Volume 19 Number 20
                       Produced: Thu Apr  6 23:55:34 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cleaning and Preparing for Pesach
         [Stephan Gross]
Cleansing - A Poem
Fit for a Dog
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Individual Mekhiras Khometz
         [Melech Press]
Kahlua - Chometz
         [Arthur J Einhorn]
         [R. Lesser]
Mayim Shelanu
         [Jerrold Landau]
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Sam Duchoeny]
Pesach & cats
         [Laurie Solomon]
Reclining at the Seder
         [Akiva Miller]
Reclining at the seder
         [Ellen Golden]
Writing on Chol Hamoed (2)
         [David Katz, Akiva Miller]


From: <sg@...> (Stephan Gross)
Date: 6 Apr 95 09:59:00 -0400
Subject: Cleaning and Preparing for Pesach

  This time of year always makes me wonder about something.  It seems
that one always hears stories about the lengths people will go to in
cleaning and preparing for Pesach - oven inserts, custom-made counter 
tops, banning the use of paper towels because of corn starch on the
first sheet, banning the use of lipstick because there may be grains of
chametz, etc.
  What is the halachic source or sources for this "hyper" cleaning, or 
is it, like glatt kosher, a relatively recent invention?


From: <Andrew_Marc_Greene@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 1995 13:04 -0400
Subject: Cleansing - A Poem

          by Andrew M. Greene, 30. March 1992

In the kitchen, chometz cowers in corners
and crevices, patiently waiting for me to join
the annual battle.  I breathe deeply, hold
the cool breeze in swollen lungs, then slowly pass
hissing exhaust between clenched teeth.  This job overwhelms me; I spin
on the worn heel of my sneaker and stride
outside.  Leaving the crisp, chilled, climate-
controlled cucoon of my apartment, I pause
on my porch and sniff the stale scent that portends
the first shower of spring.  Dust hovers in the air, dankly
hanging where I can sense its stench, stagnant, smothering, suspended,
waiting for the rain that dances through Brownian space far above us. 
Heavy splats of water dribble from the sky, smacking
my hair.  Carefree, I skip between damp patches of concrete walk.
The first thunderclap retorts across my path, echoing from building
to building to building; the crescendo of its applause crackles.  I 
leap (like the year) over a stream of melting snow, listening
to the clouds sounding the toll of winter's passing, charging
each other for the privilege of the next blast.
I follow my feet, watching God wash
his chometz.  Once more at my porch, I peer inside the door, return
to my Pesach preparations.  With the window yawning wide open, I scrub
at grime and grit; it crumbles as the thunder
mumbles its agreement.


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 09:15:26 +0000
Subject: Fit for a Dog

Yehudah Edelstein, in talking about starch (from hamez) in paper, poses
the question as to whether it would make a difference if the starch /
paper is fit for a dog to eat.

I remember I mentioned the folowing last year.  If I am wrong, I would
appreciate being corrected.  I believe that hamez that is not fit for a
dog is fine to own and to derive benefit from, but NOT TO EAT.

As far as rolling mazah on paper (that may have had hamez in it), I'm
sure one shouldn't do it; however, since mazah is baked before Pesah, if
a minute bit of hamez got into it (from such paper), it would be
nullified (since nullification in 60 applies before Pesah).

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: Melech Press <PRESS@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 95 15:18:25 EST
Subject: Individual Mekhiras Khometz

In response to question of individual mekhiras khometz:

It is certainly true that mekhiras khometz, like all sales, must be done
by someone who knows relevant halakhos.  On the other hand, it is not
true that a sale through your LOR has no disadvantages compared to a
direct sale by you to a non-jew in which you physically transfer all
your khometz to the actual control of the buyer (e.g. give it to him,
bring it to his home).  According to a substantial number of poskim
through the generations the type of mekhiras khometz that we make today
(mekhira klollis) in which neither the items sold nor control of their
location pass to the non-Jew entails violation of issurei Torah. I AM
BAL YIMOTZEI if they use the standard mekhira. I am merely noting that
in an era when we are stringent about many things a strong case can be
made for the individual mekhiras khometz (which is the way it was done
in the time of Khazal if necessary).

Melech Press
M. Press, Ph.D.   Dept. of Psychiatry, SUNY Health Science Center
450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 32   Brooklyn, NY 11203   718-270-2409


From: Arthur J Einhorn <0017801@...>
Date: 06 Apr 1995 13:59:13 GMT
Subject: Kahlua - Chometz

Is Kahlua chometz?
Thank You,
Ahron Einhorn


From: <blesser@...> (R. Lesser)
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 23:51:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Lactaid

According to the CRC Medicine List Pesach 5755, Lactaid caplets and
Drops, by McNeil contain Chometz

From: R. Lesser, MD


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 95 09:13:51 EDT
Subject: Mayim Shelanu

In the halachot of baking matza, there is a requirement to use "mayim
shelanu" (water that was left to rest) i.e. water that was drawn the
previous evening, and left to sit overnight before it can be used for
baking matza the next morning.  This halacha is to insure that the water
is cool, so that it will not cause the dough to leaven quickly.  How is
this halacha handled nowadays?  Is it sufficient to use water from a
tap, and to leave it in a refrigerator for a while?  If a refrigerator
is used, is it necessary at all any more to have the water be left
overnight?  I assume that in the handbaking of matza shemura, mayim
shelanu is still used, but does anyone know how do the large matza
manufacturers handle this halacha?

Jerrold Landau


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 09:08:49 +0300
Subject: Oats

     I have an article by Rav Efrati of the Israeli Institute for
Agricultural Research according to Halacha on the question of the
identification of "shibbolet shual" (he refers to oats in Hebrew as

    The original question was whether the prohibition of "chadash" (new
wheat) pertains to oats since some people claim that it is not the
"shibbolet shual" of the Gemara. He also bring an opinion of Rabbenu
Natan the Head of the Yeshiva which was recently discovered in Yemen and
the opinion of Professor Flickes. He argues with Flickes at length on
the identification of "shibbolet shual" and includes some physical
experiments done at the institute that demonstrate that the fermentation
of oats is the same as the fermentation of wheat and barley and
different from rice.

     He concludes that in the final analysis we rely on the Mesorah that
"shibbolet shual" is indeed oats. He quotes Rav Azriel Auerbach who is
involved with publishing the sefer "Mar-ot haMishnah". He received a
letter from Rav Moshe Feinstein stating that even with a 1000 proofs one
cannot change the accepted custom in Israel. The author also spoke with
Rav Eliashiv who stated that "shibbolet shual" is oats for all halachot
including chametz, challah,chadash, berachot and kilyaim.



From: <sr_duch@...> (Sam Duchoeny)
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 1995 21:41:12 -0400
Subject: Passover

	This year the second seddar falls on a Saturday. I would like to
know if your able to start the seddar before Motzi Shabbat and then do
the Hagdalah after Shabbat. If your not aloud can you give me an
explanation why? Also on Friday are you aloud starting before the
shabbat starts?

Sam Duchoeny


From: Laurie Solomon <0002557272@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 95 12:59 EST
Subject: Pesach & cats

To answer Yoel (Jack Reiner)'s post on March 27, 
 I can't answer fully your dillema, nor do I want to appear to poskin
(rule on it), other than relay two psokim (rulings) that were given both
to me a few years back by one LOR and to a friend by our current LOR.

We were told to feed our cats another type of food other than the pellet
type during Pesach week.  During the year, I use "Science Diet" brand
catfood, in the pellet and canned form, which I believe contains both
chometz and kitnyos.  We change during Pesach to only canned food.  We
feed them either plain tunafish (for people) or another commercially
available catfood-- I think it's Friskies Buffet or something -- I got
the brand from Rabbi Blumenkrantz's annual Pesach Digest. I believe the
tuna fish can be not kosher for Pesach, containing kitnyos, if you use
different kelim (utensils/dishes), similar to serving soy baby formula
to a baby during Pesach; I buy the cheapest tuna available- like store
brand, that I would never eat myself.

A friend was even selling all the food and other chometz in her whole
house while away during Pesach week, having a friend come in and feed
the cats, and the Rabbi said NO.

You should also find out for sure, because if your pellet food ONLY
contains kitnyos, you don't even need to bother with the special feeder,
as long as you use seperate kelim, you don't have to do anything

The other option is to sell your cats to a neighbor/kennel/vet, and then
"buy" them back.  I don't think it would work having the cats "owned" by
someone else, while still sleeping in your home or on your premises.
The chometz can't be in your possession.

Be interested to read other postings.

Laurie Cohen


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 00:25:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Reclining at the Seder

In MJ 19#16, Josh Backon writes
>no one gives Pshat *why* the left IS the way of free men.

On the contrary, the Mishna Brura (472:10) explains that we lean on the
left because the right hand is needed for eating. Following this logic,
he says (472:11) that a left-handed person who leaned on the right has
fulfilled the mitzva after the fact. Preferably, however, even a
left-handed person should lean on the left because of health factors
(also in 472:11).

From: <egolden@...> (Ellen Golden)
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 95 01:48:47 EDT
Subject: Reclining at the seder

In our family seders, the Leader has a small pillow placed to the left
of his place setting, and he rests his left elbow on that.  The other
participants rest their left elbows on the table.

I suspect that the left is chosen, since the "right" is the dominant
hand in most people (witness the terms for "right" and "left" in many
languages, including English... which is more pejorative... usually the
term for "left"... in fact in Japanese, the kanji for "right" includes
the symbol for "mouth"...).

- V. Ellen Golden
Brookline, Massachusetts


From: David Katz <dkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 21:44:38 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Writing on Chol Hamoed

In general, there is a prohobition of doing melacha on Chol Hamoed.
Nevertheless, certain non-professional types of Melacha were permitted
on Chol Hamoed.  This can clearly be seen in the difference between Chol
Hamoed as spent in Israel and how it is spent in the US.  In the US it
is like Chol but we do certain things that make it feel like a little
moed.  In Israel it really is spent like a Moed but we are allowed to do
little things that give it a small element of Chol.

With this perspective, one can understand the logic of prohibiting
writing.  Really, everything is prohibited unless it fits into one of
the categories that were allowed (ie needs of the moed, etc.).

Therefore, unnecessary writing is prohibited.  Some people take this to
an unwarranted extreem and won't write even when it is necessary
although they continue to spend Chol Hamoed like any other day of the
week (I remember my younger days in elementary school.  We used the "no
writing thing" to get out of doing homework for school yet we didn't
give Chol Hamoed anything else special over any other day of a regular

Pointers to sources: Shulchan Orach Orach Chaim 545 with Mishna Breura
(esp sif Katan 4,5 and 35).  I also recommend reading up on Hilchot Chol
Hamoed in general (all in shulchan Aruch) to give you a perspective on
what is and is not allowed on Chol Hamoed.

David Katz

From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 1995 07:59:31 -0400
Subject: Writing on Chol Hamoed

I wrote in MJ 19:06

> 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'."

And George Schneiderman responded in MJ 19:13

>Is there a general problem with writing on Chol HaMoed?  This is not 
>something I was familiar with.  General summary and/or pointers to 
>sources would be appreciated.

In general, all of the activities which are prohibited on Shabbos and
Yom Tov are also forbidden on Chol Hamoed, unless one of several
exemptions applies.  These exemptions are pretty broad categories, such
as preparation of food, or anything which will help you enjoy the
holiday. There are many details, of course, but the exemptions are broad
enough that many people have gotten the misimpression that everything
goes, that Chol Hamoed is just like a regular weekday except for eating
Pesach food, or in a Sukkah. In fact, it is universally agreed that
there are clear restrictions on what we may do on Chol Hamoed. Just
about any halacha book which mentions Chol Hamoed ought to have more
information for you on this.

On the other hand, I do not understand why the definition of writing is
sufficient to allow operation of the tape recorder --- what about the
electricity involved? Isn't that a melacha?

Akiva Miller


End of Volume 19 Issue 20