Volume 21 Number 79
                       Produced: Wed Nov  1 23:49:48 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Animal Stories
         [Ephraim Cheron]
answering machines on shabbat
         [Shlomo Grafstein]
Aveilut and Simchot
         [Tova Taragin]
Buying Aravoth
         [David Riceman]
Kashrus of Shellac
         [Shoshana Sloman]
Rabinically Endorsed Schach (2)
         [Rick Turkel, Ext. 2214, Room 5404B           bs, Micha Berger]
         [Jeff Mandin]
Shabbos and Yom Tov guests from Yeshivot/Seminaries
         [Tova Taragin]
Shmini A'tze'res Kriah
         [Al Silberman]
         [David Olesker]
The Weight of Noah's Ark
         [Aaron H. Greenberg]
z'chirah - memory with respect to H"KBH
         [Yitz Kasdan]


From: <dt168@...> (Ephraim Cheron)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 01:45:48 -0500
Subject: Animal Stories

My friend Susanna Brandon is the editor of a magazine called "The Stable
Companion, the literary magazine for horse lovers."

The children's issue is coming out on December 1, and she has nothing of
Jewish content in it.  She is looking for a story - a Chassidic tale most
likely - that features a horse "or even a donkey."

While Bilaam's story comes to mind, IMHO there might be a problem with
teaching straight Torah to a non-Jewish audience.  Besides, I've already
mentioned this one to her.

Can anyone help?  Since she doesn't get m.j or travel the Internet, any
stories should either be e-mailed to her privately at
<Brandon@...>  or mailed ASAP to The Stable Companion, P.O. Box
6485, Lafayette, IN  47903.

Ephraim Cheron


From: <RABIGRAF@...> (Shlomo Grafstein)
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 1995 09:55:29 -0400
Subject: answering machines on shabbat

It was a lovely idea which David Curwin developed when he mentioned the
comparison between leaving the bell on and aswering machines.  I know
that the essence of Shabbat is to transform the individual Jew to a
higher level of holiness.  We are supposed to enjoy the physical (oneg
Shabbat) yet to step into the time zone of Holiness (see Rabbi Moshe
Chaim Lutzzato in "The Way of G*D").  We have to step out of the mundane
aspects of the world.  When the answering machine receives a message and
the recipient is there to hear it, usually it is not Shabbosdick (in the
spirit of Shabbat).  Of course there are exceptions, such as a Doctor's
answering machine which in some cases there is a Mitzvah to be left on,
or if one has a sick relative nearby who needs emergency help.  If is
required that our speech of Shabbat should not be like our speech during
the week.  One small way to fulfill part of this injunction is to shut
off our answering machines, then our speech is not the same!!  Some
people have been known to leave a message before Shabbat on their
machines.  "I wish you a Good Shabbos, I am unavailable until Saturday
night.  Please call back then."
 Sincerely Yours,

Shlomo Grafstein
Halifax, Canada


From: <Tovt@...> (Tova Taragin)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 14:58:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Aveilut and Simchot

A few years ago, my father was very sick with cancer.  He was diagnosed
with cancer after the announcement of my daughter's engagement and the
setting of the date.  (paranthetically he was a rav with semicha from
Y.U.).  He was niftar 3 weeks before the wedding (no question of
"shloshim" because the wedding was 6 days after Pesach.).-- he told my
sister (aunt of the kallah) -- "You go to the wedding, participate,
dance etc..." when telling over this story during shiva, another rav (of
the kehillah where we sat) was sitting there and he said to my sister
(she was from that city) "Listen to your father", which is what she did.
I followed the same lead, and in essence really started my aveilus when
the sheva brachos were over.  Many of the dinim are by minhag -- and
also dependent on whom you ask...my husband and his brother did
everything different because they asked two different Rabbanim (where
one was makail in certain things the other was maikal in others -- it
wasn't that one was more machmir than the other.)...

Tova Taragin


From: <dr@...> (David Riceman)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 95 09:25:33 EST
Subject: Buying Aravoth

Shlichuth is relevant when performing a halachic action, not a physical
action.  If Arnold owes money to Bertrand, and Arnold hands the money to
Cleomenes who hands it to Bertrand, there need not be shlichuth involved
even though the debt is paid when Bertrand receives the money.
  In the case of buying through a katan this is what is being done.  The
kinyan is done by receiving the aaravoth from the katan, and the debt is
paid when the (former) owner of the aravoth receives the money.  The
katan functions, not to effect the halachic kinyan, but to transfer the
physical objects.

David Riceman


From: <ssloman@...> (Shoshana Sloman)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 95 12:04 EST
Subject: Kashrus of Shellac

I recently bought a package of Kroger brand sprinkles (called "Decors"
rainbow mix), that has an O-U hecsher.  However, upon reading the
ingredients, I found that they contained "Confectioner's Glaze (refined
bleached Shellac)".  I thought that shellac, being a product of beetle
shells, was not kosher.  Does anyone know if there is another definition
of shellac that I don't know about, or whether the "refined bleached"
aspect makes shellac kosher?

Shoshana Amelite Sloman


From: Rick Turkel, Ext. 2214, Room 5404B           bs < <rturkel@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 95 00:37:47 EST
Subject: Re: Rabinically Endorsed Schach

Carl Sherer wrote (m.j 21#75):

>I actually heard another reason why the "schach keinis muchan" (the most
>commonly sold mats here) are preferred for your Succa.  According to one
>of my neighbors this schach (unlike the others) is tied together with
>flax rather than with regular string and therefore *no* part of the
>schach is something other than gedulei karka (something which grew from
>the ground).

Can this be correct?  I was taught that one couldn't use metal supports
for the sechach or metal screening within it to keep out yellowjackets
because it was forbidden for it to contain anything that was meqabbel
tum'ah (capable of becoming ritually impure).  According to Bameh
Madliqin (Mishnah Shabbat, Chap. 2, read weekly by Ashkenazim during
Qabbalat Shabbat), flax _is_ meqabbel tum'ah.  Could someone clarify
this please?  Isn't string usually made from gedulei qarqa`?  Perhaps
the hechsher states that it _doesn't_ contain any flax.

Shabbat shalom.

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \     |    |   |   \__)    |
<rturkel@...>        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.  Ko rano rani | u jamu pada.

From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 06:14:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rabinically Endorsed Schach

> According to one of my neighbors this schach (unlike the others) is
> tied together with flax rather than with regular string and therefore
> *no* part of the schach is something other than gedulei karka
> (something which grew from the ground).

Kol hayotzei min ha'eitz eino mitamei ela pishtan -- whateven comes from
a tree does not transmit tum'ah except for flax.

In light of this, I wonder if flax is superior to other thread for
sichach.  It still can not be counted as part of the sichach itself,
since it can become tamei. In which case, who cares if it is gedulei
karka or not?

On a related note, is this rule specific to flax, or to any plant whose
primary purpose is to make thread. What about cotton and hemp? Cotton at
least was defenitely unheard of in the days of the mishnah, but I don't
know about hemp.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3255 days!
<AishDas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 -  5-Oct-95)
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 19:22:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Ribit

Roger Kingsley wrote:
> > Now the question - my friend brought me - let's say - an inch or so 
> > in thickness of paper. I want to repay him, but have no idea 
> > exactly how much he gave me. Can I give him an approximation? 
> > If it's more than he gave me, is this Ribit - interest? 
>  Surely, if you make the best possible estimation, so that it is neither
> k'rov l'schar or k'rov l'hefsed (closer to profit or to loss), this
> could never fall into *any* category of ribit.  The laws of ribit are
> not formulated to complicate cases of genuine uncertainty; merely to
> stop people using cases of partial uncertainty to get round the original
> prohibition.

In the original question there is a problem that precedes the problem of
estimation: lending a commodity in order to be paid back with the same
amount of the commodity is called "s'eah b'seah"; the second last
mishnah in Bava Metzia ch. 5 states that "s'eah b'seah" is prohibited
unless you have the commodity in your possession, in which case the loan
is viewed as an exchange.

However, Tosefot and other rishonim interpret the gemara(BM 83b) to
permit "seah b'seah" in the case where the commodity is readily
available in the market - the idea being that if the commodity is easily
purchased, but not accessible at the moment, the loan can still be
considered an exchange.  I haven't seen poskim on the topic, but this
would seem to be applicable in Shmuel's case.

Also, I think your use of "k'rov l'schar or k'rov l'hefsed" is not in
accord with the technical sense of these terms.  "k'rov l'schar u'rachok
l'hefsed" is the term used to describe a business partnership where one
of the partners agrees to bear the entirety of any loss.

- Jeff


From: <Tovt@...> (Tova Taragin)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 14:58:04 -0500
Subject: Shabbos and Yom Tov guests from Yeshivot/Seminaries

I can feel for the "posters" about Shabbos and Yom Tov guests from
yeshivot/seminaries.  I just finished having a child "on the other side
of the fence"-- at a Seminary last year...it is very disconcerting as
parents that we pay very high prices to have our children displaced for
the chagim...especially the Chagai Tishrei when they are not there for a
long enough period of time to make acquaintances, or feel comfortable
calling strangers.  I think all of us Chu"l parents of seminary and
yeshiva age children should protest in some way + we should make note of
where our children visit and display some measure of hakarat hatov.  If
there is anyone reading this who has hosted my children -- Todah Rabbah.
Tova Taragin


From: <asilberman@...> (Al Silberman)
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 08:31:37 -0500
Subject: Shmini A'tze'res Kriah

The reason for the Kriah of Ase'r Tease'r is easier to explain (since I
saw it explicitly) than why Parshas Emor is not read.

The reason for the Kriah is given in many Seforim (Likutei Maharich and
others) as being due to it being the harvest season and consequently the
time for giving Ma'ser. (This does not explain the custom which starts
at Kol Ha'bchor on weekdays.)

I suppose that Parshas Emor is not read since it had just been read
twice on the first days and, therefore, since there is another
appropriate Kriah it was chosen.

Apropos, I heard a "Vertel" said over from the Satmar Rebbe zt'l that
the Kriah of Ase'r Tease'r outside of Israel (mitzvah of Tzedokah) is
what constitutes the V'zos Ha'brocho (Kriah in Israel) in Israel.


From: David Olesker <olesker@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 21:55:30 +0200
Subject: Re: Thanksgiving

Q: Why do Jews eat Turky on Thanksgiving?
A: Hodu LaShem ci tov...

David Olesker (Please forgive me!)

[An oldie, but since we are on that subject I'll let it through, and use
this opportunity to remind everyone that since Succot is over, it's not
too early to start thinking about the annual mj Purim edition. Mod.]


From: Aaron H. Greenberg <greenbah@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 02:36:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Weight of Noah's Ark

>         According to Archimedes' Principle, the weight of an object
> floating in water is equal to the weight of the water displaced by the
> object.  Weight of an object is equal to its mass times the acceleration
> due to gravity.  The latter is the same for the Ark and the water, and
> so it cancels out of the equation.  Thus the mass of Ark equals the
> density of the water (1000 kg/m3 for rain water) times the volume of the
> water displaced, which is the length of the Ark (300 amot, or ca. 150
> meters) times the width (50 amot, or ca. 25 meters) times the depth (11
> amot, or ca. 5.5 meters).  The mass of the Ark is then 20,625,000 kg.,
> which weighs 45,375,000 lbs. or 22687.5 tons.

While I am not really familiar with Archemede's principle, it would seem
to me that you have assumed that the Tevah was a box.  Again, I'm no
expert on ships, but it would seem to me that a box shaped ship would be
likely to capsize, so while the text of the Torah may only specify
box-like dimentions, it seems unlikely that it did not have a rounded

A rounded haul would significantly reduce the volume of water displaced,
placing the Teva and a much lesser weight.

Aaron Greenberg


From: <IKasdan189@...> (Yitz Kasdan)
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 23:26:31 -0500
Subject: z'chirah - memory with respect to H"KBH

Is anyone familiar with sources/discussions regarding z'chirah
("memory") with respect to H"KBH, i.e., Hashem does not "forget" in
which case why do we ask that he "remember" as in the recitation of
Yizkor."  Thanks.  Yitz Kasdan


End of Volume 21 Issue 79