Volume 18 Number 04
                       Produced: Mon Jan 23  0:08:13 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kosher rennet?
         [Chana Ackerman]
Looking for a Ramban
         [Dave Curwin]
Moshe as Stenographer
         [Josh Backon]
Need for Tallit
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Rav Moshe Feinstein's birthday
         [ed cohen]
Rav Moshe's Birthday (Correction)
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Responsa Beit Avi and presenting opinion as normative halacha
         [Michael J Broyde]
The Heter
         [Elana L Scherzer]
Torah Versions and Hebrew letters
         [Sam Lieblich]
Tsedoke and Schnorrers
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Tzedakah and "Schnorring
         [Cheryl Hall]


From: Chana Ackerman <meru1@...>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 19:25:20 -0800
Subject: Kosher rennet?

I have a question that has troubled me for some time which I hope some of
the M-J people can give me some input on.  I should preface this by saying
that I have not always been observant, and am still learning, so this may
seem elementary to many of you.  Also, at the moment, I am somewhat
isolated, and not part of an orthodox community so don't have an LOR I can
discuss this with.  I plan to rectify that this spring by moving back east.
Lastly, I understand that, as Avi says "this list is not a halakhic
authority".  I promise not to regard it as such.  Thanks in advance for any
comments or references that will help me understand this issue.

 From what I read in the Art Scroll guide to Kashruth there seems to be
such a thing as Kosher rennet (this is derived from the stomach of a
nursing calf and is used in a heating process to coagulate most
cheeses).  What I want to know is how we can use such a product since
the Torah root of all our meat/milk rules is based on the prohibition on
"seething a calf in the milk of its mother"?  The use of stomach of
nursing calf in a milk product seems to me to be the most flagrant
possible violation of that direct Torah prohibition.

I was told by someone that rennet is so far chemically from the actual
stomach of a calf that the rule doesn't hold, but if that's the case,
why do we require Kosher rennet?  It seems to me that if it's so far
from the actual calf stomach that it isn't really calf stomach, or even
meat, it's just another neutral food additive, like agar, or carob bean
gum, why does it require a Hechsher (Leaving Cholov Isroel out of it for
the moment)?

(I am aware that there is such a thing as vegetable rennet, but from
what I read, if it doesn't say vegetable rennet on the label, the
product is derived from the lining of the stomach of a nursing calf.
That is what the USDA uses as a definition of rennet.)

Thanks in advance for any info.

Chana E. Ackerman    <meru1@...>


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 12:57:39 EDT
Subject: Looking for a Ramban

I am looking for a Ramban on the Tora that is quoted in Shalom
Rosenberg's _Good and Evil in Jewish Thought_ (pg 90). The book quotes
it as being on Shmot 20:7, but that does not appear to be correct. It
apparently says that "there is no creature which is not tempted by God."
Later, on page 97, he says the Ramban quotes Yirmiyahu 30:7. Any ideas?

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Fri,  20 Jan 95 9:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Moshe as Stenographer

I recall reading an article in TRADITION magazine about 22 years ago that
quoted the CHAZON ISH who said that if today, an archaeologist found the
original sefer torah written by Moshe Rabbenu, this would be totally
irrelevant to us and that we would NOT use it as mesorah. We would only
use the mesorah handed down to us. If anyone could find this article one
could find the actual source  of the Chazon Ish's comment.



From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 10:16:41 +0500
Subject: Re: Need for Tallit

  From: <RYehoshua@...> (Rabbi Joshua Berkowitz)

  If a single man (in a community where single men do not don a tallit)
  receives an *aliya* on Monday or Thursday, does he need to put on a tallit,
  if he is wearing his tephillin?  I am curious to see how other shuls are
  *noheg* and if anyone has any sources supporting any postion. 

Our shul (Cong. Ohab Zedek in NYC) is heavily single.
The daily morning minyanim (there are three), as well as Shabbat, 
have 70-80% singles (my guesstimate) in the men's section.
Tallitot are required for aliyot at all times. 


From: ed cohen <ELCSG@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 00:20:10 EST
Subject: Rav Moshe Feinstein's birthday

To answer Zivotofsky's question in what type of year (leap year or not,
v17,#75) Rav Moshe Feinstein's birthday was (born 5655, v17,#75), one
needs to divide the year, in this case 5655, by 19 to obtain 297 +
remainder of 12. Thus this is year 12 of cycle (Machzor) 298. The leap
years are 3,6,8,11,14,17,19. Hence, this is not a leap year. The same
algorithm works for any year. According to, e.g., Arthur Spier, The
Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, Feldheim, 1986, p.7, the birthdate
anniversary is held in Adar II for birthdate Adar in a ordinary year. I
realize posters have already answered this question; here is a new


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 95 10:10:56 +0200
Subject: Rav Moshe's Birthday (Correction)

I had tried to be "clever" and wrote in m-j Vol 18.3:

:Joseph Steinberg correctly remarked on:
:>:I spoke to Reb Dovid Feinstein and in 1885 there was only one adar.
:>That is very nice -- but Rav Moshe was not born in 1885!
:And equally "nice" is that in 1885 (5645) there were *two* adars.

I should have remembered the advice given in Mishlei (Proverbs) 17,28!
In a private letter to me,  Moishe Kimelman pointed out correctly that
5645 was *not* a leap year and thus indeed had only ONE adar.

 Michael Shimshoni


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 09:32:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Responsa Beit Avi and presenting opinion as normative halacha

One of the writers inquired who wrote Responsa Beit Avi.  it was written 
by Rabbi Yitzchak Issaac Leibes, who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and 
is the av beit din of the Iggud harabonim of America.
The same writer questioned one of my criticisms of a posting which stated 
that there was a prohibition to eat produce of Israel that is exported 
when it is a product of a shmittah year.  While I recognize that 
mail.jewish is an open forum, I feel a distinction should be drawn 
between postings that represent one opinion as the normative one, when in 
fact it might not be, and postings that represent as a halachic opinion 
something that is not.  While I am not really in favor of even the 
former, I understand that none of us can continiously check to make sure 
that what we think is normative really is, and I can live with a forum 
where people post halachic mandates that are really disputed.  However, 
the second type of mistake -- posting a halachic rule that clearly is not 
a halachic rule -- should be avoided in a significant way.  In this case, 
the initial writer stated that there was a prohibition to eat Israeli 
produce exported to America during shemitta, unless one relied on the 
heter mechira.  I believe that posting is without any foundation in 
halacha, and is simply wrong -- that is not?[C the same as merely not 
	Posters should be discouraged from posting statements of halacha 
that are simply without any foundation, least the readers believe that 
these wrong posting have some foundation.  I do not want to be the 
"heavy" who supresses debate; it is precisely because debate requires two 
tenable position that untenable positions should be avoided.  This is 
even more so true in the area of Jewish law, where this can cause others 
to err.


From: <scherz@...> (Elana L Scherzer)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 12:11:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Heter

Hi There!
	I'm a law student at the University of Pennsylvania and I'm doing 
a paper on the origins and nature of the heter.  Does anyone out there 
have any information on how the concept of the heter began?  Does it have 
to be a built-in exception to the rule which it's abrogating in a 
particular instance, or do the Rabbis have the power to determine that 
any rule may not apply in a particular case?  Perhaps a good start would 
be information on the conservative heter to drive to shul on shabbos and 
why the orthodox don't accept it.  If you have any info. on this, you 
can send it to me at <scherz@...>

	Thanks in advance for any help.  BTW, my paper's due pretty soon, 
so help!  :-)))

:-)  Elana Scherzer  :-)


From: Sam Lieblich <samli@...>
Subject: Torah Versions and Hebrew letters

Regarding the recent discussions on the codes and versions of the Torah.

I am a little confused regarding the versions of the Torah, my
understanding and please correct me if I am wrong, is that the Torah
scroll from which we read is the same the world over, if not, please can
someone explain the differences.

Also, is it the same as the versions of the Torah as found in the dead
sea scrolls? with the same letters (shapes, crowns, etc.)

Also, the Hebrew letters of the Torah as we know them today, are they
exactly the same as per the Torah that was written by Moshe Rebbainu? If
not, what are the differences? why the changes, and who 'authorised' the

Thank you


From: Meylekh Viswanath <PVISWANA@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 12:52:32 EST5EDT
Subject: Re: Tsedoke and Schnorrers

Avi Teitz points out that the mitsve of tsedoke does not depend on how 
the recipient of tsedoke looks or smells, and in fact the recipient is 
providing the giver with an opportunity to acquire skhar-mitsve.  

I think that for most people the question is not simply what the
potential recipient looks like, etc, but whether the request is a
legitimate one; i.e.  are you really giving tsedoke or is this a con
job?  Secondly, while giving tsedoke to an 'oni' (poor person) may be a
mitsve, what about giving it to a shaliakh who will then give it to an
oni.  If I am giving it to a shaliakh, can I not choose my shaliakh with
the objective of maximizing the amount that reaches the oni?

Based on my own answers to these questions, I do not necessarily give to
everybody that asks for tsedoke.  If it is demonstrated to me that my
approach is wrong (i.e. that one should not take into account the
efficiency of transmission of the tsedoke, or the likelihood of fraud),
then I suppose I will have to rethink my approach.

Meylekh Viswanath


From: <CHERYLHALL@...> (Cheryl Hall)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 02:09:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Tzedakah and "Schnorring

>From: <TEITZ.AVRAHAM@...> (Avi Teitz)
>should keep in mind that the mitzvah of tzedakah is not dependent upon
>what the requester looked like, smelled like, his/her political
>philosophy, etc.  We should be makir tov that we are in the position to
>help a yid, and that it is far better to be in the position to give than
>to have to ask.

>Furthermore, the tzedakah paradigm as currently formulated is backwards,
>in that we feel as though we, the well off, are giving to the poor.

I am always reluctant to giving without information.  Is it a mitzvah to
give your limited tzedakah funds to a swindler and con man? And is it only
limited to the "yiden"? A few of years ago one of my accounts was in an area
that had a panhandler density of 1 every 10 linear feet. Everyday twice a
day for 14 months I traversed a quarter mile walk between the office and
parking structure. I doubt any were "yiden" and probably most weren't
even swindlers, but is handing out cash on the street and being accousted
numerous times daily to be the rule. Is this effective for anyone?

Cheryl Hall
Long Beach CA USA


End of Volume 18 Issue 4