Volume 20 Number 78
                       Produced: Mon Jul 31 17:11:06 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brushing Teeth on Shabbat
         [Michael R. Stein]
Chazak Chazak halacha
         [Gedaliah Friedenberg]
crossing fingers
         [A. M. Goldstein]
Information on Koshrut
         [Greg Harris]
Israeli insurance policies
         [Shmuel Himelstein (n)]
Meat and wine during the 9 days
         [Jan David Meisler]
Pig Skin
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Pigeon Ceremony
         [Seth Ness]
Pigeon Ceremony & Pirya Verivya
         [Joe Goldstein]
Pigeon Ceremony.
         [Constance Stillinger]
Pigeons and Pv"R
         [Menachem Fishbein]
Using the Facilities of Treif Restaurants
         [Shmuel Himelstein (n)]
Violence, shailas, etc...
         [Freda B Birnbaum]


From: Michael R. Stein <mike@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 15:46:29 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Brushing Teeth on Shabbat

I have two data points on the "it's ok" side of the question, and one on
the "it's not ok" side.

1. I have, once removed from Rav H. Schachter, twice removed from the
Rav, that the p'sak of the Rav and of Rav Schachter following him, is
that there is no problem brushing one's teeth with toothpaste and
toothbrush on shabbat.  I would not, at this remove, attempt to supply
the reasoning.

2. I have read a t'shuva of Harav Regensburg z"tl, former Rosh Bet Din
of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, explicitly permitting toothbrushing
with toothpaste on shabbat.  This volume of his piskei din is hard to
find; I know that the Spertus College library in Chicago has a copy.  In
his p'sak he explicitly refers to, and claims to refute the reasoning
of, a p'sak of his "friend" Rav Moshe Feinstein to the contrary (which
is my other data point).

Mike Stein


From: Gedaliah Friedenberg <gedaliah@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 10:44:08 -0400
Subject: Chazak Chazak halacha
Newsgroups: shamash.mail-jewish

This past shabbos I heard from Rav Shlomo Cohen (of Monsey) an
interesting halacha which is not well known.

When a shul is reading the last parsha of one of the 5 books of the
Torah, we end the reading by the congregants saying "Chazak Chazak
V'nitchazek", followed by the ba'al koreh [Torah reader] saying the

According to Rabbi Cohen, the person who received the aliyah which
concludes with "Chazak" does NOT say these three words.  These words are
directed to the oleh [the person who received the aliyah] as a bracha.
Since a person does not give himself berachos, the oleh should remain



From: A. M. Goldstein <MZIESOL@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 95 14:27:19 IST
Subject: crossing fingers

Does anyone know the origins of crossing fingers to express hope/good
luck, on the one hand, and a kind of sagih nahor (opposite)/don't mean
it, on the other hand?  Specifically is this custom christological in
origin?  Is it forbidden to Jews, whether it has religious origins or


From: <metpjf@...> (Greg Harris)
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 09:40:06 -0400
Subject: Information on Koshrut

I am searching the internet for information on koshrut.  I have just begun
keeping kosher any any additional information (articles, newsgroups, etc)
would be helpful.  Any assistance you could provide would be appreciated.

Greg Harris
Washington, D.C.


From: Shmuel Himelstein (n) <himelstein@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 13:43:59 GMT
Subject: Israeli insurance policies

By far the worst day for traffic accidents in Israel is statistically
Shabbat, as we all too often see reflected in accident accounts in the
Sunday newspapers. The reasons are varied - soldiers home on leave from
the army, youngsters on a "night out," etc.

Years ago, Israelis who did not drive on Shabbat enjoyed a significant
premium reduction on their car insurance, as their cars were simply not
on the road 1/7 of the time (and the most problematic 1/7, at that).
For some reason, this proviso was scrapped and for years all Israeli
drivers have been paying the same car insurance rates whether Shabbat-
observant or not.

Recently, as my son who works in the insurance industry in Israel told
me, this Shabbat reduction has been reinstated. Understandably, the
proviso in these policies is that anyone with this rate reduction is not
covered by car insurance if he/she drives the car on Shabbat.  However -
and I think that readers will find this interesting - the car insurance
policy of all three major companies who offer this reduction has the
following proviso: that while car driven on Shabbat will in general not
be covered by car insurance during that time, they will be covered if
the car is driven "in those cases where this would be permitted
according to the Shulchan Aruch" (i.e., women in labor, etc.)

A meshing of modern-day commerce and halachah ...

         Shmuel Himelstein
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


From: Jan David Meisler <jm8o+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 14:13:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Meat and wine during the 9 days

[I have posted this to mj-chaburah, as the topic of discussion there. I
will post all replies there, and then post back to mail-jewish the
archive file location of the discussion. 

To subscribe to mj-chaburah, send the message:

subscribe mj-chaburah "put your name here"

to: <listproc@...>


I was wondering if anyone knew the reason why we don't eat meat or drink
wine during the nine days.  I asked one of the Rabbis in my shul the
other day, and he said that the only source he seemed to be able to find
was the Rambam who says that we can't eat meat or drink wine on Erev
Tisha B'Av.

The reason that I first thought of was that we say "Ain simcha ela
b'basar v'yayin" (there is no joy, except with meat and wine), and so by
eating meat or drinking wine we increase our happiness.  The problem I
see with this though (and the Rabbi I mentioned it to agreed with me) is
that a person who is in mourning is permitted to eat meat and drink
wine.  Does that mean we are "worse off" than a mourner is?  This
doesn't make sense to me, because the only day we are considered like a
mourner is on Tisha B'Av itself.



From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 15:59:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Pig Skin

The Torah states that if one touches a dead pig, one becomes tamey
(ritually impure ).  With the exception of a male kohein and proximity
to a corpse, the Torah never prohibits a person from becoming impure.
The Torah places restrictions on what an impure person can do ( not eat
sacrifices ), or where he can go ( the Temple area ), but there is no
specific injunction against beocming impure.



From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 1995 23:05:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Pigeon Ceremony

The pigeon ceremony is not a talmudic remedy. It was dealt with by Fred
Rosner in the New York State Journal of Medicine, vol 92. no. 5.

The earliest Jewish source is Divrei Yitzchak, by Yitzchak Weiss from 1896.

A friend of mine traced an identical cure using a duck to 'the magus or
celestial intelligence' by Francis Barret, 1801. Its a sorcery book.

So the pigeon cure seems to come from the finest traditions of
transference magic.

Oh yes. There isn't any evidence that it works. Rosner deals with that.
Hepatitis very often (depending on the type) will go away on its own. The
pigeons die either through suffocation, or ruptured spleens caused by
holding it tightly. And Rosner tracked down plenty of cases where the
patient died anyway.

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 95 22:39:18 
Subject: Pigeon Ceremony & Pirya Verivya

1) Pigeon Ceremony: This ceremony has been used in Jerusalem for a long
   time.  I do not know of ANY written source for this.  I have spoken
   to my doctor, who is a religious fellow and is familiar with it, and
   he says he does not believe it works!  The bird dies, he feels,
   because it has been held so long.  He has not seen unequivicable
   proof that it works.

2) PIRYA VERIVYA _ See the Minchas Chinuch where he discusses the issues
   you brought up.  In a nutshell he says since it is impossible to
   assure a child is born, Getting married and attempting to procreate
   would be the fulfillment for one who, heaven forbid, does not bear
   any children, Or is lucky enough to have children but they are all
   the same gender.

Joe Goldstein (EXT 444)                                                        

From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 1995 22:01:15 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Pigeon Ceremony.

Richard Schiffmiller <moe@...> writes:
> 	The Rabbi came with three white pigeons.  The patient lay on a
> couch on his back.  The Rabbi placed the anus of one of the pigeons on
> the patient's navel.  The idea is that the toxins in the patient are
> supposed to transfer through the navel to the bird and kill it.  The
> Rabbi held the pigeon in place, and after one-and-a-half hours, the
> pigeon died.  He then took a second pigeon and repeated the procedure,
> and this pigeon died after twenty minutes.

Not only is this procedure certainly medically ineffective, it involves
significant cruelty to animals.  I hope it doesn't become widespread.

Dr. Constance A. (Chana) Stillinger        <cas@...>
EPGY, Stanford Univ.   Morris's Mommy   "Hoppa Reyaha Gamogam" (Lev. 19:18)


From: <FISHB@...> (Menachem Fishbein)
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 22:40:35 +0400 (EET-DST)
Subject: Re: Pigeons and Pv"R

1. During recent hepatitis outbreaks here in Israel, I heard of many
cases of using pigeons. I did not see it, but my wife did. The pigeons
died much more quickly than you describe, and the patient felt a sucking
sensation around the navel. The patients in most cases experienced an
immediate drastic improvement, if not cure. I must add that it is NOT
considered a ceremony, but a treatment, like any other alternative
medical treatment.

2. In many cases our obligation is Hishtadlut, to try to fulfill our
obligation even where we can't be sure of success.  A specific example
along the lines you ask, though, is probably SHiluach Haken.  In this
case, the Torah says: Ki yikreh... If the situation presents itself to
you. You cannot fulfill the mitzva with a "domesticated" bird. Most
people never get the opportunity, even though it is one the 613.  I
don't know from your address where you are from, but with your attitude
about not missing mitzvot, you should be anxious to come on Aliyah so as
not to miss out on all the Mitzvot Tluyot b'Aretz.

Forgive my transliterations and missing translations

-Menachem Fishbein


From: Shmuel Himelstein (n) <himelstein@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 09:09:54 GMT
Subject: Using the Facilities of Treif Restaurants

 From my days in Baltimore Yeshiva, I remember having heard that Rabbi 
David Kronglas, Zatzal, the revered Mashgiach, would every so often be 
driven to New York and back for weddings of Talmidim. Friends of mine 
who drove him mentioned that when he stopped by at one of the turnpike 
restaurants to use the bathroom facilities, he would make a point of 
having the Bachur driving him buy him a tea, in order not to just use 
the facilities without buying anything. Whether he meant that this is 
Halachah or that it was just one of the myriad acts of his great piety, 
I do not know - but I think it is an act worthy of emulation.

         Shmuel Himelstein
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 1995 23:12:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Violence, shailas, etc...

In v20n75, Michael Linetsky responds further re violence in schools: 

I'm at a loss as to why a disagreement has to be described as violence.
(Okay, maybe I didn't see the implied smiley...)

> You miss the point again. I said that the Rabbis produced from such
> schools end up just as refined as in those where they sit in their
> corners. This being the case you may ask your she'eloth to them. 

I have my own sources for shailas, thanks just the same...

> By the way, thank you for you grammatical comment. 

Ummm, the comment was about the content, not the grammar.

BTW (and maybe we can start another thread here....) ... perhaps it is
time to seriously consider producing women who are learned enough to
answer shailas (practically speaking they sometimes do, re kashrus
issues, on an ad hoc basis...)... There are entire areas in which it
would be more appropriate for women to ask shailas of other women.

Expecting plenty of violent emotion on that one... >-)  :-)

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


End of Volume 20 Issue 78