Volume 20 Number 59
                       Produced: Thu Jul 20 23:07:41 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chatan and Kallah
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Kosher Cleaning Products (4)
         [Laurie Solomon, Jeremy Nussbaum, David Charlap, Neil Parks]
Miracle Thaw!! (2)
         [Daniel Faigin, Sam S. Lightstone]
Misc issues
         [Zvi Weiss]
Rabbi Yitzchok Ginsburg
         [Chaim Schild]
Separate seating at weddings
         [Marc Meisler]
Wedding Mechitza
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 14:31:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Chatan and Kallah

One of the reason I have heard for the groom and bride not seeing each
other for a week before the chupa has to do with an halacha relating to
marriage.  The g'mara ( Nidda, I do not remember the exact location )
states that a woman must wait one week after being asked for her hand in
marriage.  The reason given is that due to the excitement of the
proposal she might bleed in a manner that would render her a nidda ('dam
chimud' ).  After 7 days she would go to the mikva and could then get

I have always had problems with this line of reasoning.  First, in our
circles we generally have a much longer wait than 7 days between
engagement and marriage.  Also, if the engagement period is not
considered significant, when does the clock start?  At the badeken
(veiling ), the erusin ( first stage of marriage ceremony under the
chuppa ).  It seems that not counting the classic engagement period just
causes more problems.

The only option left is to assume that they are not seeing each other in
order to heighten the anticipation.  I think that the wedding day itself
generates enough excitement, that seeing each other a few hours before
the chuppa in order to speed up the picture process is worthwhile ( alas
I could not convince my wife of this line of logic ).

One suggestion I have heard for those who steadfstly cling to the notion
of not seeing each other before the badeken is for the couple to do a
private veiling before they take pictures.  In fact, in some Sfardic
circles the badeken is always done as a private ceremony, away from
everyone else.



From: Laurie Solomon <0002557272@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 20:15 EST
Subject: RE: Kosher Cleaning Products

Regarding cleaning products requiring a heksher...  only for things that
will come in contact with food, like your dish detergent, cleaner for
your countertops and table, etc.  I presume you will not be eating out
of your toilet..? :)

My understanding is that you can have treif in the house/can own it,
just can't derive pleasure from milk and meat together.  For example,
you could serve your cats beef by-products catfood, as long as it
doesn't have milk products in it.  Things of course are _completely_
different on Pesach when you can't own chometz, even if it's for your
animals or children.

Another example is serving treif to children or the ill.  When my first
child was really young, she couldn't digest milk or soy products, and
had lots of other allergies; the only formula she could really use
(without ill-effects) was Nutramigen, which uses some kind of treif
ingredient to break down the soy.  I had to be careful not to get the
stuff near my dishes or keep everything cold around it.  But the bottom
line, kashruswise was that it was OK.

Laurie Cohen

From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 12:35:50 EDT
Subject: Kosher Cleaning Products

> >From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
> What cleaning products need hashgocha?  This question occurred to me as
> I was using a phosphoric-acid based cleaner on my bathtub, and I
> realized I had no idea how phosphoric acid is produced.  The soap I use
> to wash dishes is O-U.  But I'm not in the habit of checking my toilet
> bowl cleaners for a hechsher.

Why not go on to gloves and clothing in general, maybe even tables and
chairs?  :-) On a more serious note, a better question would be about
the various forms of medicine that we take, some of which is flavored
and not bitter.

> Isn't it true that we're not allowed to derive any benefit from any pork
> product?  How do I know that *anything* I bring into the house---any
> household item, not just cleaning agents--- doesn't have pork-based
> components?

Does anyone avoid benefit from all pig derived items, like pigskin?

> Where is the limit generally set?

Or to ask the question from the other perspective, why are there
hechsherim on non edible products?

I have heard second hand that when asked that question, a posek for a
major kashrut organization mentioned the need to keep supervision rates
reasonable.  (The profit margin from the supervision fees for many of
the non edible items is much larger than for the more complicated food
items, so those profits could subsidize the costs of the more
complicated supervisions.)

Many years ago the members of our apartment asked R. Kelemer, then of
the Young Israel of Brookline, about dish detergent.  He replied that it
did not need a hechsher.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 16:12:46 EDT
Subject: Kosher Cleaning Products

I would assume that a hashgacha wouldn't be needed if the soap never
comes into contact with anything you'd put food on or eat off of (like
your bathroom appliances, floors, etc.)  Perhaps there are some more
strict communities, but I don't think kashrut really applies outside of
the realm of food.

Mind, you this is different from soaps that are kosher for Passover.  On
Pesach, you're not allowed to own or derive benefit from chametz,
whether or not you eat it.

>Isn't it true that we're not allowed to derive any benefit from any pork
>product?  How do I know that *anything* I bring into the house---any
>household item, not just cleaning agents--- doesn't have pork-based

I don't think there is any halacha forbidding all use of pig-derived
products.  For instance, I don't think anyone forbids the use of
footballs (which are often made from pig skin leather).  And diabetics
take insulin, which usually comes from porcine sources.  (And pikuach
nefesh wouldn't apply, since insulin is available from non-porcine
sources today.)  There are some people who won't wear clothes from pig
skin leather (I think it's sometimes used for shoes), but I think this
is minhag and not halacha.

From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 12:56:39 EDT
Subject: Kosher Cleaning Products

I think it is chometz on Passover that we are not allowed to derive any 
benefit from.  I have not heard of the same stringency in regard to pork.

There is a well-known contact lens cleaner that is made out of pork.  I 
personally don't use that brand, but I have never heard anyone suggest that 
it would be improper.

(As always, of course, CYLOR!)
     NEIL PARKS  Beachwood, Ohio    mailto://<nparks@...>


From: <faigin@...> (Daniel Faigin)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 08:51:25 -0700
Subject: Re: Miracle Thaw!!

<CHERYLHALL@...> (Cheryl Hall) writes:
> Do I toivel it? I haven't got a clue whether its plastic, metal or
> moonrock.  

As I recall, it is some form of cast aluminum. Hopefully, that should provide
the answers you need.


From: <light@...> (Sam S. Lightstone)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 12:15:16 EDT
Subject: Miracle Thaw!!

I'm not sure what this Miracle Thaw thing is, but the issue of toiveling
it is unrelated to whether it is pareve or not.

The Mitzvah of Toiveling applies to Keylim that we own which are made of
glass or metal. It has nothing to do with Milchigs Fleishigs Pareveh or

Of course, you should AYLR, but chances are that if you can't ascertain
what this thing is made of you should probably toivel it without a
Bracha. Better still, buy a 25 cent kitchen utensil (spoon, or a cheap
glass) and toivel them with the Miracle Thaw!!!; that way you can make
the bracha on the item that is definatively toivelable, and have in mind
the other item as well.

Sam S. Lightstone
Workstation Database Manager Development
IBM Canada, Software Solutions Laboratory
VNET: TOROLAB2(LIGHT)    INET: <light@...>


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 17:21:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Misc issues

I believe that we ARE allowed to get "benefit" from Non-Kosher products
(that are not associated with specific "issurei hana'ah" [certain
specified prohibitions that prohibit benefit such as idolatry or
Orlah]).  Hence the use of various cleaning agents (where the cleaned
item is not likely to be eaten -- and even here, this is probably a
chumra) for such areas as the Toilet probably IMHO do not need a
hechsher... (unless people like to snack on such items.....)

Also, that "miracle thaw" should not present a kashruth problem if it
never gets heated up -- unless you *wash* it in hot water and it still
has meat (e.g.) on it -- but the actual thawing process should not be an
issue.  So, part of the question is: how do you intend to use the product
before being able to discuss its kashrut status....)  {does anyone want
to discuss the scientific underpinnings of this "miracle product?}



From: <SCHILDH@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 12:30:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rabbi Yitzchok Ginsburg

I was wondering if anybody knew if Rabbi Yitzchok Ginsburg (the "mathematcian")
has published anything recently in the past year or so and where it
was available ??



From: Marc Meisler <mmeisler@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 1995 21:09:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Separate seating at weddings

I have been asked by several people for a cite as to where it says there
should be separate seating at wedding.  The Kitzur Shulchan Orach, when
discussing the law of benching after a wedding, in 149:1 says, "We must be
careful that men and women do not eat in the same room because if men and
women eat in the same room, we do not say 'in Whose abode is this
celebration'[said by the one leading benching] because there is not joy
when the Yetzer Harah (evil inclination) rules." 

Marc Meisler                   6503E Sanzo Road   
<mmeisler@...>         Baltimore, Maryland  21209


From: <yitzchok.adlerstein@...> (Yitzchok Adlerstein)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 09:59:28 -0700
Subject: Wedding Mechitza

Recent postings concerning the propriety of a mechitza at weddings
ignore one crucial factor.  A changing world requires Klal Yisroel [the
Jewish people] to find ways to cope with changing pressures on its sense
of kedushah [holiness].

Those who decried the recent insistence upon mechitzos in many circles,
cited the Rov z"l, and yibadel l'chaim, Rav Gifter, shlit"a.  I would
add Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, z"l, who reportedly argued that just as we
possess a mesorah [tradition] concerning where we must be machmir [take
a stringent view], we also have a mesorah that dictates where NOT to be
machmir.  It is inappropriate to call into question any part of our
mesorah.  And back in the old country, argued Rav Yaakov, men and women
sat at the same table at weddings.  Calling this halachically forbidden
would, therefore, not only cast aspersions on great people of the past,
but it compromises our view of the mesorah itself.

We would be wise, though, to take heed of another story about Rav
Yaakov.  He disagreed (as did Rav Moshe, z"l) with the many who pasken
[halachically decide] that the mitzvah of chinuch [educating children]
requires that three year old girls dress in full accord with standards
of adult tznius.  In other words, many people insist that their three
year old girls always wear skirts and sleeves of the appropriate length,
never wear pants, never go mixed swimming, etc.  Rav Yaakov held that it
was not until several years beyond that age - at a time that the girl
could understand much more what tznius is about - that parents should
train their child in this area.

He had a particular age in mind, whose number now escapes me.  To a
granddaughter who lived in my neck of the woods, the mother of small
children, Rav Yaakov hastened to add a beautiful insight.  "In Los
Angeles, where there is so much pritzus [immorality], you must start the
chinuch of tznius a year or two earlier."

Rav Yaakov was not arguing that there is a different Shulchan Aruch that
operates on the West Coast.  Halacha is halacha.  He did understand, as
we should endeavor to understand, that where the kedusha of Klal Yisroel
is under siege, we develop ways in which to strengthen the fortress.
Sometimes we dig a moat, and withdraw from the threat.  Sometimes we
find ways, by public demonstration, to reinforce values that need
shoring up.  Sometimes we do things that we don't really HAVE to
halachically, in order to show our contempt for "alternative" life

Separate seating at weddings, IMHO, should be seen in the same way.

We may not be required, halachically, to have it.  But as the world
swirls ever more vigorously aroung the opening of a moral sewer,
insisting on this public standard of tznius proclaims an important
message to ourselves and our children.  Barriers, separation of the
sexes, mechitzos have always been part of our antidote to possibilities
of compromised kedusha.  (See Rashi, beginning of Kedoshim, and his
stress on GEDER ervah as synonymous with kedusha.

This point will undoubtedly not sit well with certain contributors to
mail-jewish, but it is a matter that is quite basic to many others of
us.  It is not a matter I wish to debate publically.)  The institution
of separate seating is an appropriate way to remind ourselves of the
traditional armaments with which we have successfully girded ourselves
in the past - emphasizing our sense of and understanding of kedusha,
even beyond the letter of the law.


End of Volume 20 Issue 59