Volume 20 Number 98
                       Produced: Thu Aug 10 21:46:09 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chillul Shabbat
         [David Charlap]
Cutting Hallot
         [David Cooper]
Dan Lekaf Zechut
         [Elozor Preil]
Flying on Shabbos
         ["Andy Goldfinger"]
Noise Levels in Shul
         [Gayle Statman]
Peculiar kashrus question...
         [Constance Stillinger]
Protocols of Zion
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Reading in Kriat Hatorah
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Sources for Kippah
         [Hannah Gershon]
Torah reading
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Unusual Berachot
         [Joshua Hosseinoff]
Waiting between Dairy and Meat
         [Jonathan Katz]


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 95 11:42:12 EDT
Subject: Chillul Shabbat

Turkel Eli <turkel@...> writes:
>... I recall a responsa from Rav Chaim David Halevi
>in his set "Aseh lecha rav" where he discusses the issue. His conclusion
>is that though in theory one should not ask a nonreligious Jew to cover
>for shabbat nevertheless in practice he permits it. ...

I'm curious why he says one should not ask this.  Hava 'amina (I
would've thought - a Talmudic phrase introducing an argument that will
soon be proven wrong - as this one probably will be) that it would be
better for a doctor to ask a non-religious Jewish doctor to cover for
Shabbat.  Why?  Because the non-religious Jew will probably be violating
Shabbat anyway, and it would be better he do so in a way that is
permitted - saving lives.


From: <dacooper@...> (David Cooper)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 17:22:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Cutting Hallot

moving away from _mekhalei shabbat_[descrating shabbat] issues & after
discussing kiddish, lecha doddi... i'm seeking clarification (and
sources, of course) for how _hallah_ is cut on shabbat.  as a note: i'm
concerned about how it's cut, not prepared to be cut (e.g. marked,
initial cut, etc.)

thus far i've seen:

(i) placing one _hallah_ atop the other; on _layl shabbat_ [friday
eve./dinner] the bottom _hallah_ is cut.  _ba'yom_ [the day/lunch] the
top _hallah_ is cut.  what happens at _seudat shilishit_ [the third
meal/ between mincha & ma'ariv] i don't know.

(ii) grabbing both _hallot_ [pl. _hallah_] and holding them
back-to-back, and then cutting one or both of them (depending on the
"party" size).

(iii) having both _hallot_ lying flat on the _hallah_ (cutting) board
and then cutting one of them.

in cases (ii) & (iii), no differentiation is made at any meal wrt which
_hallah_ is cut.

a side question is why do some people make _motzei_ with the _hallot_
covered, while others, remove the cover immediately prior to the
_bracha_ [blessing]?  sources also appreciated here.


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 00:50:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Dan Lekaf Zechut

>I believe that we "dan lekaf zekhuth" to a righteous person (zaddiq) or
>average person (bein 'oni).  To a rasha` [one who is known to not
>observe], we are not expected to give him the benefit of the doubt,
>since there is very little doubt.

The Rambam in his commentary to Avos (1:5) noted that there is a
significant difference between a tzadik and a beinoi.  We are obligated
to give the beinoni the benefit of the doubt if his action can
reasonably be interpreted either way.  However, in the case of a person
known to be a tzadik, even if we see him doing something that is clearly
wrong, and it can be interpreted favorably only "b'dochak gadol" (with
great difficulty and imagination), nevertheless we are required to judge
him favorably.  The exact opposite is the case regarding a known rasha.

In conclusion, let us remember that as we judge others, so G-d judges us.

Elozor Preil


From: "Andy Goldfinger" <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 10 Aug 1995 12:20:42 -0400
Subject: Flying on Shabbos

Sherman Marcus comments:
"...in the  same way [i.e. by flying through different time zones -- A.G.] ,
one can in principle fly into Shabbat and then out again. "

I once asked Rabbi Moshe Heineman this question.  I had an opportunity
to take a Friday Afternoon flight from Tokyo to a city in the U.S.
Because of the dateline (halachic, not international) the flight would
arrive in the U.S. on Friday morning.

Rabbi Heineman said I could take the flight.  When it got dark, Shabbos
would begin.  He said that I didn't need to light candles or make
kiddush, but that I should not do melacha [activities forbidden on
Shabbos].  Then, when I crossed the dateline, Shabbos would disappear
and I could do melacha again.  There was no need to make havdalah.

In the end, I decided not to take the flight.  What would happen, for
example, if the plane developed a problem and returned to Tokyo, landing
on Shabbos?  But -- in principle -- Sherman Marcus is right. I could
have taken the flight.


From: Gayle Statman <GAYLE_STATMAN@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 95 13:10:38 EST
Subject: Noise Levels in Shul

Winston Weilheimer asked

>By the way, why is there so much distraction and talking in the 
>congregation do you suppose?

I wish I knew.  I grew up in a C shul, which was very quiet.  After 7
years, I am still not comfortable with the noise and general lack of
decorum at the O shul I now attend.  My Rabbi is equally upset by it,
but he tells me that, 1) it is much quieter than most other O shuls; and
2) it is much quieter than it used to be.  Those answers, unfortunately,
do not satisfy me.


From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 12:27:02 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Peculiar kashrus question...

I may need to boil some peat moss for my fish.  My question is whether I
can do this without treifing up my big dairy spaghetti pot, or if I
should get a pot dedicated to this purpose.

Peat moss comes from the garden store; people don't eat it.  It's plant
material that's supposed to be sterile, meaning no live bugs in it, but
there's no way I could tell if there were any small bug carcasses in it.

Of course when the time comes I will have to ask a rabbi, but every time
I ask an off-the-wall kashrus question here I'm rewarded by a wealth of
interesting and useful comments---and if everyone says "get another pot"
then I'll start shopping for a cheap one.

(Are there any Rabbis or others here who keep Amazonian tropical fish
who can answer this question?)


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


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 09:57:00 -0400
Subject: Protocols of Zion

The April 1995 edition of Readers Digest carried a full article about
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a century old anti-semitic
diatribe that is currently circulating worldwide. I also learned that
the entire text is available on WWW or elsewhere in Internet. Can
someone assist me with locating the Protocols? What I need is a
walk-me-through step=by-step so that I can assign the search to students
of modern Jewish history?

Chaim Wasserman


From: <azz@...> (Ari Z. Zivotofsky)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 10:33:50 -0400
Subject: Reading in Kriat Hatorah

In response to Prof. M M Lehman's querry regarding reading during

Rav Sternbach in Moadim uzemanim vol.8 #25, p.10 has a short discussion
of this. He cites Rabbi Akiva Eiger as saying that if someone looked at
the text then looked away and said the words it is no good. Presumably
this looking away includes even looking at the next word. R. Sternbach
calls this opinion a great novelty. Without it one would have thought
that reading from the torah is like any other readin, ie reading then
saying, even if not still fixated on those words.


From: <GERSHON@...> (Hannah Gershon)
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 09:43:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Sources for Kippah

   I have been following with interest the recent musings over the
sources for men wearing a kippah.  If I understand correctly, the
general idea is that it is a very strong minhag (with a probable remez
{hint} in the Torah), and that it is connected to showing that "we" are
avdei Hashem, servents of Hashem (along with related ideas such as
reverence for Hashem, etc.).  I am curious, however, about why this
minhag -- which has such an important symbolic value -- is only carried
out by men.  It seems that somewhere along the line, "head" and "hair"
became seperated for women such that they cover their *hair* for other
reasons, but covering their *head* as part of the avdei Hashem symbolism
got lost or repressed or.....what?  That is my question: What is the
source for (unmarried) women to NOT cover their heads (anymore?)?

Hannah Gershon, <gershon@...>


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 1995 22:54:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Torah reading

Manny Lehman asks for someone who "understands reading" to comment on  
how Torah readers can be sure they are really reading and not saying the 
torah from memory.  He correctly points out that normal readers don't 
look at one letter at a time.  In cognitive science this (not only in 
reading) is called "chunking".  that is, when something is first learned, 
it is accomplished in small pieces (e.g. one letter at a time).  with 
more practice, larger and larger pieces are "chunked" together to become 
one piece of "knowledge". a torah reading example would be a whole word, 
or a whole common verse such as "G-d spoke to Moses saying, or for an 
expert, probably other verses as well are "chunked" - the whole verse 
rather than even single words let alone single letters.  So it is 
absolutely correct to wonder how to "read", as opposed to saying the 
words from memory.  

I think the solution is like this.  The letter is not the "basic unit" of 
reading either.  There are smaller units that come into play when someone 
is first learning how to read (and also later for those with reading 
problems).  For example, parts of letters that distinguish one letter 
from another (think of optical character recognition).  So the idea that
having the Torah reader look at each letter separately constitutes 
"reading" is somewhat arbitrary.  

The torah reader has a lot going on at once: the trop is memorized, and 
vowels are (I'd guess) partly memorized (where unexpected vowelization) and 
partly read as part of the word (where expected). but how can that be? 
How can someone read what is not written? Yet another example that 
the process of reading is very complicated.  I think the only solution is 
for the Torah reader to try hard not to say the words from memory (once, 
though, I did say "etz" instead of "ilan" or some such), and to give them an 
A or aleph for effort.

Aliza Berger


From: Joshua Hosseinoff <hosseino@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 03:09:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Unusual Berachot

I've found in old siddurim 5 different brachot one can use at havdalah 
for the spices.  The first three are commonly known and are Borei Minei 
Besamim, Borei Atzei Besamim , and Borei Isbei Besamim.  The two further
brachot are Hanoten Reiach Tov Bapeirot, and Borei Shemen 'Arev (which as 
apparently for Persimmon oil and something called Paliton).  I've seen 
Havdalah done often with the first three but never with these last two.  
Is there any reason why one can't make havdalah with an Etrog (after 
Succot is over of course) and say Hanoten Reiach Tov Bapeirot?  And 
wouldn't Borei Shemen 'Arev also apply to perfume?

Some other brachot that have fallen out of use:
Shenatan Erech Apayim Le'ovrei Retzono (If one sees a "merkolis" or other 
Meshaneh Haberiot (If one sees a black person or a "nanas" (pineapple?) 
or "piseach". 
She'asah et Hayam Hagadol (on seeing the Mediterranean).
'Oseh Ma'aseh Bereisheet (on seeing lakes, rivers, deserts, mountains 
where the greatness of the Creator is recognized)

And when's the last time you've the berachah "Lamol et Ha'avadim" (to 
circumcise a slave)  :)

The last one I can understand why it's not said anymore but all the rest 
I see no reason why one can't say them.

Josh Hosseinof


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 95 11:23:28 +0300
Subject: Waiting between Dairy and Meat 

Avrom Forman writes:
>Throughout the world there are various minhagin when it comes to the
>time people wait between eating meat and dairy...

I just wanted to point out that this question has been discussed on
mail-jewish previously. See v14n30, v14n38, v14n39, v14n48, v14n59 for

[Thanks. Mod.]

Jonathan Katz
home phone: 342-996, room 8


End of Volume 20 Issue 98