Volume 20 Number 83
                       Produced: Mon Aug  7  7:32:18 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Doing Mitzvot to the Best of our Ability
         [Yaakov Meyer]
Electricity on Shabbat in Israel
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Eliyahu and Pinchas
         [Eli Turkel]
Halachic Wills
         [Moishe Friederwitzer]
Kosher Cleaning Products
         [Warren Burstein]
Mixing Up Mincha and Maariv
         [Jerrold Landau]
Nusach(s) for the Yamim Nora'im
         [Andrew Marc Greene]
Procreation (2)
         [Susan Slusky, Art Kamlet]
Proposed U.S. Federal Meat and Poultry Regulations
         [Howard Reich]
R' Yaakov Emden's Sidur
         [Dave Curwin]
Seventy Languages
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Terumoth / Ma`Aseroth
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Washing Hair
         [Eliyahu Teitz]


From: <Yaakov_Meyer@...>, _Rabbi@tssnet.com (Yaakov Meyer)
Date: 03 Aug 1995 14:31:51 GMT
Subject: Doing Mitzvot to the Best of our Ability

The idea behind a mitzvah is to do it to the best of our ability. Your
example of Piryah v'rivyah re-enforces a basic principle of Judaism that
it is the effort that counts, not the results.

Rabbi Yaakov Meyer


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 3 Aug 1995  14:51 EDT
Subject: Electricity on Shabbat in Israel

Glad to see all the interesting discussions on Maris Ayin that have
developed since my initial query.  In that same post, I had asked
another question, to which no-one has responded; perhaps it got lost in
the shuffle.  Anyway, with Avi's permission, I'd like to bring up my
other question again.  Someone (sorry, I've lost the attribution) wrote:

>their own generators. Thus Rav Auerbach paskened that if one knew that
>only a local generator blew and that there were no very sick people in
>the neighborhood then indeed one would not be permitted to use the
>electricity that shabbat. However, under ordinary circumstances it is
>permitted as Himelstein brought down.

My question then is, in a case like this, where a local generator blew
and was fixed on Shabbos, what exactly would be entailed by not "using"
the electricity after it comes on?  Would one need to stay out of rooms
with lights on?  Take all the food out of the refrigerator?  Leave the
house if there is heat or A/C running?

- Elie Rosenfeld


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 16:10:23 -0400
Subject: Eliyahu and Pinchas

    There has been some discussion of the identification of Eliyahu as
Pinchas and so Eliyahu would be a Priest. That leaves many questions
open.  Pinchas was the high priest, can one resign this position? Where
was Pinchas/Eliyahu during the tenure of Ely and later during the
various kings David, Solomon etc. when we know the chief priests. Why
did he move to the northern kingdom rather than live in Jerusalem?

    The gemara indentifies many people as being the same which implies
that these people lived for many hundreds of years. One of the most
difficult is that Bilaam was Lavan. First why would such a wicked person
live for over 400 years from the days of Isaac to the end of the days of
Moshe Rabbenu? Also since Leah, Rachel etc. were Lavan's daughters it
implies that all the Jews were descendants of Lavan=Bilaam. Why would he
want to destroy his own descendants? Of course this conflicts with the
statement that Bilaam lived only 33 years.

   Based on such difficulties many commentaries say that when the Gemara
states that two people were the same person it is not to be taken
literally.  Rather the gemara is pointing out that these two people
shared common characteristics. Thus Bilaam and Lavan were similar
personalities but not identical. Using this approach we could say that
Pinchas and Eliyahu had many similarities, e.g. they both avenged the
honor of G-d. However, they were not the same person. Hence, Eliyahu was
from the tribe of Gad and not Levi. Eliyahu is referred as "ha-tishbi"
and "ha-giladi" because he came from these regions and not from


From: <MFRIEDERWITZ@...> (Moishe Friederwitzer)
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 1995 13:57:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Halachic Wills

In response to the recent request for information regarding the
preperation of secular wills in accordance with Halacha. I would like to
reccomend a text compiled by Andre Isaacson called Halachic Impications
of Death Wills and Inheritances. Andre Isaacson served as a law clerk to
Justice Menachem Elon of the Israel Supreme Court. The book was
published in 1991.

The book includes articles by Judah Dick, Rabbi Ezra Basri, Dayan Grunfeld,
Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik, Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler, Dr. Fred Rosner and Rabbi
J. David Bleich. He also includes articles re: living wills by Chaim Dovid
Zweibel of the Aguda.

For more information please contact me at <mfriederwitz@...> or
Kol Toov  Moishe Friederwitzer


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 1995 18:10:14 GMT
Subject: Re: Kosher Cleaning Products

Meyer Rafael writes:

>I have been under the impression that halachic principles determine
>that if a substance is unfit for a dog to eat then it is *not* food and
>by definition not classifable either 'kosher' or 'non-kosher' any more
>than a stone can be kosher or non-kosher.

>Naturally I am not speaking about chametz on Pessach which is clearly a
>special case.

Why should Pesach be different?  I am under the impression that "fit
for a dog to eat" is relevant on Pesach as well.

/ nysernet.org    


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 95 10:24:05 EDT
Subject: Mixing Up Mincha and Maariv

The following is an interesting question which probably can be answered
quickly by a LOR, but does contain some interesting halachic issues
which may be worthy of discussion.

(terms: plag hamincha - a halachic time 1.25 halachic hours before
sunset, at which time it is already permissible to daven maariv, or to
accept shabbat.  shkia - sunset time.  davin - to recite an order of
prayer.  birchos kriat shma - the blessings surrounding the recital of
shma during maariv)

The time is after plag hamincha, but before shkia.  Someone who has not
yet davened mincha inadvertently begins to davin maariv, and realizes
somewhere during birchos kriat shma that he has not yet davened mincha.
What should one do?  Should one stop where one is, and daven mincha, and
then daven maariv later?  Should one continue on, and say two shmone
esreis instead of one, and have it count for both mincha and maariv?  Or
should one just finish maariv as normal, and then daven mincha?

Would there be a difference if one has already finished birchot kriat
shma, and is already davening shmone esrei when one realizes the error?

I would be interested in hearing people's opinions on this situation.

Jerrold Landau


From: Andrew Marc Greene <amgreene@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 11:01:36 -0400
Subject: Nusach(s) for the Yamim Nora'im

I have been asked by my minyan to lead Kol Nidre/Ma'ariv and Ne'ilah
services this upcoming Yom Kippur. Can anyone out there recommend tapes
or books to use or to avoid? (I can sight-read music, so that's fine,
although all the sheet music I've seen so far assumes an organ and a
choir, neither of which I'll have. :-) I would like to make sure that I
am getting the nusach [modes and melodies] "correct" (if universal
agreement on such things exists :-) for the various piyuttim [liturgical
poems] as well as for the more usual portions of the services.

  Andrew Greene


From: <segs@...> (Susan Slusky)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 95 11:56:33 EDT
Subject: Procreation

Akiva Miller writes:
>One of my teachers pointed out the following: "Be fruitful and multiply"
>was the first command (or blessing, perhaps) which was given to humanity
>as a whole. 

It was my impression that this mitzvah was only given to the male half
of humanity. Do you intend to imply otherwise? That perhaps the mitzvah
was given to humanity as a whole and then withdrawn from half?

-- Susan Slusky

From: <ask@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: 3 Aug 1995  16:51 EDT
Subject: Re: Procreation

<Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller) writes:
>One of my teachers pointed out the following: "Be fruitful and multiply"
>was the first command (or blessing, perhaps) which was given to humanity
>as a whole. The mitzva of declaring and sanctifying the months was the
>first one given specifically to the Jewish people. Note the contrast:
>Fulfillment of procreation is really out of our control, no matter how
>hard we might try.  But sanctifying the months is totally IN our
>control: ...

Be Fruitful was also given to Jacob specifically.

But where was the commandment not to eat the sciatic nerve of an animal
given, if not to Jacob?  That is a commandment in our control, isn't it?
And wasn't it given to us, and not to all peoples, long before the
mitzvah of the months?

Brit Milah was given to Abraham, not to all peoples, but it was later
repeated at Sinai, so I'm not sure where it fits in.

Do not murder was given to all peoples, and is a commandment of Bnai
Noach, but it too was later repeated at Sinai.  But we do have control.

Art Kamlet   AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus   <a.s.kamlet@...>


From: Howard Reich <0006572811@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 95 13:37 EST
Subject: Proposed U.S. Federal Meat and Poultry Regulations

If reports in the Associated Press and the Jewish Telegraph Agency of
proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture safety standards are accurate,
they should be of considerable concern to the Jewish community in the

The AP item quoted a Walter Gelerman, a kosher butcher in Brookline, who
complained that the federal proposals would drive costs up, and Rabbi
Mordecai Twersky argued that the koshering process seems to accomplish
that which the new standards are designed to do, and therefore render
the new regulations as unnecessary.

Of greater concern is that which unidentified rabbis are quoted as
having said about the specific regulations: chemical solutions that
would be required could be considered pickling, which is forbidden, and
that chilling the meat "conflicts with" the kosher soaking and salting
process.  Are these halachic assessments valid?

All is certainly not lost yet.  These proposed regulations will be the
subject of a public hearing on Aug. 21 in Washington.  A government
spokeswoman said "the agency would consider any alternatives that kill
bacteria in meat and poultry."

The citation of any scientific studies in support of the contention that
the koshering process effectively eliminates pathogens from meat and
poultry, would be far more convincing than anecdotal evidence.  Have
such scientific studies been published, and if not have any such studies
been undertaken yet?

Howard Reich (<hreich@...>)


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Aug 1995 00:52:11 EDT
Subject: R' Yaakov Emden's Sidur

Does anyone know if a clear printed edition exists of Rav Yaakov
Emden's introduction to his siddur Bet Yaakov, Sulam Bet El? The only
edition I have seen has it printed in very unclear, small, Rashi
script. If an annotated or scientific edition exists, all the better.

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 1995 22:38:50 +1000
Subject: Seventy Languages

Somebody brought this up tonight (motzei tisha b'av is a lot earlier
here than it is over there), and he suggested that I ask "the internet".

The gemara in makkot (daf yomi) rules that there must be at least one
member of the Sanhedrin who knows "all seventy languages".  If mashiach
were to come tomorrow, and the Sanhedrin were to be reinstituted, how
many languages would be needed to be known?  Are there more or less than
seventy?  I assume that various dialects would be considered one
language, but I may be wrong.


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 07:32:11 +0000
Subject: Terumoth / Ma`Aseroth

We had a discussion in the car on the way to work this morning.  One
individual claimed that, based on a Gemarah (perhaps someone on the list
can provide the exact source), one is not allowed to use, say, a mushy
tomato as the part being separated.  I stated that this may have made
sense when we were actually giving the tomato to the Levi (or Cohen, in
the case of termuath ma`aser), but today, when the only thing we
actually separate is the terumath ma`aser (1%+ that we separate and
discard), which can not be eaten by any Cohen (because of tumah), that
this shouldn't apply.  I have even heard that pits can be used as the
terumath ma`aser, which he claimed was not the case.

A related issue, he also stated that the reason we are allowed to eat
the ma`aser rishon (tithe) is because of a decree by Ezra fining the
Leviyim for not returning to Erez Israel by removing their privilege to
receive the ma`aser rishon.  I thought that the reason was simply that a
Levi can only take from us (mozei mihavero) if he can prove he's a Levi,
and there are few who can do so.

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


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 12:06:54 -0400
Subject: Washing Hair

Keith Bierman asked:
>   When did hair washing become common? Was soap used??

There is mention of hair washing in the g'mara.  In a discussion in
G'mara Nidda ( 67a - 68a ) about what are barriers on the body that
render a dip in the mikva invalid, the g'mara discusses knotted hairs.
As part of the discussion is how early a woman may wash her hair and
detangle it, and not have to worry about tangles developing after the

But this was only once a month.

In Shulchan Aruch ( OC 260, 1 ), an opinion is cited ( Mordechai quoting
Shibboley HaLeket ) that a person should wash his hair weekly in honor
of Shabbat.  No mention of which brand shampoo was recommended.



End of Volume 20 Issue 83