Volume 21 Number 03
                       Produced: Mon Aug 14  3:01:37 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

70 Languages
         [Israel Botnick]
Halacha and Paying Taxes
         [Jacob Klerman]
Head Coverings
         [Yaakov Azose]
         [Shmuel Himelstein (n)]
         [Elozor Preil]
How long to Wait between Meat and Milk
         [Sheila Tanenbaum]
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Noise level in Shul
         [Sam S. Lightstone]
         [Jack Stroh]
Problem of Refrigerator fan on Shabbat
         [Benyamin Buxbaum]
Religious Zionism
         [Aharon Manne]
         [Steve Wildstrom]
Zodiac Signs
         [Joel Ehrlich]


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 95 11:59:34 EDT
Subject: 70 Languages

Regarding the requirement for members of a sanhedrin (court of 23 or 71)
to know 70 languages, it's not enough for one member know these
languages, all the members must know them. The reason the gemara
(sanhedrin 17b) gives, is that by knowing all these languages they will
not have to use a translator to hear the claims of litigants or witnesses.
(They can judge more effectively if they hear everything directly).

The Rambam adds a few details to what is written in the gemara. Firstly,
the Rambam says that the judges should know many languages, without
mentioning anything about 70 languages. Clearly he understood that the
languages to be known are the ones that are spoken now, and not the
ancient 70. The Rambam also says that this whole requirement is preferable
but not required. A great scholar who knows 2 languages would be selected
to a sanhedrin over a lesser scholar who knows 100 languages. It is also
generally agreed that if no court speaks the language of the defendant,
then a reliable translator can be used.

Izzy Botnick


From: Jacob Klerman <klerman@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 95 10:54:02 PDT
Subject: Halacha and Paying Taxes

What is the halacha about paying taxes?  Is there reason to distinguish
between various types of taxes?  As usual, mekoros (specific citations)
would be useful.
Jacob Klerman


From: Yaakov Azose <yazose@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 1995 15:10:05 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Head Coverings

Hannah Gershon asks: That is my question: What is the source for
> (unmarried) women to NOT cover their heads (anymore?)?

It's not so simple that they shouldn't, at least at times of prayer. Rav
Ovadiah Yosef Shlit"a, in Yabia Omer (Helek Vav, Helek Orah Ha'im, Siman
Tet-Vav) and in Yehaveh Da'at (Helek Hey, Siman Vav) says that
Lechat'hila (the ruling before the fact), even unmarried women should
cover their heads while reciting all blessings, reading Tana"ch
(Scripture), and especially during the Amidah (silent prayer of 18(19)
blessings). He says, however, that those who have the custom not to wear
head coverings while praying and learning have upon whom to rely.

Yaakov Azose


From: Shmuel Himelstein (n) <himelstein@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 10:58:05 GMT
Subject: Hechsherim?

After all the discussion about the Hechsher of the Dubek cigarettes
(which, as I understand it, is for Pesach and certifies that there's no
Chametz in the glue of the cigarette wrapper), I thought that readers
might be interested in two other aspects of Hechsherim/Kashrut in

a) Fresh Ones (the baby wipes) have (special?) packages where the wipes
are not attached to one another. On them, the packages carry the
following little sticker (in Hebrew): "Permitted for use on Shabbat with
the approval of the Chief Rabbinate."

b) During Pesach, the daily Ma'ariv (and possibly other papers) does not
have the pages of each section glued together as it does the rest of the
year, the reason being, as it explains it, because there might be
Chametz in the glue.

Which reminds me - with your indulgence - of another sticker. On Yom
Ha'atzma'ut (Israel's independence day) all stores except for
restaurants must be closed by law. This presents a problem for the
stores in Meah Shearim - if they remain open, they risk a fine; if they
close, they're recognizing the "Zionist entity." A few years ago,
though, someone who must be a genius in PR came up with a solution.
Little stickers were put up on all the storefronts on Yom Ha'atzma'ut:
"Closed in protest against the Zionist occupation." Thus the stores were
all closed, but not Chas veshalom (heaven forbid) in acknowledgement of
the State of Israel. That is called having your cake and eating it!

         Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 01:56:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Hosafos

Several people have mentioned the custom of calling up hosafos as "hosafah"
(akin to Shlishi, revii, etc.).  This custom is news to me.  Does anyone have
any sources or comments?


From: <SheilaTAN@...> (Sheila Tanenbaum)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 15:45:16 -0400
Subject: How long to Wait between Meat and Milk

> From what I understand, the waiting period is dependent on
>the digestion of the food in your stomach. 

I heard that it was the interval between meals. That as one moved westward,
the Jews were richer, and ate more frequently. The Dutch wait one hour. And
as a wag said, have you ever seen a dutch person not eating? (no offense
meant. :D)

Sheila Tanenbaum


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 16:22:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kippah

Hannah Gerson asks why unmarried Jewish women no longer cover the
head. I think she assumed (correct me if i am wrong) that in some
previous time, unmarried women covered the "head", like men, but married
women (as currently) covered their "hair".

Actually, as the halakhic term indictates [kisui rosh = covering of the
head], women are supposed to cover the head.  Not hair.  Hence the
variations in "how much hair" women cover.  In times and places where
women in the prevailing culture covere(ed) up their heads, the Jewish
custom was/is similar to theirs, both as to degree of covering and who
had to do it.  For example, the Rambam [Maimonides] required both
unmarried and married women to cover faces too. Note that the face is
part of the head, not the hair.  Thus women, unmarried and married,
never covered their heads for the same reason men started to do so. It
is only recently that some women in the Conservative movement - rightly
so, in my opinion - have started adopt the men's-head-covering.

Perhaps the reason unmarried women didn't adopt the men-head-covering is
that they got married very young. Another, more cynical possibility is
that nobody thought about women when the men started to do it.  I
confess that all the recent comments about "all Jews expressing their
fear of heaven", implying that men = all jews, really rubbed me the
wrong way.  Even is the married women's head covering could be thought
of as expressing fear of heaven, it leaves the unmarried women nowhere.

Aliza Berger 


From: <light@...> (Sam S. Lightstone)
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 95 10:29:04 EDT
Subject: Noise level in Shul

A few years ago I heard a very good explanations (not excuse) for the
apparent lack of decorum in Orthodox Shuls, and the apparent excellence
of decorum in Conservative and Reform Shuls.

The Rabbi who spoke compared attendance at Shul to attendance at
someone's home. For example, we could parallel Shul to visiting the home
of an important person. The first few times we visit we are on our best
behaviour. If we have an audience with this v.i.p. once or twice a year,
we would also expect to be well behaved.  However, if we become good
friends with the v.i.p., and we visit every day, then after a while we
make ourselves at home.  We put our feet on his table, we read his
newspaper, pet his dog, sneak a few beers from his fridge... the usual
things that close friends do.

Similarly, in Reform and Conservative Shuls where many people attend
only two or three times a year, and where very few people attend every
day, then they naturally are on their best behavior. In Orthodox Shuls
it is very difficult to expect people to be so still and quiet when they
are often there twice a day, seven days a week. By no means is this
intended to justify talking in Shul, but only to explain its nature.

Sam S. Lightstone


From: <jackst@...> (Jack Stroh)
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 1995 21:41:44 -0500
Subject: Pilegesh

We have been discussing this Shabbat the latest disgrace to be a Chilul
Hashem in public, namely the topic of pilegesh. Does anyone know when this
custom fell into disuse? Was it at the time of the Cherem of Rabbeinu


From: <benyamin@...> (Benyamin Buxbaum)
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 1995 23:07:16 +0800
Subject: Problem of Refrigerator fan on Shabbat

    There is a problem with many no-frost refrigerators on Shabbat that
is more and more widespread. That is, the button that turns on the light
when the door is opened, is often used to turn the fan OFF at the same
time (that circulates the air throughout the fridge), in order that the
fan not blow out all the cold air while the door is opened. Unscrewing
the bulb will not disable the switch, so opening the door on Shabbos
while the fridge is running will turn off the fan, and on when closed.
    To test your refrigerator: The fan is located in the freezer. Since
it is extremely silent, pick a time when it is quiet like at night. Open
the freezer and bottom door at the same time while the fridge is
running. While listening in the freezer, press in the switch located
along the inside bottom-door wall. If the fan starts, then you have a
problem, and the switch needs to be taped down. Some models also have a
switch in the freezer.
         I have seen this problem in European and Japanese models and
now in a Westinghouse that someone has, so it may be fairly
universal. Around here, the problem wasn't well known, and I'd like to
know if other makes have the same problem
 Benyamin Buxbaum


From: <manne@...> (Aharon Manne)
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 95 10:39:01 IDT
Subject: Religious Zionism

Zvi Weiss writes (v20n99):
>In this situation, I would like to know what serious halachick/moral
>grounding does Oz V'shalom provide?

For those who wish to treat this as a real, rather than rhetorical question,
please contact Oz VeShalom/Netivot Shalom at the following address:
   Oz VeShalom/Netivot Shalom
   POB 4433
   Jerusalem 91043
   tel 02-610-712
They will be glad to send you material detailing their arguments on 
grounds of both halacha and morality.


From: Steve Wildstrom <swild@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 95 09:59:13 est
Subject: Re: Whey

<marks@...> (Larry Marks) writes:: 
>Could you discuss the kashrut of whey? Is there "kosher" whey? My 
>mother-in-law said it's "pareve".  It was listed as part of the 
>ingredients for an item.

     Whey is the watery part left after milk has been coagulated and the 
     curds filtered off. It's clearly a dairy product. It's kashrut status 
     beyond that gets pretty complicated since it depends on how the milk 
     was coagulated, whether the use of animal rennet renders the whey 
     traif either because of mixing milk and meat or because the rennet 
     itself is not from a kosher animal, and last but not least, the 
     kashrut of the original milk. We've had extensive, to say the least, 
     discussions of all tese issues without ever, as far as I can recall, 
     reaching any consensus conclusions.


From: Joel Ehrlich <ehrlich@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 10:16:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Zodiac Signs

I had always thought that the symbols of the Zodiac were neither of
Jewish origin or concern.  But recently I have seen them in places such
as artwork in a Hebrew bookstore, and in kinot.  Would anyone care to
comment on the Jewish relevance of these constellations?

Joel Ehrlich                         \           <ehrlich@...>
Department of Biochemistry             \              Home: (718) 792-2334
Albert Einstein College of Medicine      \                 Lab: (718) 430-3095


End of Volume 21 Issue 3