Volume 18 Number 39
                       Produced: Sun Feb 12  0:29:21 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calendar Program, continued
         [Leah S. Gordon]
         [Harry Weiss]
Israeli Supreme Court
         [Sheldon Korn]
Kashrut Hashgacha
         [Mark Rayman]
Kedushat Sheviit in Chul  (vol. 18 # 32)
         [Yehudah Edelstein]
Selling Land in Israel
         [Danny Skaist]
Shmittah Fruit
         [Michael J Broyde]
         [Shlomo Engelberg]
Use of Mathematics
         [Sylvain Cappell]
Women's motivation, dancing with the Torah
         [Ellen Golden]


From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 1995 00:53:22 -0800
Subject: Calendar Program, continued

My father asked me to post the following regarding the calendar program
I mentioned.  (I think that it is the same thing that he would send
individuals requesting information.)

Leah S. Gordon

From: Ed Reingold <reingold@...>
Leah, please post some version of the info below for me.  Thanks.

The code and papers describing the Jewish calendar (all holidays,
yahrzeits, sh'ela, birkat hahama, etc.) and other calendars are
available in a number of ways, the easiest is on the web, URL

If you don't have convenient access to the web, the papers are

``Calendrical Calculations'' by Nachum Dershowitz and Edward M. Reingold,
Software--Practice and Experience, Volume 20, Number 9 (September, 1990),
pages 899-928.  ``Calendrical Calculations, Part II: Three Historical
Calendars'' by E. M. Reingold,  N. Dershowitz, and S. M. Clamen,
Software--Practice and Experience, Volume 23, Number 4 (April, 1993),
pages 383-404.

Hard copies of these two papers can be obtained by sending email to
<reingold@...> with the SUBJECT "send-paper-cal" (no quotes) and
the message BODY containing your mailing address (snail).

The code is all implemented in GNU Emacs, version 19, a version of which
exists for PCs.


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 95 19:29:28 -0800
Subject: Hashgachot

 The question of a Mashgiach not eating products he supervises has been
raised several times in MJ.  In the US, I think the issues is generally
personal Chumrot.  Many Mashgichim only use Chalav Yisroel, but they
will supervise product with company milk.

In Israel the situation in much different.  The non religious
(frequently anti religious) Government often dictates to the Rabbanut
what they must give Hashgacha.  This is also demonstrated in the article
by The Gevaryahu Family about the involvement of the Supreme Court in
marriage law.

Each Rabbanut is also required to accept the supervision of any other
Rabbanut despite personal differences in standards.  That is the reason
for the Mehadrin supervision.

Unfortunately with the current Government in power things will only get



From: Sheldon Korn <rav@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 1995 11:35:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Israeli Supreme Court

Regarding the note of an up and coming clash between the Supreme court 
of Israel and the Ministries of Interior and the Rabbinical Courts makes 
assumptions that are not factual.  It was mentioned that the members of 
the Supreme Court have no knowledge of Halacha.  Since some rudimenatary 
knowledge of Halacha is necessary for one to be called to the bar is 
needed in Israel, I would conclude the opposite.  Furthermore,  to say 
that the supreme court judges have hardly any halchic books in their 
libraries is an exaggeration without factual foundation, unless the 
author of the statement was in their homes and saw their libraries.  
Also, some members of the Israeli Supreme Court are Shomer Mitsvot.  I 
would assume they have some fundamental knowledge of Halacha.

Mention was made of a Supreme Court judge who married a divorcee and 
that all their children were "halalim."  To be more exact the Supreme 
Court Judge was "Haim Cohen."  In the early sixties he married a 
divorcee by a Reform Rabbi in the US.  As he was quite old at the time 
and beyond the child bearing years he most likely didn't have Halalim 
(imperfect Kohanim for children).  Also, Haim Cohen, is proof that at 
least some Supreme Court Justices know Halacha.  He was a Yerushalmi and 
educated at the Yeshiva Eitz Haim a known Haredi institution.  Somewhere 
along the way he decided to take a different path.  Over this case there 
was an outcry that the judge should be impeached, but it never came to be.

Rabbi Sheldon Korn 


From: <mrayman@...> (Mark Rayman)
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 95 10:19:21 EST
Subject: Re: Kashrut Hashgacha

First, a few definitions (for use in this post).

Minimally Kosher - A hashgacha which relies on many legitimate kulot,
                   and may even rely on minority opinions which the general
                   orthodox community does not rely on.

Mehadrin         - A hashgacha which strives not to rely on kulot, and may even
		   adopt humrot.		    

I see another reason (especially in Israel) why a mashgiach may
not eat from his own hashgacha.

I believe that the Israeli Rabbanut should adopt a minimal kashrut
standard, that would not deter chiloni establishments from requesting
hashgacha.  This means they should rely on many kulot (with regard to
meat from Argentina, trumot, maasrot, shvi'it etc.).  If the Rabbanut
would try to adopt a more "mehadrin" kashrut standard, many
establishments (which cater to chilonim) would choose to drop the
hashgacha, and would be serving their patrons real non-kosher food.

In the center of Jerusalem, almost all the cafe's, restaurants,
etc. have kashrut supervision, and are filled with chilonim.  If the
Rabbanut would adopt stricter standards, I'm afraid that many of these
establishments would drop their hashgacha, and these same chilonim, who
were eating kosher (minimal) today, would be eating "treif" tomorrow`.

The kulot chosen, should be ones that would keep costs down.

This does not mean that the orthodox Jew should rely on this standard.
He/She may demand a higher standard.  It is for this reason that many
Rabbanuts (Rabbanuyot??) have two levels of hashgacha, minimal and

So the mashgiach, may choose not to rely on his own hashgacha.

Moshe (Mark) Rayman


From: <yehudah@...> (Yehudah Edelstein)
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 1995 19:14:51 +0200
Subject: Kedushat Sheviit in Chul  (vol. 18 # 32)

Fruit exported from Israel during the Shmitta year is N O T Treif,
though there is a prohibition to trade (do business with it) and export
it. If exported one may eat it as "Kdushat Shviit", but only if it is
not 'Isur Sfichin' (planted during the Shmitta year B'Isur -
vegetables). There is an Inyan of Mechazke Ovrei Avera (supporting
violators), but there are Rabbis that permit. Heter Mechira is a valid
loophole but not everyone wants to use it, (like selling your
chometz). Preferably buy the produce from a Goy and not directly from a
Jew or Havloo - pay for non shmitta items together with shmitta
items). A very popular source is the handbook put out by 'Degel
Jerusalem', chapter 27 A, B, C, D. Strongly recommended.  Yehudah


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 95 12:04 IST
Subject: Selling Land in Israel

>Mordechai Horowitz
>Israel. Also is there not a prohibition, held by all, of selling land
>to gentiles no matter what.

True except for "no matter what".
The issur is "v'lo t'chaname" [do not give them a place to live/settle.]
[Deut. 7:2]

By "selling" the land to a goy the Jewish settlement is enhanced and the
non-Jewish settlement is not.

By refusing to "sell" the land we are giving the non-Jews a financial
bonanza every 7 years reinforcing their residence and enhancing their

Both those who sell and those who won't sell are machmer in "v'lo



From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 1995 09:35:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Shmittah Fruit

Jan David Meisler <jm8o+@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:

> It seems like a number of people have commented recently that it is
> permitted to eat shmittah fruit in Chu"l, assuming it has already been
> exported.  One of the reasons given was that it might rot (or be eaten
> by a goy), and this is not the way to treat shmittah fruit.  But isn't
> this the procedure we actually follow with some fruit?  We let it rot?
> For instance, in my shul, there was a bin for Etrogim that were from
> shmittah.  If a person didn't make jelly, jam, or use his etrog for some
> other purpose, he could put it in this bin so that it would rot, and
> then be thrown away.

However, it is better to eat it.  If one will not eat it (there is a 
limit to how much esrog jelly a person can eat) then the produce has to 
be set aside, until it is rotten and then disposed of in a nice way.  The 
prefered option is to eat it.

> My second question deals with purchasing shmittah
> produce.  While it might be permitted to eat Shmittah produce after
> export, is it permissable to pay for it?  Doesn't that money then take
> on the status of k'dushas shviis?  What if the person being bought from
> will waste this money or use it inappropriately?

This is generally not a problem in America, as one almost always buys 
produce in a mixtrue (called behavla) or from a Gentile.  Thus, one buys 
an esrog, lulav, hadasim and aravot all together, or one buys Jaffa 
oranges from a non-jewish grocer.  In both cases, it is better to eat the 
fruit than let it rot.

Michael Broyde


From: <shlomo@...> (Shlomo Engelberg)
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 95 15:21:18+020
Subject: Titles 

   Just a short comment on the question of using titles.  I have also
had the experience of calling up one of my Rabbeim and having had him
answer the phone with his first and last name and no title.  The
reason for this, I believe, has nothing to do with how important or
how worthy of a particular title someone is.  One of the foremost
experts on etiquette, Ms. Manners, has written (somewhere in her great
work, _Ms. Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Manners_ :-) that you
do not refer to yourself with a title.  Thus, Rabbeim who answer the
phones by using just their given and family names are simply following
the dictates of good manners.  (Ms. Manners says that one should not
even use Mr./Mrs./Ms. when referring to oneself.)  Of course, when
other people refer to a person with a title the title should be used.
(There is some debate about the use of the title Doctor for someone
who is not a medical doctor [Ibid].  I do not want to pass judgements
on such weighty issues, but the discussion in the reference is worth
reading. :-)  As this was all from memory and my sources are in the
U.S., I hope that people will pardon any small mistakes.
     I hope this helps clarify these important issues. :-) 



From: <cappell@...> (Sylvain Cappell)
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 95 19:37:45 EST
Subject: Use of Mathematics

Recently there have been a spate of submissions making astonishing
claims for the utility of technical sounding mathematics, statistical
codes, and, in particular, topology in producing new insights or
understandings of various Jewish texts. In response, some nontechnically
trained submitters have said that they are unable to follow the
technical points being presented. I would like to reassure them that
advanced mathematical training may not avail for these purposes. Thus,
despite having published about a 100 research papers on topology in the
best mathematics research journals ( including some papers on the torus
knots, which, remarkably, seem to figure in these studies ) over the
last 25 years, I can't understand a word about the claims made on how
topology is being used to explicate texts.

Some nontechnically trained submitters have expressed a tentative hope
that while such novelties may rest on chimeras, they may be of use in
drawing Jews sadly unfamiliar with these texts to become interested in
them.  This seems to me both an overly pragmatic and poorly thought
through strategy; indeed, such approaches to presenting the interest or
value of studying Jewish texts could easily over time come to turn
educated or sensitive people off. In any case, why shouldn't we be
confident that the reasons for becoming interested in Jewsh texts can be
drawn, as always, from their profound and exciting ideas, legal codes,
traditions, history, stories, wisdom and values ? Those are all things
that mathematics, wonderful and beautiful as it is, can make no claims
of providing.

Professor Sylvain Edward Cappell
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University 
251 Mercer Street
New York, N.Y., 10012                  <cappell@...>


From: <egolden@...> (Ellen Golden)
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 95 01:00:05 EST
Subject: Women's motivation, dancing with the Torah

I've been following this discussion carefully, and also think back to
a discussion that occurred some time ago (perhaps as long ago as a
year) about loshen hara.  At that time, it was brought up that people
should not be so quick to judge others, and should try to put the best
interpretation on something they observe.

So, suppose Person A is carrying a Torah scroll on Simchas Torah.
Person B either observes this directly or is informed of it (depending
on location or presence of a mechitsa).  Person B has qualms about
Person A's sincerity, and voices them.  Would not Person B be reminded
politely that it is HaShem and HaShem alone who can look into Person
A's heart and know the motivation?  I feel certain that this would be
the case were Person A to be male.  Would it be if Person A were a
female?  From the discussion I've seen here, I suspect it would NOT.
Now, that constitutes a lack of respect for women.  PERIOD.

- V. Ellen Golden
Not a Learned Person, just the mother of one who is Learning.


End of Volume 18 Issue 39