Volume 20 Number 88
                       Produced: Tue Aug  8  0:09:41 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aba Yudaya
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Avram and Sarai Brother and Sister
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
Electricity on Shabbat in Israel
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Kashrus of non-edible products
         [Micha Berger]
Kosher Cigarettes?
         [Sam Gamoran]
Summer Vacation
         [Yehudah Prero]
Tablet-K hechsher
         [Steve Albert]
U'shmartem Es Nafshoseichem
         [Moshe J. Bernstein]
Wedding Pictures


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 7 Aug 1995 11:52:58 -0400
Subject: Aba Yudaya

   A friend recently returned from a mission to Uganda.  She was part of
a group of people visiting the "Aba Yudaya" who are are a community of
approximately 300 people.  They trace their history to an interaction
with Christian Missionaries in 1919.  At this time, the missionaries
tried to convert a local community leader named Semei Kakangulu to
Christianity.  As he read more of the Bible (Tanach) he asked them why
they did not follow the commandments given in the Torah.  When their
answer didn't satisfy him, he broke off contact with them, but
apparently came to believe in their message that the Torah was given by
G-d.  He formed a religious group based on the Torah, and the present
day followers regard themselves as Jews.

My friend said that they traveled a long way to get to the community,
including six hours of driving into a remote part of the country.  When
they arrived, they were greeted by people singing "Haveinu Shalom
Aleichem."  The Aba Yudaya live at the subsistence level and have no
electricity or running water.  The live mostly in mud and adobe huts,
and are farmers.  She said that they are extremely friendly and
"menschlich" and very knowlegeable (in their own way) about Torah.  They
have a sefer Torah that they obtained somehow, and they have Shabbos
services at which the read it.  Some of them speak or understand Hebrew,
and they use Hebrew names.

   The American group that visited them was non-observant, except for my
friend.  Thus, on one occasion they were taken to visit the grave of
Kakangulu .  The community leaders asked the other members of the group
why they didn't wash their hands after visiting a cemetary!  (My friend
told them that she had washed in private.)

   Along with the group was a Reform Rabbi, and my friend says that the
Aba Yudaya seemed puzzled by him.  She said that they were more commited
to the practice of the Chumash than he was.  They didn't react well to
statements made in general by members of the mission that many of the
practices in the Chumash were old fashioned and most people didn't do
them any more.  For example, they have separate seating in their
synagogues (they have six, since they live in a very spread out fashion)
Some of the members of the mission objected to the separate seating and
sat together in protest.

  They spent long hours talking with the members of the group.  She was
very taken by their sincerity, intelligence and seriousness.  They
begged her to remain to teach them, but she could not stay.  They regard
themselves as Jews, but realize that other Jews do not accept them as
such.  Therefore, they are interested in undergoing geirus (conversion).
The Reform Rabbi tried to influence them to convert through the Reform
or Conservative movements.  One of the community members then asked "If
we do this, will it then make it easier for us to advance to Orthodoxy
so we can go to heaven?"

   Some of their other practices: they do have talleisim and they make
brochos when they put them on, but the don't seem to have tefillin.
Women are not allowed into their synagogues when they are menstruating.
They practice circumcision of males, but not females (unlike some of the
populace around them who do practice female circumcision).  They are
more egalitarian towards women than their surrounding society.  Thus,
they encourage women to learn and attend classes, and they allow women
to eat chicken (which is considered a delicacy for men only in the
surrounding society).  Also, they seem to have a lower incidence of AIDS
since they practice monagamy (as opposed to the rampant promiscuity in
their surrounding society).

   The Abu Yudaya seem to be a very sincere group of people who are
seriously interested in conversion.  What should our response be?  Are
there any Rabbonim or teachers who would like to get involved?


From: Robert Schoenfeld <roberts@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 22:18:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Avram and Sarai Brother and Sister

Though most of the messages on this mention only rabbinic source
archeological discoveries in the past 100 yrs or so have found out that
many near-eastern cultures married brothers and sisters if they would
rule together, including Egypt Aram and others. Maybe this is why Avram
Orvinu said Sarai was his "SISTER". This was actually to WARN Paro and
others away from her and when they tried to disregard the warning
somethiong happened to them from Hashem.

+          Robert Schoenfeld                        \     /               +
+                WA2AQQ                              \   /                +
+          E-Mail:<roberts@...>                     |                  +
+                                          Home RPTR 146.850 LI NY LIMARC +


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 11:05:02 -0400
Subject: Electricity on Shabbat in Israel

   Elie Rosenfeld asks about the psak that I brought in the name of Rav
Auerbach what happens if a local generator blew and that there were no
very sick people in the neighborhood.
   Sorry to say the problem is more general than that. In Israel most
buildings have lights in the halls that do not stay on all the time but
rather someone pushes a button and they stay on for a minute or two. It
has happened to me more than once that I walk in the dark up the stairs
and some friendly neighbor turns on the light for me. What do I do now?

    The psak I received is that one can continue doing all things that
one would have done anyway. Thus one can continue walking in the light
but not faster than if the light were off. Similarly if the generator
was restarted under circumstances that are not permitted one need not
leave the house but one should not read a book when it is dark
outside. Similarly, one can leave the food in the refrigerator but use
it in the same manner if the electricity were not turned on.
    Food on an electric oven presents a special problem and my guess is
that one should take any food on the stove off.

Eli Turkel


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 7 Aug 1995  14:53 EDT
Subject: Hosafos

>From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
>several other posters.  There is no special problem with the first two
>aliyot, except [... list of exceptions deleted...]
>Though the first two aliyot pose no specific problem, hosafot
>are usually not made there anyway, as there is a general custom to make
>hosafot, if any, in the latest aliyot that have sensible dividing points.

The common belief is that hosafos [added aliyos] can only be made in the
last two aliyos, "shishi and "sheviyi".  Is that incorrect?

- Elie Rosenfeld

PS: In fact, based on that assumed restriction, I once figured out that
there are a handful of parshas [weekly portions] in which you can't make
_any_ hosafos, because the last two aliyos have no legal internal breaks.
This is taking into account the need to read at least three pesukim
[verses] for each aliyah, the prohibition of stopping less than three
pesukim from a psucha or stumah [group of blanks], and the custom of not
ending an aliyah on a negative note such as a threatened punishment of
the Jews or the word "death".  Just for fun, can anyone figure out which
parshas cannot have hosafos (again, assuming that hosafos are restricted
to shishi and sheviyi)?  I will post the answers in a few days!


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 11:26:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Kashrus of non-edible products

My take on the subject was that food must be edible BY HUMANS in order
for kashrus to be an issue. According to my LOR's Shabbos Hagadol (Great
Shabbos, ie the Shabbos before Passover) speech, Pesach is a special
case because not only is chameitz prohibited but also leavening
agents. Leavening agents, since they aren't end-products need not be
food. For this reason for Pesach we are stricter and require the object
to be unedible even by dogs. Unedible leavened bread could be perfectly
usable for sourdough. But for normal purposes, we would define only
things edible by people as food.

R. Frand, in speaking about medication on Pesach, permitted the use of
all non-flavored medicine. They need not be checked for chomeitz since
they are obviously not food. When he was asked after the shiur about all
the lists of kosher-for-Pesach medications, he replied that we should be
happy that we live in a generation where people refrain from things that
are clearly permitted, instead of the other way around.


From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 17:59:58 +0000
Subject: Kosher Cigarettes?

With all the recent discussion about cleaning products not really needed
a kosher certification - how is it that cigarettes, which are placed in
the mouth, don't carry a hechsher on the package?  [This assumes that
one is permitted to smoke, an issue which I am not raising at the

I have heard, by rumor, that there is a small cigarette manufacturer in
one of the religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem which does have a
"Badatz" on the package, but none of the major brands, neither in Israel
nor in the U.S.  have such labeling.

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd. Cellular Software Engineering (MILCSE)


From: <DaPr@...> (Yehudah Prero)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 21:11:18 -0400
Subject: Summer Vacation

>From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
>I seem to recall, and I went to look but alas could not find the
>correct volume, a comment at the end of one of the commentaries on the
>Talmud (I vaguely remember it being the Maharam Shif ) that the
>preceeding commentary was written over the course of the year of study,
>and that said year was ending.  I do not remember if a date >was given
>for resumption of study, but the implication was that a brief vacation
>was starting.  And the year end date was in the summer.  I shall
>continue my search for the citation.

I believe what you are referring to is the Maharsha at the end of the
7th chapter of Shabbos, where he writes "From here until the end of the
perek I did not see fit to inlcude it in my book on "Chidushei Halachos"
because I did not learn it then while I was in Yeshiva, as I was at the
Yerid in Lublin." My knowledge of this aspect of history is not that
great, but I do not think he was at the Yerid (if I recall, some sort of
gathering, and I cannot remember if it was for commercial or religious
purposes) in Lublin because it was "Bein HaZmanim." In fact, the
statement could imply that HE was in Lublin for the Yerid, while others
were in Yeshiva at the time.  As an aside, when I first started learning
in Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem, I was told that there were no official
z'manim. Why? R' Moshe Feinstein zt"l felt that one cannot have a set
time to take off from learning. When one needs to take off, they will
take off then. If there is anyone that can verify this, it would be

Yehudah Prero


From: <SAlbert@...> (Steve Albert)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 09:34:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Tablet-K hechsher

[This sounds like it is carefully enough written that I'm not opening
myself up to any potential lawsuits here. Actually, the isuues of what
to do when you leave halakhic questions with more than one Rabbi, easy
to do today with answering machines, etc, is one I find interesting in
the discussion below. Mod.]

    I had this question come up a few years ago, when I bought a
well-known (in the U.S.) brand of frozen fish with that hashgacha,
thinking it reliable, and my wife thought it was not reliable.  Shortly
afterwards we ended up with someone ill in the house needing hot food,
and after a half dozen phone calls I heard from Rabbi A that Rabbi B, on
whom I usually rely, permitted it, so I prepared it.  While we were
eating the phone rang; Rabbi C, who had not been home, had gotten my
message, and called one of the major national agencies, which said that
it was *not* reliable.  OK, put down the forks.  (I asked about the
keilim, and was told they did *not* have to be kashered.  By the way, if
I'd heard directly from Rabbi B, I would have continued eating, but I
was going on hearsay, and the first *clear ruling* I received was
     I later happened to discuss this with someone from NY who works for
one of the O-U's executives, who told me that in the circles he travels
in, it *is* accepted.  Another friend in NY told me what I already knew:
some people in the frum world use it, others don't.  

Steve Albert (<SAlbert@...>)


From: Moshe J. Bernstein <mjbrnstn@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 09:53:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: U'shmartem Es Nafshoseichem

Could we please stop quoting the non-verse "u'shmartem es
nafshoseichem"!! failing that, could someone tell me where it's from??

moshe bernstein


From: Alana <alanacat@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 09:11:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Wedding Pictures

I'd like to make a wedding picture suggestion which avoids all the 
problems of meeting before after what have you.
At my wedding in January, I had a friend come and take a few photos 
beofre the wedding ceremony, which was stressful and the pictures came 
out only moderately well. What came out exrtemely well was that my 
partner had suggested that at the reception we put out a throwaway 
camera  for each table (actually we had a friend take them to each table 
so that the point of having one on each table could be explained to each 
group individually. At seperate seating weddings, you just get two people 
to do it). Each table was encouraged to take pictures of each other, one 
picture of the table together (all the people seated at the table, I 
mean) and to take very few of the bride and groom. This was ignored of 
course, but telling people not to take pictures of us at least reminded 
them to take SOME pictures of each other. What we got from this was a lot 
of candid, action pictures. They aren't all professional quality (in fact 
lots of them are slightly dark or slightly light or have a little blur to 
them) but they are almost all clear as to what is on the pictures, and I 
think on the whole, they're much more interesting then most wedding 
pictures. I should also add, they were cheaper to develop, and copies are 
easier and cheaper to disseminate to those who want them. I highly 
recommend doing this to anyone getting married. It works beautifully.



End of Volume 20 Issue 88