Volume 19 Number 36
                       Produced: Tue Apr 18 23:50:33 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Challah minhag puzzle
         [Danny Geretz]
Covering cake when making kiddush
         [Naftoli Biber]
cutting bread
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Cutting hallah before hamotzi
         ["Richard Friedman"]
Feeding a hamster on pesach
         [Mike Kramer]
Fit for a Dog - v19#20
         [Yehudah Edelstein]
How many plagues on the Sea ?
         [Nicolas Rebibo]
         [Zvi Weiss  ]
         [Norman Schloss]
Leaning at the Seder
         [Alan Pollard]
More on Shmurah Matzah
         [Bob Klein]
Nuts at the Seder
         [Naftoli Biber]
Singing Broken Matzohs (that's Singing as in Burning)
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Solving a minhag puzzle
         [David Charlap]
The 1st Cup
         [Zal Suldan]
Wicked Son
         [Nicolas Rebibo]


From: imsasby!<dgeretz@...> (Danny Geretz)
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 95 23:24:49 EDT
Subject: Challah minhag puzzle

In Volume 19 # 29, Steve Bailey discusses a possible reason for partly
cutting ("pre-slicing") the challah on Shabbat before making the hamotzi

> This would account for the Shabbat host having to "chip away" part of
>the crust before making the bracha so as to minimize the delay in eating
>the bread after the bracha.

This is actually pretty close to what I learned the reason was: Usually,
you make a bracha when the food is ready to eat; and the challah is only
ready to eat after it has been sliced.  In order to have the challah
"ready to eat" but to still make the bracha on two whole challot, one
partly cuts the challah before making the bracha.  I never really
thought that the slicing was such a big tircha (bother) that I should
need to do it in order to make the challah "ready to eat"; in light of
Steve's post, I now understand why this is so.


From: Naftoli Biber <bibern@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 21:45:58 AEST
Subject: Covering cake when making kiddush

I also had not seen (or noticed) people covering cake while making kiddush 
at a kiddush on Shabbos until I travelled to New York a number of years ago.
At the Lubavitcher Rebbe's farbrengen (Chassidic gatherings) on Shabbos 
afternoon the Rebbe's cake was always covered with a white napkin while he 
made kiddush.

   Naftoli Biber                          <bibern@...>
   Melbourne, Australia                   Voice & Fax: +61-3-527-5370


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 17:36:35 +0000
Subject: cutting bread

I think the custom of cutting through part of the bread before mozi is
simply to minimize the time from the mozi to the eating.  I believe it
is appropriate to cut much more of the way through during the week (when
completeness of loaf is less important).

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


From: "Richard Friedman" <RF@...>
Date: 11 Apr 1995 13:11:13 GMT
Subject: Cutting hallah before hamotzi

     Steve Bailey (MJ 19:29) suggests that the source of the practice of
making a small cut in the hallah before saying hamotzi is that at one time,
white bread was baked in a way that caused a very hard crust, which had to
be broken before one could get access to the soft bread underneath --
making the cut before hamotzi reduced the delay between reciting the bracha
and eating the bread.  I heard a similar but different explanation -- at
one time, the ovens used for baking bread heated unevenly, so that part of
a loaf might be burnt (or underdone) while a different part was baked
perfectly.  Thus, to minimize the delay after the hamotzi while looking for
a portion baked the right amount, the person reciting hamotzi would first
locate a portion that was baked well, would score it with the knife to
indicate that _this_ portion should be cut, and only then would recite

     To respond to his question why preserve a minhag that is (under either
explanation) unnecessary, I would say it's worth preserving in order to
elicit the question, to recount the answer, and thereby to teach the
halacha about minimizing delay after reciting a bracha.

          Richard Friedman


From: <kramer@...> (Mike Kramer)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 18:24:35 PDT
Subject: Feeding a hamster on pesach

Are there any pet / animal mavens around who know
what one feeds a hamster on Pesach?

Mike Kramer


From: <yehudah@...> (Yehudah Edelstein)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 20:36:19 +0200
Subject: Fit for a Dog - v19#20

The post mentioned that 1/60 of chometz would be nullified before Peseach. This
would apply unintentionally, but if it was done deliberately I don't think
Batel Bshishim (nullifying 1/60) holds. True to have Chometz that's not fit to
eat may be kept during Peseach but NOT TO EAT it, puting food on it etc.
Yehudah Edelstein "<yehudah@...>" Raanana, Israel


From: <nre@...> (Nicolas Rebibo)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 14:21:37 +0200
Subject: How many plagues on the Sea ?

The Hagada contains several paragraphs where the Sages first count the number
of plagues that occured in Egypt and then say that the Egyptians received five
more plagues near the Red Sea than in Egypt (using the fact that in Egypt 
they only saw the finger of G-d while on the Sea they saw His hand).

But we have a Michna in Pirkei Avot (beginning of chapter 5) which says that
the Egyptians received 10 plagues in Egypt and 10 near the sea.

How these two versions can be harmonized ?

Nicolas Rebibo
Internet: <rebibo@...>
listowner: <judaisme-l@...>


From: Zvi Weiss		 <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 12:42:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kitniyot

This past Shabbat, I was out at Ofra and the Rav there stated that he 
felt that the gezeirah of Kitniyot did NOT include the use of "mei 
Kitniyot" as this would have been a gezeira far stricter than the Tora's 
own restrictions on "real" Chametz.
He was pretty emphatic about this.


From: <nschloss@...> (Norman Schloss)
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 07:51:46 -0500
Subject: Lactaid

Sorry for the delay in writing but I just caught up on the mj
postings. Rabbi Blumenkrantz is his book says the following"...the enzyme in
the Lactaid drops is derived from a yeast which is grown on corn(kitniyos)
and the enzyme found in the tablet is grown on wheat bran (chametz). For
practical purposes,preferably neither should be used on Pesach. Those who
need to drink milk should anticipate this problem and put the drops into the
milk before Pesach. If this was not done and the need to drink milk arises
during Pesach, Rabbinic advise should be sought."


From: Alan Pollard <a.pollard@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 02:26:49 -0400
Subject: Leaning at the Seder

The statement by Rabbi Rosenblum (vol 19 #28) that "he had heard that
the reason for leaning to the left is that, should one lean to the
right, the epiglottis will not cover the windpipe and so may lead to
choking" should not be accepted without support.

Both the epiglottis and the windpipe are midline structures and I do not
see any reason for it to be more dangerous to lean to one side rather
than the other.  Sources please!


From: Bob Klein <KL2@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 1995  08:52:51 EDT
Subject: More on Shmurah Matzah

Thanks to all of you who responded to my post about Shmurah Matzah.
While you addressed the halachic aspects, no one addressed the consumer
issue that Paskesz ignored my concerns that _every piece_ of their Cohen
Halperin Shmurah Matzah was broken.  This is what Paskesz wrote when I
pursued the issue through an intermediary.

"...I wonder if she asks for a refund from Kellogs [sic] for all of the
broken corn flakes...We refuse to refund claims that we consider

I believe this attitude is rampant among kosher
manufacturers/distributors and kosher consumers have, unfortunately,
become resigned to the abuse.  How do we, as consumers, assert our
rights to an honest value?


From: Naftoli Biber <bibern@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 21:38:34 AEST
Subject: Nuts at the Seder

It was mentioned in a previous submission that Reb Moshe gave out peanuts at 
the seder to keep the children's interest.
In the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (472:32) it says that it is a mitzvah to 
distribute nuts to the small children before the start of the seder in order 
that this will arouse their interest.  It does not mention what type of 
nuts in the Shulchan Aruch but it seems to be our custom in Lubavitch to 
give out walnuts.
My Rov here is Melbourne has the minhag to give out, or allocate, nuts to all 
his children and grandchildren (many of whom are overseas).  I have not seen 
this anywhere else but it certainly makes him and his Rebbetzin feel that 
all their children and aineklach (grandchildren) are with them even though 
they may be physically thousands of miles away.
A Kosher and Freilichen Pesach,

   Naftoli Biber                          <bibern@...>
   Melbourne, Australia                   Voice & Fax: +61-3-527-5370


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 08:37:52 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Singing Broken Matzohs (that's Singing as in Burning)

I am afraid this notice may not reach most MJers before Pesach, but the
solution to broken Matzos of burning the edges is mentioned in the Shemiras
Shabbos KeHilchasa vol. 2 chap. 55, see footnote 35. In the new vol. (3), Reb
Shlomo Zalman zt'l notes that since this is considered to be "fixing" the
Matzos, it is not permissible to do this on Yom Tov proper, only on weekdays
or Chol HaMo'ed.
Chag Kasher v'Samei'ach,
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 95 12:05:46 EDT
Subject: Solving a minhag puzzle

<RSRH@...> (Steve Bailey) writes:
>Much of what we do regarding observances is based on minhag rather than
>halacha. One ubiquitous minhag on Shabbat and Yom Tov, when we make
>"motzi" on challah, is making a pre-slice into the challah before
>pronouncing the bracha.

I asked a Chabad rabbi about this a year ago.  He told me that it's a
compormise between our daily bread-eating minhag and the requirements
of Shabbat.

During the week, we tear off a piece of bread and hold it while making
Motzi (the blessing over the bread), and you quickly eat that piece as
soon as you finish the bracha (blessing).  This is because there
should be a minimal delay between making a bracha and taking the
corresponding action - you should rush to do a mitzva.

But on Shabbat, at kiddush, you can't do this.  You need two whole
challot (lechem mishna).  If you tear a piece off of one, it's no
longer acceptible for the kiddush!  So we compromise by making a small
slice in the bread to symbolicly demonstrate our zeal to eat the bread
as soon as possible after motzi.


From: <Z-Suldan@...> (Zal Suldan)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 08:16:41 -0500
Subject: The 1st Cup

>From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>

>it is really preferable to drink
>at least an entire "revi`ith" for the first cup.  The reason for this is
>that you are supposed to have kiddush bemaqom seudah [in the place of
>your meal].  Besides being in the same place, it needs to be at the same
>time; the accepted time gap is 1/2 hr. Since few of us will reach the eating
>of mazah within a half hour of kiddush, we should make a "meal"
>out of wine.  One needs a revi`ith to do so.

How does this play with the lack of a bracha achronah on the wine (many of
us probably won't make 72 minutes either)? I understand one needs a minimum
shi'ur for kiddush, but don't we make a point of not eating a k'za'it of
karpas just so we don't obligate ourselves for a bracha achronah?

Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program - Department of Cell Biology and Genetics
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center / Cornell University Medical College
Replies to: <Z-Suldan@...>    or   ZSuldan@Stud.Med.Cornell.edu


From: <nre@...> (Nicolas Rebibo)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 18:29:44 +0200
Subject: Wicked Son

Lon Eisenberg wrote:
> Although normally we are not allowed to teach Torah to a wicked person
> (apikores) for fear that he'll use the additional knowledge against
> Torah, on the night of the Seder, which is a very special and auspicious
> time, we do teach him.

I learned last year that if you carefuly look at the text of the answer,
you'll notice that it is not given to the wicked son: in the answer, the
Hagada cites a verse which says "that G-d did for me when I came out of
Egypt" and comments "for me not for _him_, if he had been there _he_
would not have been saved". If the answer was directly said to the
wicked son, it should have said "for me not for _you_ ...".

Lon gave one reason why we don't engage in Torah learning with a wicked

This answer is therefore given to prevent the "child who does not know"
from being influenced by the wicked person.

Nicolas Rebibo
Internet: <rebibo@...>
listowner: <judaisme-l@...>


End of Volume 19 Issue 36