Volume 18 Number 17
                       Produced: Sat Jan 28 22:28:44 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzva in the Mikveh
         [Joshua W. Burton]
Burning bush rocks
         [Erwin Katz]
Conservative Mikva Use (v18n16)
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Did Purim Occur in a Leap Year?
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Fleishig Meal While Traveling
         [Esther R Posen]
Magnets on Shabbat (2)
         [Jeremy Nussbaum, Joshua W. Burton]
Purim on AdarI
         [Steven Friedell]
         [Yechiel Pisem]
         [Bob Werman]
         [Jeff Korbman]


From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 17:31:55 -0500
Subject: Bat Mitzva in the Mikveh

On general grounds of tzniut [modesty], I feel that this is a topic where
we males, with the possible exception of PWVBSAKW [Poseks With Very Broad
Shoulders And Knowledgeable Wives], ought to butt out.  Thus my gut agreement
with many posters that a Mikva Party is a horribly embarrassing idea counts
for very little.

But when Batya Medad wrote:

> 2)  In the almost 25 since I have been married, I haved used mikva'ot
> in three countries on three continents and I've rarely seen one with
> enough room for anyhting remotely resembling a "party".

I was suddenly reminded of a long article that appeared three or four
years ago in the Sunday NY Times Magazine.  An American Jewish woman,
married to an Algerian Jewish man, was in southern France for the purpose
of attending her sister-in-law's wedding.  A highlight for her, which she
described in very positive terms, was...a Mikva Party for the bride.  As
I recall, the whole female wedding contingent spent hours decorating what
sounded like a huge women's bathhouse, with an extraordinarily large
mikva adjoining it.  Women of all ages from the bride's older sister to
great aunts then spent more than two hours washing and primping and scrubbing
themselves and the bride, singing and laughing the while, preparatory to
the bride's first immersion.  The balanit was apparently a close family
friend, and more or less hosted the celebration.

Obviously, I have no first-hand knowledge about any of this, and no
North African friends I would dare to ask about this sort of thing.  But
the author described it as a wonderfully sanctifying (and empowering!)
Jewish experience.  Did anyone happen to clip the article, or has anyone
supporting details about this practice in any of our communities?

If there is ever another war in Europe, +-------------------------------------+
it will come out of some damned silly   |  Joshua W. Burton    (401)435-6370  |
thing in the Balkans.                   |         <burton@...>        |
    -- Otto, Prinz von Bismarck (1897)  +-------------------------------------+


From: ERWIN_KATZ_at_~<7BK-ILN-CHICAGO@...> (Erwin Katz)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 10:03:40 CST
Subject: Burning bush rocks

          I don't have a citation for the existence of the "striated"
          rocks but I do have one of the rocks. The veining is similar
          to the configuration of a bush, and no, I will not break


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 13:42:33 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Conservative Mikva Use (v18n16)

The former Rosh Yeshiva of Sha'alvim, who was a student of the great posek
Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, shlita, was approached by a nonobservant couple
in the nearby Kibbutz, Mishmar Ayalon, who asked the Rosh Yeshiva to teach
them all the Torah-level (d'orysa) laws of Family Purity - only, as those they
were willing to keep, not, however, the Rabbinic ones.

The Rosh Yeshiva asked Reb Shlomo Zalman if he could acquiese to this request.
Reb Shlomo Zalman absolutely forbade it. He said that althought there are
different parameters in d'orysa and Rabbinic (d'rabbanan) law, we only have
for us ONE Torah (we're not addressing the irrelevant [to this discussion]
dichotomy between Written and Oral Law), and we are enjoined by the Torah
itself to give equal credence and heed to d'orysa and d'rabbanan. It is a
serious breach in that rule to teach Torah falsely, as if there is a

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 1995 22:52:28 +1100
Subject: Did Purim Occur in a Leap Year?

In mj V18 #10, Chaim Schild wrote:

> Rav Feinstein z"l aside (whether he was born in a leap year or not),
> did the miracle of Purim occur in a leap year !?

As there is a dispute as to whether Purim in a leap year should be 
celebrated in Adar 1 or Adar 2 (see Gemara Megillah 6a), one would have to 
assume that Purim did not occur in a leap year.  Otherwise Purim would be 
celebrated in whichever Adar it occured.


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 12:52:07 -0500
Subject: Fleishig Meal While Traveling

In response to Mike Gerver, I did not think to ask before the trip about 
eating meat while traveling.



From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 12:57:54 EST
Subject: Re: Magnets on Shabbat

> >From: <Robert_Rubinoff@...>
> > >From: Orin D. Golubtchik <ogolubtc@...>
> > Does anybody know if there is any halachic prohibition against playing
> > with/using magnets on Shabbat (eg: magnets on a refrigirator).
> > Is there an issue of muktzeh ?  or boneh (are you opening/closing a circuit
> > of some kind?)
> There are no circuits involved in magnetic attraction.  There is an
> attractive force between the magnet and every other piece of metal (of
> the sort that's subject to magnetic attraction) in the universe.
> Putting the magnet on (or close to) the refrigerator simply increases
> the force of the magnetic attraction to the point where it's stronger
> than gravity, so the magnet doesn't fall down.  In physical terms, the
> magnetic force is just like gravity (except that the Earth is so large
> that we never move far enough to detect a noticeable change in the
> strength of the gravitational force.

There is a difference between gravity and the magnet.  Gravity is a
universal force, which at least in the classical world does not depend
on the nature of the 2 materials.  Classically, there are no intrinsic
side effects of the motion induced by gravity.

On the other hand, magnetic attraction between a magnet and a
magnetizable material comes from the lining up of the normally random
magnetic dipoles in the magnetizable material caused by the magnet.
There is a much smaller attraction (if any) before the magnet is close
enough to cause the lining up of the otherwise random magnetic dipoles.
In addition, as the motion occurs, there are induced electrical currents
caused by the change in magnetic flux density through the material.
Further equations and diagrams can be supplied on request.  (I knew
6.013 and 6.014 would come in handy some day :-)

There is almost always a current caused by moving a magnet near a
conducting material.  There are even induction stovetops which have
significant currents induced in metal cookware by a varying magnetic
field.  These currents heat the metal cookware.  This is simply moving
a magnet near a conductor, but moving a bigger one faster.  The
induction stovetop is forbidden most likely because of cooking.  I
don't know if there is any reason to forbid it if the temperature does
not go above "yad soledet," (however that is measured).  I mean here
e.g. switching pots, not turning it on and off, which may have other

IMHO, it is difficult to try to apply macroscopic halachic principles
to the microscopic world, and I won't even guess how one would try to.
There are currents produced when putting silverware and flatware into
water with any amount of salts, and other "microscopic"
transformations of various energy forms.  Making noise near many
microphones and even speakers induces electrical currents.  Even
standing under hi voltage wires induces currents in all the conductors
(including one's body); is it even an option to consider forbidding
being near varying magnetic fields on shabat because of induced
currents?  I remember going through a phase where I was wondering
about a whole host of microscopic phenomena and Shabat, and somehow
concluding that there was not an issue if the phenomenon occurred only
on the microscopic level.

Any opinions or source material for microscopic vs. macroscopic phenomena
and halacha?

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)

From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 95 19:01:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Magnets on Shabbat

Robert Rubinoff writes that:

> There are no circuits involved in magnetic attraction.  There is an
> attractive force between the magnet and every other piece of metal (of
> the sort that's subject to magnetic attraction) in the universe.
> Putting the magnet on (or close to) the refrigerator simply increases
> the force of the magnetic attraction to the point where it's stronger
> than gravity, so the magnet doesn't fall down.  In physical terms, the
> magnetic force is just like gravity....

Perhaps you're thinking of ELECTRIC forces.  Magnetism is a bit more
subtle---in particular, a magnetic field exerts NO force on stationary
charges, and NEVER does any work.  You can picture a magnet as a lot
of individual currents (actually, electron orbitals) all lined up more
or less parallel to each other, so that there is effectively a single
macroscopic eddy current circulating around the equator.  This current
is what creates the magnetic field.  Now the refrigerator is made up
of individual currents as well, but they are randomly oriented.  When
you bring the magnet close to the fridge, it lines up enough of these
currents to turn the refrigerator into a weak magnet as well...and the
two magnets are always lined up the same way, so there is an attractive
force between them.  (This force is perpendicular to the motion of the
currents themselves, so it does no work.  What actually hold the
magnet up are the ELECTRIC forces between the atoms, which keep them in
their fixed lattice in reaction to the magnetic forces, but that's a
rather technical detail.)  In short, moving a magnet close to a piece
of metal turns randomly oriented microscopic "circuits" into a more
organized macroscopic "circuit", or eddy current, and it is this circuit
which is then attracted to the magnet.

I doubt that any of this is of halakhic concern, but CYLOPhDR!

`I always wanted to be somebody, |=============================================
but now I see I should have been | (Joshua W) <burton@...> 401/435-6370
more specific.'  -- Lily Tomlin  |=============================================


From: Steven Friedell <friedell@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 14:52:43 EST
Subject: Purim on AdarI

The question has been raised about whether the original Purim fell on Adar I
or Adar II.  Am I missing something or isn't the Megillah unambiguous that it
fell on Adar I.  Ch. 3:13 says that the order was given to destroy the Jews
on the 13th day of the *12th* month, the month of Adar.  Similarly in ch. 9:1
we are told that the Jews defended themselves on that day--on the *12th*
month.  Now if this had been Adar II, it would have been the *13th* month.


From: Yechiel Pisem <ypisem@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 15:51:36 -0500 (est)
Subject: Tallis

Not as though this makes much of a difference, but: I wear a Tallis, as 
do all unmarried men in my immediate family.  I am not Sephardic or from
German extraction.  My father says there is a tradition in our family (of 
Chassidic background) to wear a Tallis because that was the original 
Minhag in Poland and the rest of that area.  (The proof to this is that 
communities from other areas of the world, for the most part, do have the 
custom of wearing a Tallis.)

Kol Tuv,
Yechiel Pisem


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Sat,  28 Jan 95 19:02 +0200

There is one shnorrer who is my nemesis and has clearly been sent to
test me.  I fail this test over and over again.

This shnorrer refuses to give me change when I ask for it.  This
shnorrer begs in the most demeaning way, to him and to me, no holds
This shnorrer is to be found purchasing clothes in the most expensive
men's shops in Jerusalem.

I can no longer find myself able to give him anything.
I feel guilty about it; he does not seem to [admittedly my guess].  He
will never skip me.

I am being doomed to the other place, has ve shalom, by this man.  I am
being tested again and again, and I fail the test.

__Bob Werman


From: <JEKORBMAN@...> (Jeff Korbman)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 12:58:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Volunteering

For those who have professional skills that they would like volunteer,
there are often programs through local UJA-Federations in which they can
do so.  For instance, in New York the Federation runs MAP (Managment
Assistance Program) where they match-up "consultants" (i.e. volunteers)
with Jewish agencies who really need the professional expertise.
 The number in NY is (212) 980-8000. When you call, ask for MAP and do 
that gimilut hasadim thing.  


End of Volume 18 Issue 17