Volume 19 Number 06
                       Produced: Wed Mar 29  9:16:55 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Erasing HaShem's Name
         [Shlomo Grafstein]
Ethrog Preserves
         [Ralph Zwier]
G-d's Name on a monitor
         [Akiva Miller]
HaGomel after an Airplane Flight
         [Akiva Miller]
Shmitta Rock Candy
         [David Neustadter]
Wasting Leisure Time
         [Michael Lipkin]


From: <RABIGRAF@...> (Shlomo Grafstein)
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 21:57:06 -0400
Subject: Erasing HaShem's Name

I have read about the concern of erasing HaShem's Name from
computer screens etc.  I would like to relay a teaching from the
rresponsa literature which Rav Dovid Feinstein pointed out to me
The Divrei Yechezkiel said that if you one writes the holy name
not for the sake of sanctity then there is no prohibition.
Such a ruling was necessary, for when they first started
the printing presses and one would put too much ink on the press
and HaShem's Holy Name in the Chumash or Siddur was erased as
a result of this faux pas then there was not any prohibition
for they printed "shelo lishem kiddush"-- not for holiness
Similarly if you or I type on our computers with the
intention not for the holiness of the name then you have no

Sincerely Yours,
Shlomo Grafstein
1480 Oxford Street
Halifax Nova Scotia Canada


From: Ralph Zwier <zwierr@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 18:21:43 
Subject: Ethrog Preserves

Oh well, back to the issue of "legal loopholes":

The ususal CYLOR warnings etc... but the person who has etrog rock candy 
made from ethrog of Shmittah year, should look carefully in the wording 
of his/her Bill of Authorisation to the Rabbi for sale of chametz to the 
non-jew during Pesach. Somewhere in there you have the ability to avoid 
selling the pots and pans themselves to the non-jew, whilst still 
selling the Chametz which has been absorbed into the pots.

[We dont want to sell the pots so that we dont have to re-immerse them
in a mikveh when we would buy them back from the non-jew after Pesach].

It seems to me that this is a similar problem. You will sell the pieces 
of Chametz to the non-jew stipulating that only the chametz itself is 
being sold.

Ralph S Zwier
Double Z Computer, Prahran, VIC Australia       Voice +61-3-521-2188
<zwierr@...>                        Fax   +61-3-521-3945


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 1995 22:32:24 -0500
Subject: Re: G-d's Name on a monitor

Many have discussed whether or not we may erase a fully-spelled
rendition of "G-d" (or his other Names) when they appear on a computer
monitor. I would first point out the implications of this question: When
one encounters the Name on paper, and one is unsure of the halacha (for
example, whether or not it applies to languages other than Hebrew) one
always has the option of adding it to one's Shemos pile (of other such
writings) and eventually disposing of them respectfully. But when this
question arises on a computer screen, one clearly would prefer not to
let it remain on-screen forever!!!  Even if one would allow deletion of
a fully-spelled "G-d" from the screen, what should I do when a section
of my Hebrew Torah CD-rom shows His Name? I hope that as a group, we
MJ-ers can get an authoritative answer in the near future. (And please,
people, don't tell us that "my rabbi says ...", unless you can either
tell us his name, or at least what his sources or reasoning was.)

Anyway, here's my two cents worth of quotable sources: I quote from page
79 of "Chol HaMoed", by Rabbis Dovid Zucker and Moshe Francis: "A
calculator or digital watch, in which the figures light up in a small
window, may be used on Chol HaMoed (53). A tape recorder may be used to
record on Chol HaMoed (54) since no visible impression is left on the

Note 53 refers to a quote from the Debretziner Rav. Loose translation:
"Is it allowed to with a calculator for non-festival needs, where the
figures are not printed on paper but light up in a window electrically,
and there is no writing done with ink? Answer: It does not meet the
Torah definition of 'writing', and is also effortless, and is not

Note 54 refers to a quote from Rav Moshe Feinstein. Loose translation:
"It is permissible to record on a tape on Chol HaMoed, for it is not
considered 'writing'."

Now, I do realize that the definition of "writing" may be different for
Chol HaMoed as opposed to The Holiness Of His Name. But they might also
be similar, and that is why I offer these as starting points which seem
to demonstrate that "writing" might require one substance upon
another. Has anyone ever asked about Braille in this regard? I recall a
distinction made in the laws of Shabbos regarding engraving on stone. If
I remember correctly, if the letters stick out, it is a Torah violation,
but if the letters go in (as is usual on gravestones) then it is only a
rabbinic violation. How might that apply to our case?

Let's also make sure we agree on the technical specifics of our
question: A video monitor is different from regular writing in several
aspects: It does not make use of one substance upon another. It is
continuously regenerated. There is no tangible distinction between the
writing and the background, on a visual one. And in many cases (i.e.,
black letters on a non-black background) the writing might at worst be
considered as "engraved", since it is not the letters which are lit up,
but the surrounding pixels.

Akiva Miller


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 18:49:27 -0500
Subject: HaGomel after an Airplane Flight

Over the past few months, quite a few posters have discussed the question of
whether the blessing of HaGomel (thanksgiving) should be recited after an
airplane flight. See Mail-Jewish, volume 18, issues 42, 44, 45, 48, 51, and
61. Several posters, quoting either their own feeling or authoritative
rabbis, seem to feel that short flights are less dangerous and therefore
would not require this blessing of thanks afterward.

In contrast, I would like to present the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein, as
found in the Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 2:59. This was mentioned by one poster
in issue 18:45, but that poster seemed to feel that Rav Moshe might have
changed his opinion nowadays, while it is clear to me that Rav Moshe's
position is based on factors totally distinct from the statistical dangers of
air travel. And I quote: [bracketed comments are mine - A.M.]

"Regarding an airplane trip, does one have to say HaGomel when it was a calm
day, without any mechanical problems, and there were no incidents en route?
It is clear, in my humble opinion, that one does have to. Needless to say,
[this is true] according to the opinion in Shulchan Aruch 219:9 that the four
cases [crossing the sea, crossing the desert, recovery from illness, and
release from prison] considered in Gemara Brachos 54 are only examples...,
because this case is no better than crossing the sea by boat, as far as the
frequency of danger. But even according to the opinion there that [HaGomel is
said] only in those four cases, it should also be said, for two reasons:
First, it is exactly like a boat, for it also does not travel on the ground,
for this is the essential difference between a boat and methods of travel by
land, for because when one travels by land it is really no different than
sitting at home, in that if no accidents occur then there is nothing to worry
about. But in a boat which is on the water, then the travel is inherently
something from which one must be rescued, because one can live in the water
only for a very short time without being rescued - and this rescue comes from
being in the boat. Therefore, since the boat gets damaged occasionally and
one's rescue is unclear, one must thank and say the HaGomel blessing. If so,
all this applies even more so to an airplane, which is even less [safe] than
the water, since one cannot live for even a second in mid-air. Certainly,
sitting in an airplane constitutes being rescued, and since the airplane gets
damaged occasionally, this rescue is not a definite one, so he should thank
with the blessing of HaGomel."

The next four paragraphs cover various other technical details, and in the
sixth paragraph he points out: "It is obvious that it makes no difference
whether the airplane is travelling over sea or over land, for in both cases,
the explanation I gave applies, that one has to say the blessing even if the
trip went without incident. I have heard that some rule not to say the
blessing, but that is nothing, rather one has to say the blessing."

Make no mistake, fellow posters, that was not *me* telling you to ignore any
rabbi who rules against HaGomel after an airplane flight -- I am simply
quoting Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l.

This part is my interpretation of what Rav Moshe wrote: The statistical
dangers of air or sea travel are irrelevant to this question. Rav Moshe seems
to focus on the fact that if one was in the middle of the sea - or of the air
- without one's vehicle, he would be in immediate and serious danger. And
while in transit, sitting in that vehicle, he is viewed as in a continual
state of being rescued from the outside environment. THAT is the prime
concern which creates the obligliation to thank HaShem after completion of
the trip. If I am correct in this, then why does he mention "since the boat
gets damaged occasionally" and "since the airplane gets damaged
occasionally"? I suggest that he writes this in order to distinguish these
vehicles from a bridge. One could argue, after all, that when one crosses a
bridge, he is suspended high in mid-air (analogous to a plane), or slightly
above the river (analogous to a boat) and would be in danger were it not for
the bridge which rescues him. But a bridge is affixed to the ground. A car
might run off a bridge, or the bridge might be damaged by an earthquake, but
how often are people hurt by a mechanical defect in the bridge itself? It is
not merely safer than a plane or boat - it is in an entirely different class,
and one does not say HaGomel after crossing a bridge.

Akiva Miller


From: David Neustadter <david@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 1995 08:14:44 +0200
Subject: re: Shmitta Rock Candy

Rivka Goldfinger wrote:

> 	After Sukkos this year, I decided to make one of our esrogim into
> "esrog jelly."  Somehow I made a mistake in the recipe, and we ended up
> with "esrog rock candy,"  which we have been unable to remove from the jar
> in any real amount.  Since this jelly was made from a shmitta esrog, we can
> not throw it out or burn it or sell it or even give it away to a non-jew.
> The problem is that on one of our attempts to eat some of the jelly, a
> piece of bread became stuck in it.  With Pesach coming up, we now have a
> real problem--Chometz that we cannot get rid of.  The jelly has two pounds
> of sugar in it, so it is not likely that it will spoil anytime in the next
> century...

I'm a bit confused.  It sounds to me like what you're describing is
really not edible.  If this is the case, wouldn't it be the same as if
it was already spoiled?  It sounds like by doing what you did to it, you
accidentally "destroyed" the shmitta fruit, but now that it's
"destroyed", why can't you just throw it in the trash like you would if
it was rotten?

I'm curious what your Rabbi's response to this suggestion will be.



From: Michael Lipkin <michael_lipkin@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 95 09:30:25 EST
Subject: Wasting Leisure Time

>From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller) 

>I am glad you made this distinction here, because the rest of your 
>post is much less clear. In your research on this question, you must 
>be careful not to confuse the two, because "wasting time" (by 
>definition, regardless how you choose to define it) is clearly (to me 
>at least) a violation of bal tashchis.  "Leisure time", in contrast, 
>can be viewed as a productive activity, in which the person regains 
>strength and "recharges their batteries".

I think we live in a society that is so geared toward leisure that we
have lost the ability to make this distinction.  What is the actual
amount of time that a human being requires to recharge his batteries?
(I assume this refers to psychological batteries, as sleep is supposed
to take care of the physical ones.)  G-d provided us with an entire day
of leisure every week. And as if Shabbos weren't enough, here in America
we have SUNDAY.  Though Sunday is not our sabbath we Jews certainly
treat it as very important day.  Try scheduling a shiur, meeting,
etc. on this holiest of days!  People recoil at the thought that the
right wing yeshivos make the boys attend school on Sunday.  How dare
they interfere with all those important things we do on Sundays!  It's
such a joke that we feel we need more than Shabbos to unwind from our
"modern, stress filled lives".  Compare our lives and the way we spend
time to just a few generations ago.  How spoiled we are.  And we wonder
why there's a degradation from previous generations.  Boker Tov! (Good

Try to analyze the amount of free time we have, i.e. outside of work,
childcare, and housecare.  What do we do with this time?  Is the amount
of time spent doing mitzvos such as learning, community service, good
deeds, etc. greater than the time spent watching T.V., reading novels,
vegging out, etc.? (By "greater" we SHOULD BE talking orders of
magnitude!)  And I hate to pick on us again, but I bet you'll find very
different ratios between the modern orthodox and those on the right.

Rav Avraham Danziger said in the introduction to his sefer the Chayei
Adam that he wrote this sefer for Baalei Batim (working stiffs) who are
ONLY able to learn THREE OR FOUR HOURS A DAY and therefore wouldn't have
the time necessary to learn and review halacha l'maase (practical laws)
from the sources.

>Rav Noach answered, "Wasting time is a very major sin. It is a kind of    

If this is true we're finished!



End of Volume 19 Issue 6