Volume 22 Number 38
                       Produced: Sun Dec 17 23:59:32 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Al Netilas Yodayim
         [Yosey Goldstein]
Birchat Cohanim Minhag
         [Warren Burstein]
Descendents of Rav Elchonon Wasserman
         [Mike Gerver]
Descendents of Rav Elchonon Wasserman ztl
         [Jerrold Landau]
Godiva chocolate without O-U
         [Max Shenker]
Kashrut Queries
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Kol Eisha
         [Richard K. Fiedler]
Lillit and Shakespeare
         [Steven F. Friedell]
Luach & Limud
         [Chaim Schild]
Meaning of the name Rivka?
         [Hadass Eviatar]
N'tilat Yadaim
         [Barry S. Bank]
Netilat Yadayim
         [Stephen Phillips]
On the water on Shabbat
         [Paul Korbl]
Pirkei Avot
         [Tara Cazaubon]
Rav Elchonon Wasserman
         [Sheila Tanenbaum]
Rav Elchonon Wasserman hy"d
         [Avraham Husarsky]
Yihud and Adopted Children
         [Jeffrey Woolf]


From: Yosey Goldstein <JOE-G@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 95 21:13:28 EST
Subject: Al Netilas Yodayim

A writer asked why the blessing for washing hands is Al "netilas"
Yosayim as opposed to some other language like Al Rechitzas yodayim or
something else.

The Avudraham , a Contemporary of the Tur, gives the following

    1) Since one must wash from a vessel and the Gemmorah uses the term
"NATLA" for a vessel (See Chullin 107)

    2) "Netilah" comes from the word that means to lift up, as we say in
Davening, from a Posuk in Yechezkel (33, 12) "Untolasni Ruchah". The
reason this is fitting is because after one washes their hand's they are
supposed to lift them up. (So the water does not drip back onto the
hands) See Sotah 4b.

     He also quotes Chazal's admonition that "Anyone who shows disregard
for the washing of the hands will become poor". He says if one takes the
first letter or the last words of the brocho Al Netias Ydayim or Ayin,
Nun, Yud it spells ANI or Pauper. That may also have been a reason to
use the word Netilas in the blessing.



From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 07:57:07 GMT
Subject: Re: Birchat Cohanim Minhag

Joe Goldstein writes:
>The comment made by Mr. Gevaryhu that " Rashi was not a historian of the
>halachic process, and correctly writes the end interpretation of his
>time; I'm discussing the stages of the halachic development." is
>disrespectful at the very least.

The cited remark seems quite respectful to me.  It implies neither
disagreement with nor disrespect of Rashi.

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ nysernet.org


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 23:43:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Descendents of Rav Elchonon Wasserman

>       Does anybody know of any living descendants of Rav Elchonon
> Wasserman?

My daughter tells me that there are students in her school who are his

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 10:09:45 EST  
Subject: Descendents of Rav Elchonon Wasserman ztl

Mordechai Perlman asks about any living descendets of Rav Elchonon
Wasserman.  For a long time, I thought that Rav Simcha Wasserman, who
recently died in Jerusalem without leaving any descendents, was the only
surviving child of Rav Elchonon.  However, last year, I had the
opportunity to puruse a detailed family tree of my parents' Rabbi (Rabbi
Ely Braun of Beth Shalom Synagogue of Ottawa, Canada), and was surprised
to see a David Wasserman who lived in the United States who was a son of
Rav Elchonon.  I later discussed this with Rabbi Braun, and he informed
me that, indeed, Rav Elchonon did have a son David who lived in the
United States.  He left a son and a daughter.  The son died, but the
daughter, as far as I know, is still alive, and has children of her own.
This branch would be the only surviving branch of Rav Elchonon
Wasserman.  Unfortunately, I do not have further details, but one could
get in touch with Rabbi Braun in Ottawa for further information
(apparently, David Wasserman's wife was a cousin of Rabbi Braun, and
therefore made it onto his family tree).  I remember being overjoyed to
hear that this great Gadol, who is known for his great sacrifice during
the holocaust, does have a branch that will IYH continue on throughout
the generations.

Jerrold Landau                                                                
DEPT 255  IBM CANADA LAB   TIE LINE 778-4338   PHONE 448-4338                  


From: Max Shenker <shenker@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 18:42:48 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Godiva chocolate without O-U

I recently saw an ad in Jewish Action Magazine stating that Godiva
chocolate is under the O-U.  I have since received a gift box of Godiva
(assortment), but the package does not display the O-U, does anyone know
if this is ok?

Max Shenker

[I'm pretty sure that the "official" reply from the OU would be that
without the OU on the box, they cannot assure that the product is indeed
kosher. Mod.]


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235%<BARILAN.bitnet@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 95 13:10 O
Subject: Kashrut Queries

Does anyone know the Kashrut status of the following breath freshening
aids?  1) Tic Tac
       2) Binaca spray
                 Todah Rabbah


From: <dfiedler@...> (Richard K. Fiedler)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 06:58:45 -0600
Subject: Kol Eisha

I am interested in learning more about the issue of Kol Eisha especially in
the context of a Shabbat table with a husband and wife and 3 step

    Dick Fiedler    <dfiedler@...>
    Skokie Il   (708) 329-9065 Fax (708) 329-9066       /\
    Efrat Israel  (02) 9932706  Fax (02) 9932707    \--/--\--/


From: <friedell@...> (Steven F. Friedell)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 15:53:43 -0500
Subject: Lillit and Shakespeare

When I was an undergraduate I heard a lecture by Theodore Gaster, I
believe, who traced the legend of Lillit from ancient to medeival times.
The word is not semitic originally.  As I recall it originally meant
"demon" but became confused with "layla" (night) and the legend then
made it out that this was a night demon.  Judy Heicklen's posting in
v. 22, 36 related the legend that she causes men to have wet dreams.
Shakespeare may have referred to some version of the Lillit legend in
King Lear III, iv, especially to the idea of having casting a spell to
get rid of her:

III.iv.173:     S. Withold footed thrice the old;
III.iv.174:     He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
III.iv.175:     Bid her alight,
III.iv.176:     And her troth plight,
III.iv.177:     And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!

So our idea of a nightmare may have its source in some offshoot of the
Lillit legend.


From: <SCHILDH@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 15:29:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Luach & Limud

Does anybody know details about this O-U product ? Where are they currently
in Mishnayos ? Have they covered sections that have not been published in
book form in English of Kehati's commentary



From: Hadass Eviatar <eviatar@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 13:46:01 -0600
Subject: Meaning of the name Rivka?

Shalom friends,

There has been a discussion on soc.culture.jewish.parenting about the
etymology of the name Rivka. Somebody quoted a book of Jewish names
saying that Rivka was derived from "a Hebrew or Arabic word meaning
binding". Now, I don't speak Arabic, but I *am* a native speaker of
Hebrew, and I am stumped. The only connection to Rivka that I can think
of of anything which is bound is "egel marbek", fatted calf, and somehow
I can't imagine that that is what our matriarch was named for.

Any help on this matter would be most appreciated.

Kol tuv vetoda merosh, Hadass

Dr. Hadass Eviatar                              Email: <eviatar@...> 
National Research Council of Canada             Phone: (204) 984 - 4535
Institute for Biodiagnostics                    Fax:   (204) 984 - 5472
435 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 1Y6        http://www.ibd.nrc.ca/~eviatar
    -- Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu veal kol Yisrael --


From: <bt492@...> (Barry S. Bank)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 19:48:44 -0500
Subject: N'tilat Yadaim

In Volume 22 Number 33, Jay Bailey wrote:

>I have always wondered why Netilat Yadayim is referred to by that
>particular nomenclature. Specifically, nitilah is "taking," and there
>is really no way to stretch that into what we do with our hands.

"N'tilah" also means "lifting" or "raising up."  I have always
understood the term "n'tilat yadaim" to derive from the requirement to
raise one's hands when performing this mitzvah so that the water will
not trickle back onto the fingers and make them tameh again
(cf. O.H. 162:1; M.B. 3).

>Today I learned the answer from a linguist friend of mine. A washing
>cup in Greek is apparently a "natla". At some point (when did washing
>start? historians?) The word got bastardized into Netila, which, after
>all, is word associated with Jewish ceremony, e.g. lulav.

Most everyone seems to refer (in Hebrew) to the utensil from which the
water for n'tilat yadaim is poured by the utilitarian term, "n'tilat
yadaim keli (utensil for n'tilat yadaim)."  It seemed to me that there
should be a more precise noun to describe the object, and when I asked a
religious Hebrew speaker, I was told that the proper HEBREW term is

Of course we now get into the linguistic argument of which came first,
the Hebrew or the Greek, and who borrowed the term from whom.  On that,
I have no comment.

Barry S. Bank    1525 Amherst Manor Dr., #602    Williamsville, NY  14221
716/634-9384                                           Fax:  716-639-8222


From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 10:21 GMT
Subject: Netilat Yadayim

>From: <jaydena@...> (Jay Bailey)
>I have always wondered why Netilat Yadayim is referred to by that
>particular nomenclature. Specifically, nitilah is "taking," and there is
>really no way to stretch that into what we do with our hands.

I thought it referred to the fact that AFTER washing but BEFORE drying
the hands, and WHILE saying the B'rachah, one has to hold one's hands in
front of one vertically (so that the water runs down towards the wrists
and not back from the wrists onto the hands). This is the "Netilah".

Stephen Phillips.


From: Paul Korbl <supa@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 95 09:25:44 +1100 (EST)
Subject: On the water on Shabbat

 For our upcoming summer vacation (I am in Melbourne Australia) we are
planning a river cruise on a drive yourself houseboat. We will be on
board on a Shabbat.
 What is the Halachic position with regard to getting off on the
Shabbat?  If we cannot tie up at a jetty for Shabbat, can we wade into
the water from the boat in order to get onto the land?
 I am assuming that it will be uncomfortable to remain on board for such
a long time.


From: <tarac@...> (Tara Cazaubon)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 09:49:54 -0800
Subject: Pirkei Avot

I am looking for a recommendation on Pirkei Avot.  Which edition is the
most readable, complete, well-done, etc. in your opinion?  I'd like to
purchase one but there are so many, I don't know which would be the best
investment.  ArtScroll has theirs on sale until the end of December, so
I'd like to make a decision soon, if it turns out that theirs is the

T. Arielle Cazaubon


From: <SheilaTAN@...> (Sheila Tanenbaum)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 19:41:22 -0500
Subject: Rav Elchonon Wasserman

In a message dated 95-12-11 04:54:20 EST, you write:

>	Does anybody know of any living descendants of Rav Elchonon 
>> Wasserman?

He had a son, David, who had one surviving child (his son died  from cancer,
in his twenties), a daughter, Minna. She and her husband are both physicans.
I believe they live in Boston. I am trying to find out her married name.
Sheila Tanenbaum


From: <ahuz@...> (Avraham Husarsky)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 20:41:58 PST
Subject: Rav Elchonon Wasserman hy"d

>From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
>	Does anybody know of any living descendants of Rav Elchonon 

After making aliyah I had the pleasure of being driven on a number of 
occasions by a cab driver named Avihu Wasserman.  He has a Ph.D. in 
Archaelogical History, works as a tour guide and moonlights as a cab driver 
for a local cab co. in Rehovot.  On a trip to Jerusalem, amidst wonderful 
historical explanations of the passing scenery, I asked him if he was 
related to the above.  He said that his father was a son of reb Elchanon, 
who left europe to become a kibbutznik.  I have no way of confirming this 
story, and this son is certainly not mentioned in the Artscroll biography 
(unfortunately this is a common occurrence among the descendants of 
gedolim/tssadikim, and a common omission in artscroll biographies).  If you 
want to follow up call moniot hanassi in rehovot and try to get his number.

Avraham Husarsky


From: Jeffrey Woolf <jwoolf@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 13:04:52 +0300 (IST)
Subject: Yihud and Adopted Children

My understanding of the Rav's zt'l ruling on yihud and adopted children
was that it was l'chatchila, based on the assumption that adoptve
parents develop the same emotional ties to their children as natural
ones and therefore the concern for illicit relations was low.
				Jeffrey Woolf


End of Volume 22 Issue 38