Volume 22 Number 54
                       Produced: Mon Dec 25 21:11:32 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Basic source for Those with Little Knowledge
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Book on Shabbat
         [Stuart Schnee]
Chanuka Cleanup
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Chanuka Menorah cleanup
         [Josh Backon]
Chanukah Menorah Cleanup
         [Debra Fran Baker]
Cleaning Glass Oil Holders
         [Warren Burstein]
Kriah for Miketz/Chanuka
         [Dave Curwin]
Looking for a source
         [Aryeh Frimer]
Menorah for Women
         [Carl Sherer]
Shir Hakavod/Yichud
         [Eli Turkel]
Tal Umatar
         [Richard Rosen ]
Ufatzu chomos migdalai
         [Micha Berger]
V'ten Tal U'matar
         [Jerome Parness]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 09:15:36 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Basic source for Those with Little Knowledge

Gershon Dubin asks for a source book for those with little knowledge who
are invited to a religious home for a Shabbat meal, etc. With all due
(im)modesty, I might suggest my *The Jewish Primer* (published by Facts
on File, 1990 - still in print), which was written for those with little
to no knowledge of Yiddishkeit, and which (pp. 64-66) deals with the
Friday night meal, the order of the meal, and the symbolism behind the
different elements (such as the song "Sholom Aleichem," the *Kiddush*
and the two *Hallot*).

           Shmuel Himelstein


From: Stuart Schnee <msstu@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 18:28:34 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Book on Shabbat

Gershon Dubin asked about a book someone could use on Shabbat so they
wouldn't feel unknowledgable.

Livnot U'Lehibanot has just printed a new, updated and revised 4th
edition of its "ZMIROT FROM LIVNOT" - which has all you need for all
three Shabbat meals, completely transliterated (so she can sing along if
she doesn't read Hebrew) and with well written explanations. There are
also nice illustrations and short stories and Divrei Torah throughout so
one can learn a lot when others are singing and one wants to just read

You can get this songbook for $5.00 donation from Livnot in USA
-212-752-2390 or in Israel at 02-793-491.


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 1995 16:45:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Chanuka Cleanup

Shalom, All:
        Regarding hanukiyot, Arthur Roth asks how to clean the little
glass crucibles which <<get quite black (or at least dark brown) on the
inside from being repeatedly "hit" by the flame, but they are too thin
to scrub very hard without breaking them.  Is there some chemical that
they can be soaked in that will readily dislodge the deposits on them?>>
          My experience is with metal oil cups (not to mention wax
candles), but I wonder if the answer is to soak the grimy glass in white
vinegar.  Vinegar works wonders (sorry, bad Hanuka miracle joke) on hard
water deposits which clog shower heads and sink faucet aerators.
           If that doesn't do it, take them outdoors and spray
carburetor cleaner in them, then wipe immediately.  If you don't already
have any carburetor cleaner, take your glass to a service station and
ask them to shpritz a little for you.  If it works, you can then go to
an auto supply store and pick up a can of your own for a couple of
   <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Mon,  25 Dec 95 7:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Chanuka Menorah cleanup

Wrap the menorah up in aluminium foil and place in a hot oven for a few
minutes. Then carefully pour out liquid wax. The menorah will come out
perfectly clean. The other way is to take your wife's hair dryer and
heat the wax on the menorah.

Josh Backon


From: Debra Fran Baker <dfbaker@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 15:28:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Chanukah Menorah Cleanup

I can't help with oil menorah globes, but there is an easy solution to
the wax buildup and drips on candle chanukiot - pour boiling (or at
least very hot) water over them.  The drips come right off, and the wax
in the holders can be removed with the end of a matchstick.  You can
also soak them in hot water for a short period.

I do wish they made disposable aluminum foil cups for menorahs like they
make for Shabbat candles.

Debra Fran Baker                                      <dfbaker@...>


From: <tatamomma@...> (Tatamomma)
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 12:33:56 +0200
Subject: Cleaning Glass Oil Holders

        The black-brown stuff that accumulates on the glass of chanukiaot
can be removed harmlessly by soaking overnight in a heavy solution of drano
or other such drain-clearing chemical, solid or liquid.  It is very caustic
and must be handled carefully with gloves and eye coverings (not contacts).
It should be rinsed away with a flood of running cold water.  The deposit
can then be gently removed with a tissue or soft cloth


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 10:49:21 GMT
Subject: Re: Dreidel

Stan Tenen writes:
>The Dreidel or sevivon ("spinner") was originally used as a kabbalistic
>teaching tool.

I'm unclear if this is Mr. Tenen's opinion or if this is documented

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 16:11:52 EST
Subject: Kriah for Miketz/Chanuka

I know that Chanuka is just about over (or over when this post makes it
to the list) but the following two questions interest me:

a) Shabbat Chanuka always falls on Parshat Miketz, and with it comes a
special haftora. Yet Parshat Miketz has its own haftora. Is it ever
read? Was it ever read?

b) What is the basis for the difference in the daily kriah (reading)
that is read in Eretz Yisrael and is read in Chutz L'Aretz. (In Eretz
Yisrael the same day's section is read three times, while in chutz
l'aretz, the actual day is split into two, and the next day is read). I
did not see that the GRA suggests this minhag, so that reason for a
difference between Aretz and Chu"l does not seem to hold. Is there a
sort of "sfeika d'yoma" (a doubt as to what day it is) that we find with
the other chagim?

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235%<BARILAN.bitnet@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 95 08:18 O
Subject: Re: Looking for a source

Excellent introductory books are:
        This is my G-d, by Herman Wouk
        To be a Jew, By Rabbi Donin


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 95 23:30:39 IST
Subject: Menorah for Women

Eli Turkel writes:
>     As an aside I recently saw a quote from Rav Soloveitchik that wives
> should also light hanukah candles as the reason "ishto ka-gufo" (a man's
> wife is like his own body) never appeared relevant to him. Does anyone
> know of cases where this is actually done?

Funny you should ask :-) This has been the minhag in my family for as
long as I can remember although until I saw your post I really wasn't
sure where it came from.  But, although I don't remember hearing it from
him, since I grew up in Boston it's very likely that Rav Soloveitchik
zt"l is the source for my family minhag.

Ironically, my ten-year old came home from school last week and cited me
the Mishna Brura that the women don't have to light.  So I went and
asked our LOR just to be sure.  His response was, "we don't argue with

Chag Sameach.

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


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 08:57:01 +0200
Subject: Shir Hakavod/Yichud

    Mordechai Perlman in discussing An'im Zemirot says
>> this is the view
>> of many g'dolim which discontinued the custom of saying the Shir Hayichud

    Mordechai is mixing up shir ha-kavod (anim zemirot) with shir ha-yichud
(what many people recite on Yom Kippur eve). Thus, in fact shir hayichud
is usually recited only once a year.

Eli Turkel


From: <rrosen@...> (Richard Rosen )
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 02:45:32 -0800
Subject: Tal Umatar

The explanations of the start of tein tal umatar on December 4th or 5th
based on the start of rains in Bavel are interesting, but I'm still
confused.  Notwithstanding what we call the day, 60 days after the
equinox is 60 days after the equinox.  If that is the origin of this
custom, then it is surprising that we have altered our observance to
follow an artificial calendaric shift whose purpose was entirely
different.  Both the equinox and 60 days thereafter are solar events,
and the time period between them remains constant no matter what name we
give to the dates.

Richard A. Rosen


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 07:40:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Ufatzu chomos migdalai

The 5th verse of Maoz Tzur describes the Chanukkah story. One phrase in
this verse is "ufortzu chomos migdalai", which would be literally
translated "and they opened up the walls of my citadel". Mentally, I
always pictured breaking down the walls of the Beis Hamikdosh, or
perhaps a fortress.

However, I found this year the following Mishna in Midos (Ch. 2, Mishna
2 in the Ychin Uboaz edition, Mishna 3 in Kahati's -- who splits up the
YU"B's mishna 1 into 2 parts). The second chapter describes the Beis
Hamikdosh (Temple) as it would appear to someone walking in from outside
the Temple Mount to the Altar. This mishna picks up right after you walk
through the gate and onto the Temple Mount.

	Inside of it is the soreg, 10 tephachim [appx 2-1/2 feet]
	high.  It had thirteen pratzos [openings] there, that the
	Hellenist kings partzum [opened them]. They returned and
	closed them off, and legislated corresponding to them 13

To help you picture what a soreg is, the root means woven. The Bartenura
describes the soreg as a mechitzah woven out of thin wooden slats
running at diagonals. The Bartenura compares it to the part of the bed
used to support the mattress, with plenty of open space inside the

He goes on to say that the Hellenists opened up holes in the soreg
opposite each of the gates in the outer wall to let anyone see in.  The
soreg marked the limit for gentiles, they were not allowed in beyond
that point.  To the Hellenist mind, this havdalah bein Yisrael la'Amim
[seperation between Israel and the Nations] was repugnant. It ran
against their assimalationist efforts.

Chomos migdalei, the walls of my citadel, were not the mighty walls
around the Temple Mount or the walls of a fortress. They were a
see-through mechitzah, the realization that the Jew, as one of the
Mamleches Kohanim [Nation of Priests], has a higher calling.

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


From: Jerome Parness <parness@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 16:17:18 EST
Subject: V'ten Tal U'matar

Another possible explanation of why we say v'ten tal u'matar on Dec 4 or
5 outside of Israel was given to me today by Mr. Henry Lerner of Edison,
NJ.  We know that in hutz la'aretz (outside of Israel) one was required
to say this phrase when the need for rain began.  This was determined to
be 60 days after what is known as tekufat tishrei.  Tekufa is hebrew for
a time period, so this phrase, tekufat tishrei, the period of tishrei,
refers to the time of Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur, the holiday hallmarks
of the period, during which we are judged individually and collectively.
We know that if we are judged to be collectively wanting, the rains can
be withheld from on high.
	Tekufat tishrei is based on the lunar calendar.  The latest the
last day of tekufat tishrei (i.e., Yom Kippur) can occur is the 5th of
October (run and check your thousand year calendars folks, but its the
truth).  Sixty days from the 5th of October is Dec 4th.
	This explanation should suffice if the day of recitation begins
only on Dec 4th, but does not yet explain the 5th, unless we say it on
the 5th only in a solar leap year.  Does anyone really know?


End of Volume 22 Issue 54