Volume 19 Number 11
                       Produced: Thu Mar 30  7:46:15 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Achashverosh as anti-Semite 19 #5
         [Neil Parks]
Loopholes - v18#94
         [Yehudah Edelstein]
Quinoa & Psyllium - Are They Kiniot?
         [David Brotsky]
Reason for Torah's prohibition on lending w/ interest
         [Jeff Mandin]
         [Zvi Weiss]
Selling chametz  19 #7
         [Neil Parks]
Shmurah Matah
         [David Charlap]
Shushan Purim
         [Andrew Weiss]
Siyum-short Masechtot
         [Ascher Samuels]
Women and Magilla
         [Michael J Broyde]
Women and Megillah
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Women's Megilla
         [David Katz]
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]


From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 01:29:37 EDT
Subject: Achashverosh as anti-Semite 19 #5

  Yitz Etshalom said:

>What is your source for Achashverosh's anti-Jewish sentiments?  In the 
>Megilla, he never knows about the plot against us - just against a 
>"nation, spread out among the domains of your kingdom..."

One of the reasons that Achashverosh threw the mammoth party described
in the beginning of the megillah: He knew that the Jews were supposed to
be in exile for 70 years, but he miscalculated the time.  When he
thought that the 70 years were up, and saw that the Jews were still in
exile, he wanted to celebrate.

Most of the fine treasures cited in verses 6 and 7 were stolen from the
Temple, and Achashverosh wore the sacred garments of the high priest.
Therefore, it is customary to chant part of verse 7 in the mournful
melody of Aichah (Lamentations)--"The drinks were served in gold
goblets--no two goblets alike... "  (Artscroll translation from "The
Family Megillah").

     NEIL PARKS  Beachwood, Ohio    <nparks@...>


From: <yehudah@...> (Yehudah Edelstein)
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 20:46:52 +0200
Subject: Loopholes - v18#94 

You don't have to look only for a Sium on Erev Peseach, but any Seudat Mitzva
should do, as Pidyon Haben, Bris, Sheva Brachos etc. Your only problem is
finding one of these. Another solution would be to make a Sium yourself, on
something even a small Masechet, Gemorah or Mishnayis         or just fast.
Yehudah Edelstein "<yehudah@...>" Raanana, Israel


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 00:06:04 -0500
Subject: Quinoa & Psyllium - Are They Kiniot?

With Pesach fast approaching, I am wondering about whether quinoa, which
is native to South America, is kitniot. If so, why is this the case?
Presumably, quinoa was not in Europe when the prohibition was
established. Similarly, is psyllium kitniot? Technically, it's not even
a grain. Also, are there any "exotic" beans or grains that are not
considered to be kitniot?

David Brotsky


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 95 17:47:53 -0500
Subject: Reason for Torah's prohibition on lending w/ interest

Ben Rothke writes:

>There is an Torah issur of charging interest (ribis) on monetary loans.

The prohibition applies to loans of non-monetary consumables as well -
the Torah says "neshech kol davar asher yishach" [ crudely: "interest of
any thing" ].

>The poskim all say that ribis is a horrendous thing.  What is so
>terrible about ribis?
>If someone rents their car for a month & charges $500.00, that is ok.
>But if someone gives someone a $1000.00 loan, & six months later wants
>$1050.00 back (10% annual interest), halacha states that the person that
>charges the interest is posul for edus, is a rasha, and more.
>What's so bad?

Your question is really the canonical one: "if I can rent you my car or
my house, why can't I rent you my money or a loaf of bread?"

My neighborhood Rav says that the difference is that in renting non-
consumables the renter causes an amount of damage or wearing out of the
object rented, for which the rent paid can be considered compensation.
I admit the obvious problems with this answer.

Dr. Chaim Soloveitchik surveys about the rishonim's attitude to the
problem in the introduction to "Halakha, Kalkala, v'Dimui Atzmi".

Intuitively, lending money at interest to a destitute person(as opposed to
an investor), does seems morally objectionable.

- Jeff


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 16:50:17 -0500
Subject: Ribbit

I think that the "evil" aspect of Interest is the *charging for the use
of money*.  Loaning someone money in their time of need is an example of
the mitzva of Tzedaka.  *Participating* in a business deal with a person
where you both share risk -- even if you provide the money and the other
person provides "sweat equity" is simply a buisness partnership.
However, using the money to avoid all risk (i.e., a loan at interest)
represents a perversion of what G-d gave us resources for.  The owner of
the money is neither charitable not is s/he contributing anything

This is not comparable to renting a car where I actually "sell" the car
for a limited periods of time ("Sechirut Memkar l'Yomei" -- Renting is a
sale for the day).  Of course, I can sell my property to whoever I wish.
But, even there there is an element of risk.  If an "Ones" occurs
(something not under the control of the renter -- an "accident") and
there was no negligence on the part of the renter, then I will be out
the item.

It seems clear that the Torah states that if a person wishes to "do
business" with his money, he must be willing to *take a risk" (a loan
where the borrower has the obligation and mitzva to pay you back does
not appear to be considered a "risk").  Otherwise, he should lend out
his money to his fellow Jew/ess as an act of Tzedaka.



From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 01:29:41 EDT
Subject: Selling chametz  19 #7

Jay Bailey said:

>I've decided that instead of selling my chametz thru my rabbi, I want to
>sell it to a goy myself ...
>...       I figured that this way I could make it more "genuine" than a
>mass, anonymous who-are-we-trying-to-kid mechira.  ...

Would you let someone who is not a trained professional auto mechanic take 
your car's engine apart?  Halacha should not be treated any less seriously.

Selling chametz is not a "mass anonymous who-are-we-trying-to-kid 
mechira".  It is a ritual with genuine specific halachic requirements.  
Please let your LOR do it so you know that it will be done correctly.

     NEIL PARKS  Beachwood, Ohio    <nparks@...>


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 95 12:14:12 EST
Subject: Shmurah Matah

"Bob Klein" <KL2@...> writes:
>1.  Has anyone else encountered a problem with poorly-packed shmurah
>matzoh (from Cohen-Halperin or elsewhere) that was broken and unusable?
>How did you address the halachic and consumer issues?

Occasionally.  But there has always been enough unbroken matzot in the
package that the seder wasn't affected.  We just ate the broken pieces
at another time.

>2.  Is it preferable to open the box _before_ Pesach, so a new box can
>be purchased in time for seder, in case the matzoh are broken?

Why not?  The invention of sealed packaging is relatively modern.
What was done 200 years ago?  I assume the matza wasn't sold in
cardboard boxes or anything like that.

In other words, I don't think there is any halacha ruling either way
on whether you should break the seal before Pesach or not.

>3.  Are other brands of machine-made shmurah available on the East Coast
>that are well-packed, e.g. with corrugated cardboard between each piece?
>I clearly recall getting these in the past.

One of the big matza makers (Either Manaschewitz or Horowitz-
Margaretten) makes machine-shmura that comes packaged this way.  I got
a box of it as a gift years ago.  I don't know where you'd buy it,


From: Andrew Weiss <aweiss@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 16:34:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Shushan Purim

Meshulum Laks asked about the dinim of Purim in the towns neighbering
yerushalim. Last year I was in a yeshiva in Meveseret Zion. last year
evrey in Israel read Purim on the 14th of Adar since it was Purim
Mesholash( 3 days of purim since Shoshan Purim is on Shabbos, so you do
not read meggelah, give mishloach manot, or have the sudah). But from
what I lernt usaully in Meveseret Zion they celbrate purim on the 14th
of Purim. But many people hold that Meveseret Zion Is sufak Yerushalim
so they do all the mitzvot again on the 15th of Adar. The only thing is
these peoplo read the megillah in private.

Andrew Weiss


From: <asamuels@...> (Ascher Samuels)
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 95 16:38:15 EST
Subject: Siyum-short Masechtot

My personal preference is Tamid.  It's about eight daf, much of which is
mishnah.  It contains an interesting piece of aggadata, the ten
questions Alexander asked the rabbanim.  In addition, since tefillah is
in part a (temporary) substitute for the korbanot, it's a good idea to
know the mechanics of these korbanot.

Asher Samuels


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 09:23:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Women and Magilla

Israel Botnick writes:

> Rabbi Herschel Reichman (in his compilation of Rav Soloveitchik's
> lectures on masechet sukka pg. 184) quotes Rav Soloveitchik as saying
> that the mitzva of reading the megilla has 2 components 1)publicizing
> the miracle of purim 2)talmud torah. Therefore since women are not
> obligated in the 2nd component, they cant fulfill the obligation for
> men who are obligated in both components.

 As I read the comments of Rabbi Soloveitchik cited above, they are
merely explainations of the opinion of the Bahag that that women are not
obligated in reading the megillah and not an indiginious explaination of
a general principle of halacha that has application to other areas, like
for example a woman reading hagada for a man.
	This distinction is quite important, as there is no general
principle of halacha which says that when a man and a woman are equally
obligated in a mitzvah, but on top of the obligation to do the mitzvah
there is also the fulfillment of the mitzvah of talmud torah by the man,
that a woman cannot fulfill the obligation for the man.
 Michael Broyde


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 09:11 O
Subject: Re: Women and Megillah

      I'd like to note that the psak of the Mishnah berurah quoted by
Uri Meth to the effect that women cannot read for a large group of women
is based on the Korban Netanel who argues that it is Zila Milta (loosely
translated as "improper" "unseemly"). The Korban Netanel is relying on a
tosafot; but he misunderstands the tosafot who were in fact talking
about women reading for MEN. Thus Zila Milta is a kavod hatsibbur
concept. That the latter interpretation is the correct one in the
Tosafot is clear from the tosafot harosh.
       It is for this reason that many poskim permit a women's megillah
reading for women including: Harav Gedaliah Felder (Toronto) zatsal and
Yibadel lechaim Tovim Arukim, Harabanim Aharon Lictenstien, David
Feinstein (MTJ), David Cohen (Gvul Yavets), Yehudah Herzl Henkin. I Have
spoken to them all (with the exception of Rav Felder) and all agree that
the Korban Netanel clearly erred and hence, so did the Mishanh Berurah
in quoting him lehalakha.
    PS: The above list is only partial.


From: David Katz <dkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 21:11:45 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Women's Megilla

Just a clarification to Uri Meth's point that there is a question about
what bracha a woman should say on the megilla and therefore she cannot
read for a man:

The problem isn't the bracha - the bracha is just representative of a
deeper issue - men and women may have different levels of obligation (a
man to read & thereby hear - while a woman just to hear).  Therefore a
woman may not read for a man since her level of obligation is slighly
less.  We have a rule - in order to fufill a mitzva for someone you must
be on at least the same level of obligation.

The issue of megilla isn't so much women reading for men as it is women 
reading for women.  What is better - for a woman to hear from a man or a 
woman to read for herself.  In this regard the Mishna Brura OC 689:2:8 
quotes the Magen Avraham that a woman should try her best to hear from a 
man.  It is in this halacha where there is much controversy.

David Katz, Director - Nitzotz Student Volunteer Program  011-972-2-384206
                       NCSY Israel Summer Programs        P.O. Box 37015
                                                          Jerusalem  ISRAEL


From: <yitzchok.adlerstein@...> (Yitzchok Adlerstein)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 00:54:48 -0800
Subject: Yeast

While it is quite true, as a recent poster suggested, that yeast is not
chametz (the "seor" of Chumash is sourdough, not yeast), keeping
commercial yeast over Pesach MIGHT be problematic.  At least according
to the rumor mills, yeast is cultured on chametz material, not all of
which is filtered out before packaging.

I have not confirmed this with people in the know, but thought I would
sound a cautionary note, and hope that someone might comment with more
definitive information.


End of Volume 19 Issue 11