Volume 21 Number 62
                       Produced: Fri Oct  6  2:06:34 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ashkenazi and Sephardi stringencies
         [Russell Benasaraf]
Avoiding Customs/Duties and Halacha
         [Dani Wassner]
Bar Mitzvah customs
         [Michael Perl]
Chacham Harazim
         [Dr. Jeremy Schiff]
Hakhanah (Preparation) from Shabbat to Khol (weekday)
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Let Us Make Man
Let us make man
MIT Sukkah
         [Mike Gerver]
No religious content?!
         [Joshua W. Burton]
Original Names for Months
         [Victor Miller]
REQUEST: Software needed
         [Anthony Waller]
Ritalin tablets
         [Andrea Penkower Rosen]
Sunshine and "K"
         [Steve White]


From: Russell Benasaraf <76506.2607@...>
Date: 29 Sep 95 15:23:03 EDT
Subject: Ashkenazi and Sephardi stringencies

Concerning eating fish with milk,  Shmuel Himelstein  states that:
"And here I thought that only the Ashkenazim had stringencies, such as not
eating Kitniyot ("legumes") on Pesach."

Just as there are Ashkenazi stringencies, there are Sephardi ones. For
example, Sephardi "Bet Yosef Halek" meat is stricter than Ashkenazi
"Glatt" (there are no sirchot in the lungs). Besides not eating fish and
milk we wash our hands between fish and meat. And don't forget we say
silichot for the whole month of Elul. The Ashkenazi practice of letting
the mashgiach light the fire in order to prevent bishul acum (food
cooked by gentiles) does not work for Sephardim...the Jew has to put the
food on the fire.

As for the kitniyot, not all Sephardim eat all kitniyot on Pesach. For
example, my minhag (custom) is not to eat rice corn, or dried beens
(peas and green beens are okay). Sephardim have chomrot and kolot, and
Ashkenazim have chomrot and kolot. I think that they equalize in the

Shana Tova!!         Tizcu LeShanem Rabot!!


From: Dani Wassner <dwassner@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 1995 09:58:01 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Avoiding Customs/Duties and Halacha

A question to all those who have made Aliya:

Is there a halachic problem with bringing things into Israel without 
declaring them? ie not using up your rights. For example, bringing in a 
lap top computer in your hand luggage and not declaring it.


From: Michael Perl <mikeperl@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 00:08:32 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Bar Mitzvah customs

Ira Robinson asked whether it was proper to give a gift of a siddur or 
chumash to a Bar-Mitzvah boy on Shabbat.
The question raises a valid point and remembering back to my Barmitzvah 
this was an issue.
The custom at South Head Synagogue in Sydney Australia was to give a 
Singers Siddur to each boy. The rav at the time, Rabbi Silberman, would 
have a practise run with the boy the Sunday before the Shabbat and at 
that time would hand the siddur over as a gift and then take it back 
where one would receive it on the Shabbat.
Another I custom I heard of was in South Africa, the boy would be given a 
siddur on Shabbat but it was then taken back and the Rov would tell the 
boy to come back the next day for Shacharit to pick it up.
Insofar as whether it is proper to give a siddur on Shabbat as a gift: 
When I attended Lincoln Square Shul in New York recently, someone gave a 
drasha about giving presents on Shabbat. The issue related to the fact 
that since there was an eiruv in that area, what was permissible to take 
as a gift when invited to somone's house. The answer was that one could 
take anything so long as it would be of use on that Shabbat, such as a 
bottle of chilled wine or even a book. The only caveat was that before 
Shabbat, it was better to have appointed someone agent of the one who
invited who you and give him/her the gift on their behalf. However, this
was never stressed as being essential. 


Michael Perl


From: Dr. Jeremy Schiff < <schiff@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 1995 16:30:59 +0200
Subject: Chacham Harazim

I believe it is Rav Kook that explains the bracha "chacham harazim"
(made on seeing 600,000 Jews together) roughly as follows: there is no
natural way to explain that such a large collection of people,
necessarilly including people with nothing in common at all as
individuals, should feel a common bond as part of one people. The notion
of "nationhood", which bonds us together as Jews, irrespective of our
different origins, customs, professions, likes and dislikes and so on,
is one of Hashem's secrets.

Readers may be interested to know that in May 1948 the number of Jews in
Eretz Yisrael was approximately 625,000.



From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235%<BARILAN.bitnet@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 95 09:01 O
Subject: Hakhanah (Preparation) from Shabbat to Khol (weekday)

Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchato (Second Ed. Vol. 1, Chap 28, par. 71, note
159, p. 71) indicates that it is forbidden to prepare from twilight to
the weekday.  The fact is that the length of twilight depends to some
extent on the mitzvah or issur involved. For Shabbat we are normally
stringent and go by the appearance of 3 SMALL stars. For Rabbinic
matters we are generally more lenient. In Israel for instance, it is
common to Daven Ma'ariv Motzaei Shabbat 7-8 minutes before work can be
done, in addition Rabbinic fasts generally end ca. 20 min. after sunset.
I wonder whether one is permitted to do Hakhanah for Motzaei Shabbat
(not Melakha - only preparation) which is only derabanan (rabbinic in
prohibition) after twilight has ended for lenient rabbinic matters.

One intersting application of this problem has to do with Motzaei Yom
Ha-Kippurim. Here in Israel it is very common to end neilah early and
also blow Shofar early (i.e., after Rabbinic Twilight) even though work
and eating cannot be done for approximately 11 minutes. During this
period Maa'ariv is said. The question is whether hakhanah can be done
during this 11 minute period, e.g., setting up a brake-fast meal,
folding up chairs and collecting siddurim etc.

I'd appreciate hearing about mekorot or Piskei Halakha relating to the
issue. Gemar Hatimah Tovah (The mekubalim say it's relevant thru
Hosha'anah Rabbah).                         Aryeh


From: <ask@...> (a.s.kamlet)
Date: 2 Oct 1995  18:59 EDT
Subject: Let Us Make Man

<david@...> (David Charlap) writes:
> We see this elsewhere as well.  For instance, God consulted with Abraham
> before destroying S'dom and 'Amora.  We all know the story where Abraham
> argues God down to "if there are 10 good people, the cities will not be
> destroyed".  Certainly, God knew how everything was going to turn out,
> but he consulted with Abraham anyway as a lesson for us.

I have a different thought.  G-d knew that right then and there 10
tzakkikim could not be found in Sodom.  But I don't believe G-d was
toying with Abraham.  He was not saying, sure, sure Abraham, I'll play
along with your attempt to save the people for the sake of 10.

It would take a bit of time for the angels to travel to Sodom, and in
time, people could repent.  And if enough people repented, and there
were now 10 tzaddikim, Abraham's request would not have been a game.
And as all people's have free will, they could have chosen to repent.

Unfortunately, it seems as if people have to be pushed a bit, have to be
coaxed even a little bit, before they will take any action to repent.
G-d saw this with Noah.  For many years Noah said he was building the
ark, and no one took it as a hint to change their behavior, nor did Noah
ask them to.

The people of Sodom were asked by to change just a little, to spare
Lot's visitors, but refused.  But they were not told they would be

When G-d told Moses he would destroy the people and set Moses up as head
of a new group, Moses pleaded for them, and didn't accept the bargain.
And undertook to work with the people, to teach them the law so they
would improve.

Finally, with Jonah, G-d decides to send a messenger with the task of
saying, G-d will destroy you if you don't repent.  And Jonah didn't go
house to house with his message.  He didn't seek out a royal audiance
with the king, nor stand in the town square for many days shouting at
the tp of his lungs.  Jonah appeared once, so far as we read, and
perhaps spoke in a low voice, that one time, and someone heard.  And
word spread, and word got back to the king who knew it was time to

So we have at least four cases where G-d says he plans to destroy the
people.  In two cases no one warns the people or teaches them the way to
behave, and they are destroyed.  In two cases someone, however willing
or unwilling, intercedes and G-d does not destroy them.  In these cases
it is not a matter of what G-d knows about the people at that exact
time, but that if people change, repent, then in the future they may
sufficiently merit G-d's forgiveness.

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

From: <ask@...> (a.s.kamlet)
Date: 2 Oct 1995  18:54 EDT
Subject: Let us make man

<david@...> (David Charlap) writes:
> I heard another idea.  That God was consulting with the angels (that
> were created a few days before).  Why would God ask the angels (who have
> no free will)?  To teach us a lesson.  That no matter how great you are
> - whether you're a parent, a community leader, president, or king - you
> should always act with humility and consult with others before making
> major decisions.  The point is hammered home here when we see that even
> God consulted with the angels before creating man (which was a very
> major decision!)

Very good. Rashi makes a similar point.

> Why mention God consulting with others in two different places?  Because
> with only one, you might think that you should only consult with others
> in matters of creation, or only in matters of destruction.  But we see
> that God consulted with others in both creation (of man) and in
> destruction (of S'dom).  How much more should we (as imperfect humans)
> consult with others when we want to perform acts of creation and
> destruction.

And still a third place:  When the Tower of Bavel was built, G-d
said Let us confuse their language ---  "us"

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


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 2:29:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: MIT Sukkah

This question has come up in my mind every year for the past few years,
but I never think of asking it until it is too late to do any good.  A
few years ago, MIT Hillel replaced their old sukkah, which used tarps
for the sides, with a fancy new sukkah, in which the sides are made of
some kind of lattice work. I always thought that a sukkah had to have
solid walls, or at least that the safe thing to do was to make the walls
solid, so I wondered whether this one was kosher. When I asked the
Hillel office, I was told "If the rabbi approved it, I'm sure it must be
OK."  The problem with this answer is that the rabbi who approved it,
although a very nice guy, is a Conservative rabbi. Furthermore, he left
MIT shortly after the new sukkah was built, and I don't know where he is
now, so I can't ask him exactly on what basis he approved it. And as far
as I know, they haven't hired anyone to replace him, at least they
didn't for a while after the other rabbi left, so there isn't anyone at
the Hillel office who can give an authoritative answer to these

Is there anyone out there who was at MIT when this new sukkah was built,
and who can tell me, for example, whether an Orthodox rabbi was
consulted, in addition to the Hillel rabbi, or what? The MIT sukkah is a
lot more conveniently located than either the Harvard Hillel sukkah or
the Zhviller Beis Medrash sukkah, which would probably be the next
closest to where I work. (I am no longer at MIT, despite my e-mail
address, but I work close to MIT.)

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <burton@...> (Joshua W. Burton)
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 95 01:58:36 -0500
Subject: No religious content?!

Etan Diamond writes, about problems for teachers at Christian universities:
> Does it matter what discipline (i.e., sciences--where there is no
> religious content--versus humanities--where there could be religious
> content)?

Yow!  Please keep reading this list for a while, Etan.  You'll be 
astonished at the unlikely places where we find religious content....

  \o/  _ o      __|    \ /     |__      o _  \o/   o   % Joshua W. Burton     %
   |    /\  __\o  \o    |    o/   o/__  /\    |   /|\  % (708)677-3902        %
.../.\..|\../).|...(.\../o\../.)...|..(\../|../.\../.\..% <burton@...> %


From: Victor Miller <victor@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 1995 13:49:50 EDT
Subject: Original Names for Months

I'm giving a lecture at our synagogue in 3 weeks about the intricacies
of the Jewish Calendar.  Besides the current Babylonian names for the
Hebrew months, I would like to give as many of the original Hebrew
names (such as Aviv for Nissan).  Can someone supply me with a list of
known names.  I remember that about 6 of them are mentioned in the
Torah.  If possible, supply the reference in the Tanach where they are

		Victor Miller


From: Anthony Waller <P85014@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 95 10:07:03 IST
Subject: REQUEST: Software needed

I am looking for some Computer programs which would appeal to a Jewish
kid with a very basic Jewish day-school education.  He is 14 years old
and is a keen sportsman.

  I am looking for anything from freeware/ shareware and up - can be on
floppies or CD/Rom multimedia.

  Please reply by email to <p85014@...>

Anthony Waller                   Email:  <p85014@...>
Bar-Ilan University, Israel.     Ph: 972-3-5318784, Fax: 972-3-5344446


From: Andrea Penkower Rosen <apr@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 02:36:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Ritalin tablets

>From: Zev Kesselman <zev%<hadassah@...>
>        Has anyone seen a wriiten psak on the permissibility of using
>Ritalin tablets on Shabbat for ADD (attention deficit disorder) children?

What is the halachik issue which requires a psak for the using of this
medication on Shabbat?  Is it also an issue on Yom Tov?  Are there other
medications which require a written psak in order to use them on

Andrea Penkower Rosen

[There is a halacha that it is not permissible to take medicine on
Shabbat. However, if not taking the medicine will lead to the potential
of danger to the person, then one must take the medicine even on
Shabbat. The question then resolves to what constitutes "danger" for
this purpose. That would be my understanding of the issue. Mod.]


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 17:52:19 -0400
Subject: Sunshine and "K"

I've never had a food manufacturer refuse a request for a faxed copy of
their latest hechsher.  I suppose they could doctor it, but you can
always check it with the agency if you like.  Anyone not willing to
supply a t'euda (certificate) obviously can't be trusted.



End of Volume 21 Issue 62