Volume 21 Number 89
                       Produced: Thu Nov  9  0:01:29 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bein Hashmashos
         [Ari Shapiro]
Delay before Burial
         [Seth Ness]
Hot Plates on Shabbath
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Kashrus of Shellac
         [Shoshana Sloman]
Origin of the word "Yok"
         [Barry Graham]
Psak of Rav Soloveitchik
         [Jacob Thomas David]
Rabbinically Endorsed Schach
         [Carl Sherer]
Showers on Yom Tov
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Tzelaphachad's Estate
         [Danny Skaist]


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 95 21:24:53 EDT
Subject: Bein Hashmashos

The following is a translation/summarization of Rabbi Willig's article
about this topic which appears in his Sefer Am Mordechai. I have
ommitted parts of the article which I thought were not so relevant to
the subject at hand. I would urge people to read the entire article as
it is hard to summarize an article like this and doubly hard to capture
the flavor in English. Any errors and/or ommissions are my
responsibilty.  Some transaltions of frequently used words - Tzeis
refers to tzeis hacochavim (literally when the stars come out) which (in
the context here)means night. Alos translates in English to dawn,
meaning it is a set time before sunrise. Plag Hamincha is a halachik
time 11.75 hours into the day (or 1.25 hours before night). For example
the earliest time you can daven Maariv is Plag Hamincha. A mil is a
measurement of time.

The Gra understands that right after sunset starts Bein Hashmashos(a
period that is neither night nor day) and 3/4 of a mil later is
night. R' Tuchachinsky asked that even in Yerushalayim you don't see
stars until 22 minutes after sunset (which is more then 3/4 of a mil)
therefore he says that it is dependent upon what you see and he checked
and in Yerushalyim the times are 22 minutes in Nisan, 26 in the winter
and 28 in the summer.  The equivalent times in New York are 26, 32, and
34 minutes. However, the Gra himself didn't hold like this. R' Yehuda
Levi explained that according to the experts you can see 3 stars 15
minutes after sunset which is very close to 3/4 of a mil. It seems the
Gra held you rely on the experts therefore the times are in Yerushalayim
15, 18, and 21 and in New York they are 18, 21, 25. These are 2
approaches to the Gra. (see the article for more detail).

Rabenu Tam - Rabenu Tam holds that it is not night until 4 mil after
sunset (which is at least 72 minutes). The Gra asked 'Hachush Machish'
our eyes contradict this as we stars way before this time. The Minchas
Cohen (quoted by the Biur Halacha in Siman 261 and Siman 293) along with
R' Moshe Feinstein(Orach Chaim 4 Siman 62) claim that even according to
R' Tam if you see 3 stars it is night. However this is difficult because
this occurs before 4 mil and R' Tam says 4 mil.  (I am skipping a bit in
the article because it is very technical and not that relevant to the
point at hand).  There is another dispute how to figure out the hours of
the day. The Gra (Orach Chaim Siman 459) says that you count from
sunrise to sunset while Tosafos (Berachos 3a) popularly know as the
Magen Avraham's time holds that you count from Alos Hashachar(4 mil
before sunrise) until night (Tzeis Hacochavim). (The following is my
addition - in Halacha we use what are called Shaos Zmaniyos - which
means we divide the day into 12 equal parts.  so when we say the latest
time to say Shma in the morning is 3 hours it is 3 shaos zmaniyos. This
means that if the day is less then 12 hours an hour is less then 60
minutes if it is > 12 hours it is more then 60 minutes. The dispute
between the Magen Avraham and the Gra is how do you calculate this, do
you take the time from sunrise to sunset(Gra) or do you take the time
from Alos until Tzeis).  The same dispute applies to Plag Hamincha which
is according to the Gra 1.25 hours (Zmaniyos) before sunset while
according to Rabenu Tam it is 1.25 hours before tzeis.(see Rashba
Berachos 2).  It would seem that this dispute is l'shitasam (the 2
disputes are connected). It is clear logically and from the gemara
(Pesachim 11a) that chaztos (halachik noon) is when the sun is in the
middle of the sky.  Therefore according to the Gra you can't count the
hours from Alos until tzeis because it won't balance out.  Alos, is 4
mil before sunrise while tzeis is only 3/4 of a mil after
sunset. Therefore you count from sunrise to sunset. However, according
to Rabenu Tam it would make no sense to count from sunrise to sunset,
after all, after sunset you still have 3.25 mil of day left, why should
that not be counted? And of course according to R' Tam the 4 mil match
up 4 in the morning before sunrise 4 in the evening after sunset. Also,
it makes little sense according to R' Tam to count from sunrise to
sunset, according to him these have little halachik signficance.

Based on this we come up with following. There is a dispute how long a
mil is. The Gemara in Pesachim (94a) says that there are 40 mil in a
day. Some say day in the gemara means from from sunrise to sunset which
is 12 hours (720 minutes). 720/40 = 18. Others say day means from alos
until tzeis which means in the 12 hours from sunrise to sunset there are
only 32 mil.  720/32 = 22.5. These are the 2 major opinions about how
long a mil is either 18 minutes or 22.5 minutes.

According to the Gra a mil is certainly 18 minutes because day
definately means from sunrise to sunset. It would seem that R' Tam would
hold 22.5 minutes since he holds that you count the hours of the day
from alos to tzeis. (as we showed above) In fact we can prove it from
the Rishonim. Many of the Rishonim (Moed Katan 21a) say that according
to R' Tam plag hamincha is 1/6 of a mil before sunset. Some want to
prove that R' Tam holds 18 minutes based on this with the following
calculation. We assume sunrise is 6am and sunset is 6pm. Therefore tzeis
is 72 minutes(4 mil 18*4) after 6, 7:12 pm. 1.25 hours before that is
5:57 which is 3 minutes before sunset which is 1/6 of 18. However if we
continue with this calculation we see that it is incorrect because
mincha ketana (9.5 hours) would be at 4:42 and mincha gedola a 1/2 hour
after chatzos (noon) which is 12:30. However the Gemara in Berachos says
that there are only 3 hours from mincha gedola to mincha ketana not
4:12. Therefore, from all the Rishonim (who say plag is 1/6 of a mil
before sunset) we can prove R' Tam holds 22.5 minutes based on the
following calculation. tzeis is 7:30 (22.5 * 4 = 90) 90 minutes(4 mil)
after sunset and since we count from alos to tzeis every hour is not 60
minutes but 75 minutes as the day is 15 hours long (12 hours from
sunrise to sunset and 1.5 hours before sunrise and 1.5 after) from 4:30
until 7:30.  Therefore plag 1.25 hours before tzeis is 93.75 minutes
before 7:30 which is 5:56.25 which is 3.75 minutes before sunset. 1/6 of
22.5 = 3.75 which is the 1/6 of a mil the Rishonim said. Going back to
mincha ketana (9.5 hours) we get 4:22.5 and mincha gedola is 12:37.5
leaving 3:45 between them which is 225 minutes which is 3 hours of 75
minutes. We see that if R' Tam holds 22.5 minutes and we count the hours
of the day from alos to tzeis it works out like the Rishonim said that
Plag is 1/6 of a mil before sunset.

Conclusions: Based on this 72 minutes after sunset is like no one. As we
showed according to R' Tam a mil is 22.5 minutes giving a minimum of 90
minutes and this 90 minutes is in Yerushalayim in Nisan in New York the
equivalent times would be 100, 110, 144. It would also seem that since
most people do not wait this long we hold like the Gra definately and we
could be lenient like the Gra in many circumstances (see the article for

Ari Shapiro


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 17:58:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Delay before Burial

 Does anybody know the kabbalastic reason that bodies must be buried that
same day of death in Jerusalem?

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 95 8:37:13 EST
Subject: Hot Plates on Shabbath

There has recently been some discussion about this issue.  Jay Denkberg
is correct when he says that "Shemirath Shabbath Kehilkhatah" prohibits
putting any cold food (even dry) on the hot plate on Shabbath; however,
it allows one to place the cold dry food on a pot that is on the hot
plate (and even to put an empty pot on during Shabbath in order to place
the food onto it).

Of course, not everyone agrees.  I believe R. Obhadiah Yoseph permits
putting cold dry food directly on and R. Soleveichic does if the same
food was on when Shabbath began (as others have mentioned).

Lon Eisenberg	DRS Military Systems  138 Bauer Drive  Oakland, NJ 07436  USA
voice: +1-201-405-2978  fax: +1-201-337-3314


From: <ssloman@...> (Shoshana Sloman)
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 95 17:12 EST
Subject: Kashrus of Shellac

Because someone (who contacted me via e-mail) misunderstood my
intention, I want to clarify my question about shellac.

1.  I certainly did not mean to imply that the O-U cannot be trusted; I
was, rather, concerned that there might have been a packaging error by
the manufacturer of the shellac-containing product, such that the
hecsher was not authorized.

2.  If the hecsher was proper, I wanted to know how this could be -
whether there were other sources for shellac, or whether bleaching and
refining rendered beetle-based shellac kosher.  The person I heard from
told me that food-grade shellac can be obtained from sources other than
beetles, such as petroleum.  So, shellac is not automatically assumed to
be from a non-kosher source.

3.  Before consulting the members of this list, I asked my rabbi and
another rabbi in town about the issue.  They didn't even know what
shellac was, so I thought someone here might have some info.

Shoshana Amelite Sloman


From: Barry Graham <74741.2331@...>
Date: 07 Nov 95 19:14:37 EST
Subject: Origin of the word "Yok"

I always assumed that the word "Yok" was Yiddish, until I left England
and lived in America where almost nobody has heard of the word, a
slightly unkinder alternative to the word "Goy".

Now I am visiting Australia where the word is also used.  Although it is
not usually considered a "nice" word, does anyone know its origin?



From: Jacob Thomas David <jacobt@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 11:46:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Psak of Rav Soloveitchik

Eli Turkel <turkel@...> wrote:
>     Since I have received numerous private mail about Rav Soloveitchik's
> psak about returning food to the stove on shabbat I shall attempt to
> clarify myself once more.
>     The psak of Rav Soloveitchik is that one is allowed to return food
> onto of the stove or inside the oven under three conditions
> 1. The food is completely dry
> 2. The food is completely cooked
> 3. The food is on the stove at the beginning of shabbat.
>    I understood this to mean at least from candle lighting until after
>    sunset. 
>    In our question to Rav Soloveitchik I think the answer was clear that
> he meant this le-maaseh, to be practiced and not just in theory. I
> understand from others that there exists a written, unpublished, teshuva
> of Rav Soloveitchik stating the same points.

The following response is from Zale Newman:

Based on a number of Rabbonim who were the Rav's talmidim, the RAV
paskans like the RAN in regards to reheating food on Shabbos (ie:
allowed under 3 conditions).  As a prominent Achron, the RAV could
choose the minority view even though the majority paskan that WE DO NOT
ALLOW reheating of items on Shabbos under any circumstances.  (Due to

(Typed from a written note.)

David Jacob   <jacobt@...> or bd815@freenet.toronto.on.ca
My Web Page:  http://www.ecf.toronto.edu/~jacobt


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 95 8:09:13 IST
Subject: Rabbinically Endorsed Schach

Although I am not able to locate their posts at the moment, two people
commented on my post on this subject asking how it could be that the
schach was tied with flax because flax is capable of becoming tamei.
So I went back and asked the same neighbor who had told me about it
earlier and... it's all my fault.  I interpreted "natural fibers" to
be flax.  In fact, the schach keinis muchan I referred to is tied with 
natural fibers (instead of man-made ones as most schach is tied with) 
and not with flax which is of course capable of becoming tamei.

I'll go crawl back into my hole now - sorry about that.

-- Carl
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 95 8:31:16 EST
Subject: Showers on Yom Tov

In reply to Fried Loshinsky <friedal@...> I believe there is no
distinction between showers on Shabbath and Yom Tov.  I think the decree
prohibiting the bathing of ones entire body in hot water was applied to
both Shabbath and Yom Tov, even though its origins were due to bath house
owners desecrating Shabbath to heat the bath water.

In "Shemirath Shabbath Kehilkhatah" (certainly in the original edition),
there is no prohibition against taking a cold shower on Shabbath or Yom
Tov.  I do not believe there is any leniency for bathing in hot water on
Yom Tov.

Now, let's understand what "hot" water is: It is any water that has been
heated (even legally) before or during Shabbath (or Yom Tov).  However,
IMHO, this restriction should not apply to water from a solar heater,
since water heated by the sun is treated as cold water.

Lon Eisenberg	DRS Military Systems  138 Bauer Drive  Oakland, NJ 07436  USA
voice: +1-201-405-2978  fax: +1-201-337-3314


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 95 13:18 IST
Subject: Tzelaphachad's Estate

>Aaron Gross
>What happened to the rest of Tzelaphchad's estate (non-real estate)?

Distributed, in accordance with the torah, among his daughters.

>And if Tzelaphchad's daughters had had only daughters and had had husbands
>whose deaths preceded their own, wouldn't Tzelaphchad's granddaughter's
>inherit (subject to marrying within Dan, as did their mothers) portions of
>Tzelaphchad's portion?

The injuction to marry within their own tribe applied only to
Tzelaphchad's daughters.  It was to insure (IMHO) that the original
"portion" of land distributed among the tribes would be according to the
people who left Egypt. The granddaughters would have inherited anyway
and the land would have became part of the "inheritance" of whichever
tribe they married into.



End of Volume 21 Issue 89