Volume 18 Number 61
                       Produced: Sun Feb 26 15:57:38 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cantillation of the Torah and Haftarah
         [Howard Druce]
Flying over water
         [Eric Safern]
Gemara Back
         [Micha Berger]
Jewish Court after Failing in the Secular Court
         [Gilad Gevaryahu]
Jewish Court vs. Secular Court
Kashrut in Israel
         [Harry Weiss]
Meat and Milk Chemistry
         [J. Bailey]
Minimally Kosher (2)
         [David Charlap, Warren Burstein]
Mizrach and great circle routes
         [Mike Gerver]
Population in Israel
         [Moishe Friederwitzer]
Wearing Gloves to Avoid Washing
         [Anya Finegold]


From: Howard Druce <howard.druce@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 14:05:00 +0100 (MET)
Subject: Cantillation of the Torah and Haftarah

I have been intrigued by this subject, but have not found the answers to
these questions in any commonly available source. When did the trope
originate, and who was involved in its' production? Is this known?
Although the sequence of notes in a sentence is usually regular, why do
certain notes occur where they do? For example, is there any special
significance or link to the text when a "pozeir" or "alzo geresh"
appears? Why do certain notes appear so rarely e.g. "karnei phoro",
"shalsheles." Do these notes indicate any special significance?  Since
the ashkenaki trope is different in the U.S., Israel, and England, can
anything be deduced from this about its' origin?  I would appreciate any
answers or referral to textbooks/sources. Thank you.

Howard Druce.


From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 95 12:25:56 EST
Subject: Re: Flying over water

Joshua W Burton writes in V 18 #14:

>I would assume that R' Eliezer Waldenberg checked the statistics before
>ruling, and therefore knew how extremely safe _all_ commercial aviation,
>including `smaller, older propeller planes', is.  
>It seems clear to me that the danger of flying long distances, especially
>over water---even though infinitesimal---has some special status, perhaps
>connected with the fact that it seems so miraculous we can do it at all.

R' Waldenberg said nothing about flying over water.  Are you suggesting
that he knew the statistics, but ruled we should say ha-Gomel anyway,
since it is subjective - and most people *think* it is dangerous to fly
from NY to Israel (or NY-Denver)??

What about those who know the statistics??  Should they make ha-Gomel
after an eight hour car trip?

		Eric Safern


From: Micha Berger <berger@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 95 09:33:54 -0500
Subject: Gemara Back

Along the lines of eye problems caused by trying to read while

In my teen years I needed a brace to correct kyphosis - a curving
forward of the spine.

The orthopedist I used, a Park Ave. doctor by the name of Dr. Graham
(although you can't judge Jewishness by name) diagnosed me with "Gemara
Back". Claims it's common amoung Yeshiva guys who hunch over the table.

But, back to the subject of shuckling... R. Aryeh Kaplan, zt"l, cautions
against more than a minimal rhythmic swaying. He feels shuckling is not
condusive to kavanah. (Which, by the way, he defines as "meditation",
yeilding a very different tephillah experience than the norm.)

Micha Berger                     Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3046 days!
<berger@...>  212 224-4937             (16-Oct-86 - 21-Feb-95)
<aishdas@...>  201 916-0287
<a href=http://www.iia.org/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <gevaryah@...> (Gilad Gevaryahu)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 13:24:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Jewish Court after Failing in the Secular Court

Jay F. Shachter writes (MJ18#52):
> I assume that we are all agreed on the basic premise: a Jew may not, on
> pain of "herem" (total exclusion from the Jewish community), initiate a
> cause of action against another Jew in a Gentile court...."

Lets define the term "Gentile court": I assume that the writer means a
court which is not composed of dayanim, and that the law used in it, is
not the Torah law. If indeed that is the definition of the writer, then
the entire secular-civil judicial system of Israel will be considered
"Gentile court". Note that some of the judges in Israel are Moslem and

I believe that there is no consensus in halacha to the far reaching
statement above. There were periods in history that the Jewish people
were strongly encouraged to use only Jewish courts, and in some periods
herem was used against people who violated this rule, but throughout
history the secular courts were used to some degree or another, not in
violation of halacha but in addition to Jewish courts.

An excellent discussion on this topic appears in Menachem Elon,
Ha'Mishpat Ha'Ivri.(a professor of Jewish Law at the Hebrew University,
a member of the Israeli Supreme Court (Ret.), and an orthodox rabbi). In
the 1978 edition it is in Vol. I, pp.  13-17 and pp. 120- 128. All the
relevant citations are brought there.

Sometimes the issue of gentile court comes up as it relates to the
Israeli judicial system, where you have Jewish [and non Jewish] judges
who adjudicate not according to the halacha. As I have shown before
(pp. 13-17) it is strange that people bring this argument, from the
halachic perspective and from historical perspective. Everything which
relates to the status of the [secular] courts with Jewish judges, who
adjudicate not according to the halacha, is in the area of Siman 8 in
Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat, which have nothing to do with the
prohibition of going to a gentile court. The subject of the prohibition
of going to a gentile court is discussed - with its humrot, isurim and
heterim - in Siman 26 of the Shulchan Aruch. There, the emphasis is on
the danger to the Jewish autonomy by going to a gentile court...which
does not exist in the State of Israel.  [most of this paragraph is a
direct translation from Elon, with some paraphrasing for brevity].

Note that in Talmudic time there was the court of the exilarch, which
under the above definition will be probably labeled a gentile court,
since he ruled not only by halacha. In fact, it is state somewhere (I
don't remember the exact citation) that the Jewish court sometimes
turned criminal Jews to this "secular" court if they could not sentence
him to severe enough punishment, because of the restrictive rules of
evidence in Jewish law, while the exilarch could sentence him to a
severe punishment as he did not have to abide by the Jewish rules of
evidence. For instant, a confessed murderer could not be convicted in
Jewish court without two witness, who pre-warned him, and the confession
was disregarded.

Therefore, Jews are allowed in certain instances to use a gentile court,
and have done so throughout history.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Chaim.Stern <PYPCHS%<EZMAIL@...>
Date: Wed 22 Feb 1995 12:32 ET
Subject: Jewish Court vs. Secular Court

>From: <jay@...> (Jay F Shachter)

>I assume that we are all agreed on the basic premise: a Jew may not, on
>pain of "herem" (total exclusion from the Jewish community), initiate a
>cause of action against another Jew in a Gentile court, except,
>possibly, to obtain whatever relief has already been granted "ex parte"
>in a properly convened Jewish court.  If there is any disagreement on
>this basic premise, then of course I welcome hearing it.

What if two frum Jews have a car crash - can they do it the normal way
i.e. exchange insurance policy numbers and collect, or do they have
to go through a Beis Din (Jewish court) ? What if the insurance
company decides they're both partly at fault but halacha says only
one is ? What if a person's insurance rates go up as a result of the
other person's claim - is the other responsible ?

Chaim Stern


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 95 23:37:25 -0800
Subject: Kashrut in Israel

Elhanan Adler mentions various items regarding the political situation
of Rabbinate in Israel in relation to the activist stand of the court.
Not having adequate information to discuss specific items of who is
right, the Rabbis or the Court I will not discuss them further.  The
fact remains that there is an issue.

I fully agree with Mr. Adler that the situation in Israel is far
superior than any where else since most places are at least minimally
kosher. In most cases items and location certified by the Rabbinate is
more than minimally kosher and would be acceptable to most of us.

As he says Orthodox tourist (and (my addition) Orthodox purchases or
Israeli products) should be aware of this to enable an informed
decision.  I posted this in Mail Jewish with which is aimed at a
primarily Orthodox readership.  I would not post this in a non Orthodox



From: J. Bailey <jbailey@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 13:02:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Meat and Milk Chemistry

E. Teitz asks why meat and fish can mix in your stomach (as opposed to a
manditory waiting period) if they are dangerous. I have always thought
that the fear is that you'll think fish is actually meat and swallow
bones because you're not being careful. Of course the liquid versions do
not have this risk, but I thought it had simply been incorporated into
the halachic rubric. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

J Bailey


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 95 12:09:32 EST
Subject: Minimally Kosher

Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...> writes:
>I'm just suggesting raising that standard to what the rabbanite today
>calls "mehadrin" (which really means that the one certifying it would
>eat it himself);

While this sounds like a great idea, it gets rather complicated when
you consider that not all groups would eat from the same "standard".

For instance, Lubavitch chassidim will not accept shechita that the
rest of the Orthodox world would accept.  They have their own standard
(regarding the particulars about the knives used).

If you would enforce "mehadrin" as the standard, than restaurants
supervised by a Lubavitch chassid wouldn't be considered kosher until
the meat was slaughtered according to Lubavitch standards.  Which
means that those stores would be held to a different standard from the
ones where the mashgiach is not Lubavitch.

In other words, you'll still have to know a bit about who is
supervising each place, etc.

>I'm not suggesting attempting to use every stringency (such as only
>X's shehittah [ritual slaughter]).

But if you want to require every restaurant to be at the level that
the mashgiach would eat there, and the mashgiach hold by one of these
stringencies, then you end up requiring them for the stores he

From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 1995 21:10:05 GMT
Subject: Re: Minimally Kosher

I wrote:

    All that is needed is to have no food brought into the hall while the
    immodest display is going on (what's in there can stay, we don't have
    to suspect that the guests brought in treif food in their pockets).

Lon Eisenberg replies

    We don't?  Then why do we have to have a mashgiah in the first place?
    Those who are publically violating the Torah SHOULD be suspected of
    bringing treif food in their pockets.

If the Rabbanut felt the same way, it would seem that they could have
offered a much better argument than that the mashgiach would have
needed to absent himself from the room.  They could have argued that
no level of supervision could possibly protect against a roomfull of
people suspected of bringing treif food in their pockets.

    I think that giving kashruth certification in such a case is
    dangerous.  It seems to me that that would imply that the rabbanite is
    condoning such behavior.

Has the Rabbanut (or any other individual or group that gives hashgachot)
made such a claim?

Where is the line drawn?  Mixed dancing?  Women singing?  Women who
are not dressed to halachic standards of modesty?  Does the mashgiach
ensure that what one's neighbor at the table says isn't Lashon Hara?
That the TV in the hotel lobby won't be tuned to an inapproprate program?
That the TV in one's hotel room only shows programs that it is permitted to

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ nysernet.org


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 2:40:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mizrach and great circle routes

    Amos Wittenberg asks in v17n93 why we do not customarily daven
facing Jerusalem on a great circle route, which would be nearly north
from the West Coast of the North America. Twenty years ago I asked this
question of R. Chaim Citron, who at that time was at the Chabad House in
Berkeley. He told me that he thought mizrach would be defined not by a
great circle route, which is the shortest distance, but rather by the
direction that people would normally travel to get to Jerusalem. In
Berkeley, even though the great circle route to Jerusalem is 17 degrees
east of north, people would not usually take non-stop flights travelling
on the great circle route, but would go first to the East Coast, so
would start off travelling more east than north. There must be some
minimum scale length on which this principle is applied, however,
otherwise you would always daven facing the door of the room you are in,
or at least facing the local airport. I don't know if this has ever been
formulated precisely.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <MFRIEDERWITZ@...> (Moishe Friederwitzer)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 14:19:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Population in Israel

I am interested in knowing how many men, over the age of 20, there were
in Israel in the years 1965-1968? Any help would be appreciated. 
Moishe Friederwitzer


From: <AE_FINE@...> (Anya Finegold)
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 16:22:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Wearing Gloves to Avoid Washing

Someone posted a few days ago about Rabbi Tendler wearing plastic gloves
on a plane to avoid washing in the washroom area.  What about in school?
Is it preferable for me to eat with plastic gloves in school to avoid
having to wash in the washroom area or is this not a good long term
solution?  Right now I wash in the washroom, make the beracha in a
connecting room and then make Hamotzi outside.

Have a Good Shabbos.
Anya Finegold


End of Volume 18 Issue 61