -0600
Subject: Bishul Akum-update

Just received in the mail today the latest issue of Jewish Action -the
magazine put out by the O.U. In it there is an in depth article about
Bishul Akum written by Rabbi Yaakov Luban-Senior Rabbinic Coordinator
for the O.U.  Kashruth Dept.I guess that one can call the O.U. at
212-563-4000 for copies of the article or the magazine. Jewish Action
Winter5755/1994/95 Volume 55,No.2.


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 94 11:13:09 +0200
Subject: Chanukkah and fighting

     Shaul Wallach in his dvar Torah states:

>> Hanuka does not commemorate the military victory of the
>> Hasmoneans over the Greeks, but rather the miracle of the olive oil
>> that lasted for 8 days which enabled the Temple service to be performed
>> without interruption

    This is simply not true as any look at Al haNisim will provide. Many
people have noted that Gemara (Shabbat) talks only about the miracle of
the oil while al haNisim basically ignores this and stresses the miraculous
military victory. In addition a number of mefarshim have asked that we
do not celebrate many of the other miracles that occurred in the Temple.
I recently heard a dvar Torah that said that we certainly have Chanukkah
because of the military victory. We do not say Hallel on miracles but on
being saved. The purpose of the miracle of the oil was only to demonstrate 
to the people that the military victory was not from natural means but
through the direct intervention of G-d.



From: <martin.friederwitzer@...> (Martin Friederwitzer)
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 94 11:05:34 EST
Subject: Facing  Eretz Yisroel

This week in Halacha Yomit we are going to learn about the Halachos of
facing towards the land of Israel during Shemona Esrei. How far West does
one have to be in order to face West. If one was in Hawaii does one face
East or West? I am not planning any trips but was curious. Thanks         
        Moishe Friederwitzer


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 94 22:24:25 EST
Subject: Re: Iggrot Moshe about subway cars

Someone sent me a private letter asking for the citation to the Iggrot
Moshe I mentioned about subway cars.  It is even haezer 2:14.  I tried to
reply privately, but the mail was returned as disdirected.  Sorry


From: <ea308@...> (Cleveland College of Jewish Studies)
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 11:36:44 -0500
Subject: Jewish view of capital punishment?

This is my first attempt to pose a question through Nysernet.  A
question has been asked of us re the Jewish view of capital punishment,
with special emphasis on the current Israeli attitude to use of the
death penalty.  if this has already been dealt with online, please refer
me to the proper digest and message.  Many thanks.

JL Lettofsky


From: <gamoran@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 94 08:11:11 IST
Subject: Re: Kashrus Organizations

David Steinberg <dave@...> writes
> If Avi doesn't object, I'd like to propose a project for mj.  There are
> literally dozens of kashrus organizations that place their symbols on
> products we buy or don't buy.  With the exception of the major national
> organizations and a few significant regional organizations its hard to
> find out about the organizations behind the symbols and therefore to
> make informed decisions about whether or not to use a product on the
> basis of the hechsher.

and Avi our Moderator responds
> [No objections from me to the task in principle. My only question is how
> to turn this into something practical? You cannot have a database that
> says group A is acceptable and group B is not, because for starters I
> doubt that there are too many hechshers out there that all 1300+ mj'ers
> would agree is acceptable, and we would probably leave ourselves open to
> legal action from any hechsher we say is unacceptable. So what neutral
> information could one collect in such a database to allow one to make an
> informed decision based on it? That gets back to your last paragraph
> above. I would be very happy if we can actually do something like
> that. Mod]

How about something along the lines of what the state of New Jersey is doing.
Last year (or was it two years aogo?) the state Supreme Court overturned
the NJ Kashrut laws which were based on an Orthodox definition of kashrut.
This was found to be an unconstitutional violation of the separation of
shul and state.

Under the new regulations, every place that claims to be "kosher" must display
a statement of what kosher means: e.g.
How often does the mashgiach visit? (tm'idi [all the time] down to < once/year)
Under whose auspices is the kashrut? (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, other)
Is the meat soaked and salted?
The state is then just in the business of assuring that these statements
are true and the consumer is free to decide what constitutes "kosher" foer
themselves.  [I do not know how well this working in practice because I
haven't spent much time in NJ lately, but the principle seems sound].

Perhaps someone can come up with a list of factual questions to ask various
kashrut organizations and simply post the responses without passing
judgement on the acceptability of anyone.

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd.


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Thu,  1 Dec 94 9:37 +0200
Subject: Lice

	Recently roshei yeshiva were accused of believing that there are
no such things as lice eggs.  I don't have much access to roshei
yeshiva, but I think most of them have seen the siddur, in which the
following prayer appears, for parnassah (sustenance): "Thou art He who
governs the world from the horns of the wild ox until the eggs of
lice... [meqarnei re-emim `ad beitzei kinnim]."


From: Deborah J. Stepelman <stepelma@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 01:29:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Overheard in the supermarket

	This evening I was on line at the checkout counter at my local 
supermarket. Behind me were two frum men who knew each other.  After the 
usual pleasantries, the younger one said, "We're in for a treat this 
Saturday night.  We have a davening that occurs at most two times in a 
century."  The older man wasn't catching on, so the first one 
elaborated.  He told him about the rare long Shmoneh Esrai, Chanukah 
falling before December 4th, etc,etc.
	I turned to him and said, "You must subscribe to mail.jewish!"  
He smiled and answered, "Of course, where else could I get this kind of 
information from?"

Deborah J. Stepelman
Bronx HS of Science ... <stepelma@...>


From: Andrew Weiss <aweiss@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 18:10:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: waiters on Shabbos

David Phillops mentioned that most waiters do not do any work before or
after Shabbos. I often work as A waiter in the Y.U. cafeteria on Shabbos.
we spend at least an hour before Shabbos setting up the tables, and
preparing the food. we do not even start cleaning up every thing from
Shalosh Shodes in till after we have davend Ma'ariv and have heard
Havdalah. and then, it takes us about an hour to clean up every thing,
putting thing away, and mopping the floor. This work wo do before and 
after Shabbos is what we get paid for.

Andrew Weiss


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 11:43:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Where the sun goes at night

M. Shamah cites R. Akiva Eger on Pesahim 94 to show that some authorities 
held that Hazal, despite the apparent  conclusion in the text, continued 
to disagree with the "Gentile sages."

Several additional sources on this subject can be found in a footnote to 
Prof. Twersky's  essay on R. Yosef ibn Kaspi. I refer from memory, but 
the volume, if I'm not mistaken, was also edited by Prof. Twersky 


From: <z-suldan@...> (Zal Suldan)
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 11:33:12 -0500
Subject: Zmanim Software

And to be complete, yet another one which I had previously missed:

Almanac 3.5
Impact Software
12140 Central Avenue, Suite 133
Chino, CA 91710

$59.95 (includes shipping in the US & Can)
($49.95 if you mention the ad from The Jewish Homemaker)

requires Windows 3.1 or higher

On a related note, The Jewish Homemaker (the magazine of the O-K) reviewed
13 of their favorite Judaica Software in the December issue (M-J's own
Robert Israel's Zman was one of those picked). If anyone would like to see
the review, and it's various ads, please drop me a note and I'll email it
back to you (I have it scanned into my mac as .pict files and can
read/print it using any of various software including jpeg, Canvas,

A freylechen chanukah to all...

Zal Suldan
Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program - Department of Cell Biology and Genetics
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center / Cornell University Medical College
Replies to: <Z-Suldan@...>    or   ZSuldan@Stud.Med.Cornell.edu


End of Volume 17 Issue 1