Volume 18 Number 83
                       Produced: Sun Mar 12 10:21:33 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calf found in shechted cow
         [Mike Gerver]
Cookies 'N' Mint
         [A.M. Goldstein]
Counting Groups of People
         [Israel Botnick]
Fetal Sex Determination
         [Norman Tuttle]
         [Marc Meisler]
Parakeet Food for Pesach?
         [Barry Siegel]
         [Bob Werman]
Sources from Eretz Chemda
         [Dave Curwin]
Stripes on the Tallis
         [Mike Paneth]
Wearing Gloves to Avoid Wash
         [Steve Albert]


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 1:50:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Calf found in shechted cow

Anya Finegold asks (in v18n64) whether a fetal calf found alive in a
shechted cow must at least be killed before being eaten, even if it
doesn't have to be shechted, since "otherwise this would cause a problem
of Ever Min Hachai".

I'm not sure that technically it would cause a problem of Ever Min
Hachai for Jews, although I assume it would for Bnei Noach. At the same
shiur where the fetal calf was mentioned, I learned that for Jews an
animal can technically be eaten as soon as it is shechted, even it is
still kicking, and it is not considered Ever Min Hachai, although for
Bnei Noach it is considered Ever Min Hachai until the animal is really
dead. Again, I don't know the sources. In practice, I think there would
be other reasons why the calf could not be eaten while it was still
alive. For one thing, it would have to soaked and salted, or
broiled. Also, there might be a problem of tsar ba'al nefesh [causing
unneccesary pain to an animal], not to mention maris ayin!

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: A.M. Goldstein <MZIESOL@...>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 95 09:19:00 IST
Subject: Cookies 'N' Mint

Is Hershey's relatively new chocolate product, called Cookies 'N' Mint,
kosher?  Some Hershey products have a kashrut label and some do not.
This one does not.  It is made in Hershey, PA, and the word is that
all Hershey products made there are kosher.  Does that general
statement apply to products beyond Kisses and Hugs?  The package
lists a toll-free number, which answers from 9am-4pm: 1-800-468-
1714.  I'd appreciate someone's finding out.


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 95 10:48:39 EST
Subject: Counting Groups of People

Does anyone know the source for the custom of counting a group of people
using the words of a posuk (such as "hoshia es amecha...") rather than 
counting directly with numbers. I'm not asking why it is prohibited to
count directly, but rather, how is it that counting with words of a posuk
removes the problem of ayin hara (evil eye) which is associated with
counting a group of people. 

Israel Botnick


From: <ntuttle@...> (Norman Tuttle)
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 95 19:09:39 -0500
Subject: Fetal Sex Determination

I am citing the following as an example of how science & Torah in a true
sense are not in opposition to each other, and sometimes it is the
methodology of science which needs to further undergo its processes in
order to reach the level of understanding which Torah has already
     It is thus application of the dictum "Know what to answer the Apikorus".
     The following has been shared at Sabbath tables (and appreciated):
Source, University of Chicago Magazine Feb. 1995 (pp. 15-16, Investigations:
"The Y of Boys")
 It has been discovered that a localized part of the Y chromosone turns
on a "switch" which triggers the maleness processes after conception
(all babies really start with a female process), and a single point
mutation in this part of the chromosome might sabotage the application
of this "switch", effectively making the XY-chromosome individual into a
healthy baby girl.  This switch is the protein SRY which bends the DNA
chromosome to produce both testosterone, and MIS, a substance which
causes the early female organs to degenerate in a male.
     Now, how does this encourage faith?
 Before this determination, it was difficult to picture a scenario in
which a sex change is possible after conception.  If sex determination
occurs based on genetics alone, it would be impossible to change the sex
of a child by prayer, especially since genetical composition of a child
is determined before conception.  And yet a Midrash in Breishit (cited
by Rashi) claims that just that was done.
     On Genesis 30:21--"And called her name Dinah"--because Leah was
"Dana Din BeAtzma" (made an important decision about the child within
her), and prayed that her child be made female in order to allow her
sister Rachel an even piece of the 12-son pie.  Now if this would be
genetically controlled, how could this prayer work?--It must be that
this was modifiable after conception.  As a matter of fact, if sex were
only controlled genetically, it could be said that Leah's prayer would
be an example of Tefilat Shav, prayers which attempt to change something
ex post facto, something probably not permissible.
     Therefore, we can see the confusion which can ensue from the state
of science before the above determination of existence of the "sex
switch" (as cited in the U. of Chicago) magazine in relation to the
above Midrash.  I believe that if we place faith before science when it
comes to Torah belief, we will have a much safer playing field in both
     --This is coming from one who began his undergraduate career
majoring in Physics, and has a present BS in Mathematics (working
towards MS in Comp Sci).

Note: For those who object to this explanation on the basis that
mutations only occur during genetic recombinations, or only take effect
on the next generation as a result of mutations to the sexual organs,
the basic mechanism of "miracle" is not being denied as the cause of the
sex change, noting the active use of prayer to effect the change.  The
occurrence of a mutation after conception was certainly a result of a
miracle.  It is only that the original scientific approach would make
the application of a miracle to change the sex of the child after its
complete determination a contradiction to the normal workings of nature,
and miracles do not normally work this way, just as miracles cannot
cause a reversal of time, or something which would produce a different
occurrence in the past.  Once the sex of the child was completely
determined, there would be no way to uproot that fact, and further
prayer would be unnecessary & therefore prohibited.  However, a genetic
probe that would determine the sex of the child from the chromosomal
makeup at an early stage would not guarantee that the determination was
correct, as a result of the scientific finding quoted above regarding
the "gene switch".  In consequence, Leah's prayer produced a miracle
which inhibited this "switch", and her XY-chromosome baby became a
healthy female child, as per the Midrash.

Nosson Tuttle (<ntuttle@...>)


From: Marc Meisler <mmeisler@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 1995 16:41:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mezuzahs

We are moving to Baltimore in a few weeks and know that the person moving
into our apartment is Jewish, albeit non-observant.  We have been told
that since she is Jewish, we have to leave our mezuzahs on the doors.  I
am interested to know, first of all, what is the reason, and second of
all, how far do we have to carry this.  In other words, do we have to
leave all of them up, or just the one on the front door.  We asked the
woman if we should leave them and she answered "that would be fine."  We
are not sure if she even knows what they are.  She lives in our building
already and does not have a mezuzah on her front door.  We are afraid that
if we leave them up, they will get painted over before she even moves in
or that they will get taken down and thrown out.  Have other people run
into this situation before, and if so, how did you handle it?  I do know
that we can take down our own mezuzahs and leave less expensive, but
kosher ones up.  We were also told that we can ask for payment but have to
leave them up even if she refuses to pay for them.  Any sugesstions are
welcome.  Of course we will also contact our LOR.

Marc Meisler                   1001 Spring St., Apt. 423    
<mmeisler@...>         Silver Spring, MD  20910


From: Barry Siegel <sieg@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 95 10:01:36 EST
Subject: Parakeet Food for Pesach?

In reply to Arthur Roth:
I spoke to my Local Orthodox Vet and his answer is:

Most if not all Parakeet food have both Kitniyot & Chametz (oats, etc.)
in it.  The Kitniyot is not a problem for animals but the Chametz
obviously is.

The best and only solution is to give the birds millet branches.
These millet branches can be purchasesd at the Pet store.

The Vet also suggested you can cut up soft fruits very small and
also give it to the Parakeet as a treat.

Barry Siegel  HR 2B-028 (908)615-2928 windmill!sieg OR <sieg@...>


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Sun,  5 Mar 95 13:41 +0200
Subject: Shukeling-Besht?-HaGRA?

Eric Safern writes:

>The Besht is reported to have given an analogy - "When
>someone is drowning in a river, he thrashes about violently >in
the water in his efforts to extricate himself being swept >away
by the stream.  Certainly the bystanders will not mock >his
efforts. So too when a worshipper sways violently, he >should
not be laughed at.  He, too, is trying to extricate >himself from
the raging waters - the impurities clinging to >him, the
extraneous thoughts distracting him from his >concentration on
his prayers."

Depends where you come from, it seems.  I heard similar
explanation in my youth, attributed to the GR"A [Vilna Gaon],
the antipode to the Besht.

__Bob Werman


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 1995 22:14:11 EDT
Subject: Sources from Eretz Chemda

I recently bought the book Eretz Chemda, by Simcha Raz and Benny Don-Yechiya.
It is a collection of "legends, sayings and midrashim on Eretz Yisrael" and is
a fantastic book for short quotes about chazal's view of the land. However,
the problem is that there is no bibliography, and many of the quotes have only
the author and not the source. Does anyone know the source of the following
"Eretz Yisrael has a great level: A person who has a part in it is considered
as if it is a part of the world to come"- Ibn Ezra (page 20)

"A person doesn't merit to live in Eretz Yisrael unless he goes there for its
sake, and not for any other reason. Avraham, who left Ur Kasdim because of 
love for the land, merited to come to the land." -Alsheich (page 47)

"Those that tell themselves and say that they will stay in their place until
the Mashiach comes to the Western lands, and then they will leave and go to
Yerushalayim -- I don't know how the persecution will end for them. But
they are sinning and causing others to sin. About them the prophet wrote:
'They offer healing offhand for the wounds of my poor people saying, All is
well, all is well' when nothing is well.' (Yirmiyahu 8:11) For there is not
time for the coming of the Mashiach that it can be determined if it is close 
or far." -Rambam (pages 48-9)

"Every Jewish person needs to make an permanent and binding agreement in his
heart to go up to and live in Eretz Yisrael. And it is truly an amazing
thing that exists with the holy Jews: In every place they are strict
on themselves in many details of mitzvot, and spend much money to keep the
mitzvot -- but why are they disregarding and avoiding this beloved mitzva,
a stake that all of the Tora is dependent upon?" -R' Yaakov Emden (pg. 49)

"It is a mitzva upon every Jew to establish his house in Eretz Yisrael and
to live in it according to his strength." -R' Menachem HaMeiri (pg. 62)


From: <mikep@...> (Mike Paneth)
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 11:36:28 +1100
Subject: Stripes on the Tallis

Does any know how the proliferation of stripes on Talleisim occurred?

Eisenstein in his "Ozar Dinim u-Minhagim" says that stripes are from an 
ancient custom and bases it on the Zohar (Vayikra 227). Others say that the 
stripes are a rememberence of the techayles (sky-blue tzitzis thread).

Yet from my initial investigation, Shulchon Orech is very careful to ensure 
that a tallis should not be of different colours, and even went so far as to 
say that the stitching had to be the same colour as the body material.  Is 
this the basis for the modern white striped talleisim?

The traditional tallis has black stripes. The origin of this is the RaMBaM 
who rules that black looks like techayles.

Yet inspite of all of this why is there such a proliferation of patterns?

Any ideas?
Mike Paneth
Melbourne Australia


From: <SAlbert@...> (Steve Albert)
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 1995 18:54:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Wearing Gloves to Avoid Wash

    Last year I was at a Sheva Brachos (festive meal for the bride and
groom the week after the wedding) which was also attended by some
members of HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg's family.  There was a fair
sized crowd for an apartment (perhaps 30-40 people), so washing in the
kitchen would have taken a while.  Some of HaRav Scheinberg's family
washed in the bathroom, and explained when someone asked that HaRav
Scheinberg held that that is permitted.
     It may be that HaRav Moshe Tendler holds differently (certainly it
has been a subject of sheilos to various poskim), so that he and his
wife chose to use gloves instead.  It could also be that the
circumstances on an airplane, with a very small lavatory and narrow
aisles where it might be difficult to make a beracha, dry one's hands
and return to one's seat without having to interrupt and speak,
motivated him to use gloves even if he would have allowed washing in a
lavatory in more normal circumstances.
Steve Albert


End of Volume 18 Issue 83