Volume 23 Number 29
                       Produced: Sun Mar  3  9:06:00 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Army Life
         [Warren Burstein]
Biblical / non-Biblical Names
         [Edwin R Frankel]
Black hat vs. kippah
         [Howard M. Berlin]
Bugs (2)
         [Benyamin Buxbaum, Michael Lipkin]
Machtzit Hashekel
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
More on Moshe Rabbenu's birthday
         [Menachem Glickman]
Publication of Rabbi Y. Apfel's writings
         [Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria]
Torah Portion Commentary
         [Steven Schwartz]
Train wreck follow up
         [Philip Ledereich]
Unqualified Teachers
         [Elozor Preil]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 08:40:54 GMT
Subject: Re: Army Life

I recall an article in the Israeli press some years ago about a trial
in which a group of Haredim went thru basic training together, with
accomodations made to meet their needs.  I have not heard of any

 |warren@           an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ itex.jct.ac.IL


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin R Frankel)
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 21:54:30 -0700
Subject: Biblical / non-Biblical Names

>2) What is considered a "Hebrew" name when naming a baby boy at his brit
>mila. Are biblical names (as found in Tanach) the only halachically
>permitted ones ?. For example, is Hertzel considered a Hebrew
>name?. What are allowable situations to change a person's name. ?

I have no idea of the halacha on this matter, if there is one.  However,
having studied the Mishna and Talmud, one discovers a plethora of Hebrew
names that are non-biblical among the names of our Chazal.  Given this, I
would doubt that the use of biblical names is more than a matter of

Ed Frankel


From: Howard M. Berlin <berlin@...>
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 19:17:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Black hat vs. kippah

I have just finished watching "A Stranger Among Us" (for the bizillionth
time), which may or may not be an accurate representation of certain
aspects of the Chassidic community.

Please pardon me if this question has been delt with before here (maybe
long ago) but what defines when a chassid wears his black hat (with
kippah undeneath) and when only the kippah is worn?

In this movie, it was noticed that the kippah was worn when studying
(Torah, Talmud, Kabalah), in work situations (diamond industry, store
owner, etc), and at home in general, except during the Shabbat meal.

A person wore his black hat while praying (excepts for the Rebbe and
some tzadikim who wore a kippah with tallit over their heads - maybe by
choice?), walking on the street, when meeting with the Rebbe, during
weddings, and in the home during Shabbat meal.

I believe a short while ago there may have been a brief discussion that
explained that there was a requirement that one's (a male) head must be
covered in a Shul, when praying and eating, out of respect for HaShem,
but there was nothing in the Torah that required one's head to be
covered otherwise. Is this true?

Any explaination on these points would be appreciated. 

 /~~\\       ,    , ,                             Dr. Howard M. Berlin, W3HB
|#===||==========#***|                           http://www.dtcc.edu/~berlin


From: Benyamin Buxbaum <benyamin@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 21:41:07 +0800
Subject: Re: Bugs

Anonymous wrote
>What is the argument in favor of checking even for such small items? If
>a glass of well water has some dirt in it, do we need to check it for
>bugs? I do understand that the halacha requires us to check for bugs,
>but did the rabbis of the Talmud go so far as to soak each leaf and
>hold them up to the light one by one? Have the bugs of recent
>generations gotten *that* much smaller?"

        In Rav Falk's sefer on insects, he states that any bug too small
to see with the naked eye is not Assur, and this seems to be to
everyone. He brings the Binas Adam 34(49), and Igros Moshe Y.D. II,
Siman 146 (see his explanation and proof there at length), the Aruch
Hashulchan, Tifferes Yisroel, etc.
        Bugs that are large enough to see, but you can't tell if it's a
bug without a magnifying glass, have a simple criterion: If it *was*
alive and moving, and you would be able to see it move, it's Assur. The
basic source for this is the word Sheretz - bug/swarming thing - in the
Torah, which is taken (by Rashi and others) to mean She-Ratz: that
moves, ie, anything so close to the ground that you don't see it moving
by walking, but rather by it's movement alone. Rav Falk quotes Rashi to
Eruvin 28a (quoted in Mosif Rashi in the Meor edition to Vayikra 11:23):
'The language of 'Sheretz' means something that moves on the ground and
can't be seen except by the fact it crawls and creeps due to it's small
size.' He also brings the Rashba (Teshuvah 275) that if you can put it
on your fingernail and only then see it move, it's Assur. As far as
drinking, Aruch HaShulchan Y.D 84:36-37 says if you can hold it up to
the light and see them, it needs to be strained first.
        As far as bugs getting smaller, I think the Gemora says that
anger in a house is like worms in sesame seeds. They are so small that
you can't separate the good from the bad and have to throw the whole lot

From: <Michael_Lipkin@...> (Michael Lipkin)
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 96 10:14:00 EST
Subject: Bugs

>From: Anonymous
>Personally, I have never found a bug of any kind in my lettuce except 
>for one ant that was about a centimeter long.

I often make the salad in our house.  I'm rather fussy and tend to throw
away several of the outer layers of iceberg lettuce before I even begin
to check.  I'd say that about 25% of the time I find bugs clearly
identifiable with the naked eye (and a good number of those bugs are
still alive!).  My wife checks broccoli by soaking it and has had to
throw away entire heads of broccoli because she couldn't get a clean

We found a real bruiser recently in a head of lettuce (he was about the
size of lady bug and was alive and kicking).  We kept him around to show
to a few friends who "never find bugs" in their veggies.  We were
thinking about naming him and keeping him as a pet until someone stepped
on him. :(

>C) The problem is if you see a tiny speck of something with the naked 
>eye, but you can't tell whether or not it's a bug unless you look at 
>it with a magnifying glass.

In all the various "bug charts" and articles I've read I have yet to see
any advocating the use of a magnifying glass.



From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 10:38:00 -0500
Subject: Machtzit Hashekel

Danny Skaist (MJ23#27) says:

>I believe, subject to any responses that I get, that the Israeli minhag
>started when the British took over Eretz Yisrael and instituted the
>Palestine Pound as the official currency [One Palestine Pound = One
>Pound Sterling].  The Palestine Pound was such a large ammount of money
>in the economy that it was broken down, not into hundredths, but into
>thousandths.  1 pound = 100 agurot, 1 agura = 10 prutot, and I believe
>that there was also a coin of 1/2 prutah.

I have a coin collection from the British mandate times (1917-1948) and
the name of the smallest coin was "mil" and not agora or peruta.The
peruta came with the Israelis in 1948 and agora even later. "Mil" of
course comes from the Latin [millesimus] with the meaning of one
thousand. (e.g., millennium is one thousand years). The coins in the
British times were: 1 mil (bronze); 2 mils (bigger bronze); 5 mils (the
one with the hole; bronze or zinc), 10 mils (the one with the hole;
bronze or zinc), 50 mils and 100 mils (both silver).  In the 50s in
Israel the Turkish term "grush" was used for 10 perutot (=one
agora). This is of course a left over from the Turkish occupation of
Israel prior to 1917.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Menachem Glickman <mglick@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 20:54:58 +0000
Subject: More on Moshe Rabbenu's birthday

In Vol 23 no. 11, I quoted a "vort" from R Chaim Kaufman in which he
said that Haman, who, as a non-Jew, counted night after day, assumed
that Moshe Rabbenu, who was born at night and died during the day, did
not"complete his years."  At the time, I could not recall whom R Chaim
was quoting.

He repeated it at his shiur last week, and I was able to clarify
matters.  It is the last Meshech Chochmah on Megillas Esther, printed
after Sefer Shemos.  The Meshech Chochmah is commenting on the phrase
"es yemai haPurim ha'eleh bizmanehem" (9:31) [these days of Purim at
their times].  Obviously, he writes, they must be celebrated at their
times - when else?  He explains that as the decree of Purim and the
fighting took place according to the Persian calendar, i.e. night
following day, we might have thought that the celebration also should
take place night following day.  Therefore the Megillah tells us that
the days of Purim should be "bizmanehem" - in the normal time of Jewish
festivals, day following night.

The Meshech Chochmah then explains Haman's error, as previously posted,
and concludes by saying that because the miracle took place according to
the Persian calendar, we have the custom of continuing our Purim seudah
into the night, as a reminder of night following day.

R Chaim concluded, tongue in cheek, by observing that we follow the
non-Jewish way of counting by extending our Purim celebrations into the
night, while (lehavdil elef havdolahs [to make a thousand separations])
the goyim have the religious celebration of Xmas on the previous night,
because they are marking the birthday of a Jew!

Have a freylichen Purim

M Glickman
I L Computing Services  Gateshead  UK                             


From: Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria <yaakovshem@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 16:16:10 GMT
Subject: Publication of Rabbi Y. Apfel's writings

Rabbi Yosef Yehoshua Apfel, the head of Leeds Beth Din, has recently
published a sefer (written in Hebrew) which is a collection of his
writings over the last seventy years. I thought would that its
publication might be of interest to the readers of Mail- Jewish. Dayan
Apfel a graduate of the famous Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in
Berlin, a Talmid Muvchak (Outstanding student) of Rabbi Yaakov Yehiel
Weinberg.., work is divided into four parts. The first section consists
of responsas, (questions and answers) that Dayan Apfel corresponded with
Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Eliasheiv , Rav Weinberg, and Rav Yitzhak Weiss
(the Minchat Yitzhak) and a very interesting question about animal
welfare that Dayan Apfel submitted in the nineteen thirties, when he was
in living in Berlin to the Rav Nahum Weinfeld (The Hazon Nahum).

The second section consists of deveri Torah compiled from Rabbi Maimon's
work, Sarei Elef. The third section consists of biographies of various
great rabbis, such as Rav Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg, Rav Yosef Shaul
Nathanson (The Shoel Umesheiv), Rav Moshe Sefer, Rav Yehuda Assod etc.

The last section is made up of correspondence between Dayan Apfel and
various rabbinical luminaries.What is particularly interesting in this
section are the letters that Rav Yehiel Weinberg sent Dayan Apfel which
have never been published before.

Dayan Apfel writes in his introduction to his work, a short biography of
his long productive life.  He describes his early life in Sanz,
Galici. Learning in a beis medrash in Sanz and receiving his first
semicha at 18, and his fortunate escape from the hands of the Nazis to
England in 1938 just before its gates to Jewish refugees were shut.

  Dayan Apfel, a survivor from pre-world war II, Poland and Germany,
writings are valuable for their historical insights and novel and
decisive rulings concerning modern questions. I recommend this work to
all, interested in rabbinical literature.

If anyone is interested in purchasing this sefer, please contact me by
at me e-mail address <Yaakovshem@...> uk or write me Rabbi Yaakov
Shemaria Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue, 399 Street Lane, Leeds Ls17
6lb. United Kingdom,


From: Steven Schwartz <schwarts@...>
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 15:39:39 -0500
Subject: Torah Portion Commentary

My son is to read from the Torah on his Bar Mitvah Genesis, chapter
XVIII, lines 1 to 15. "And the Lord appeared unto him..."

Would appreciate any commentaries on this section to assist my son in
his writing a speech about what it teaches him.

Steve Schwartz


From: Philip Ledereich <ledereic@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 00:18:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Train wreck follow up

Just letting you know Ushie went home last week
and is BH doing well.  Thanks for your prayers.


From: <EMPreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 00:30:15 -0500
Subject: Unqualified Teachers

Mordechai Lando writes:
> To put it more strongly: it is
>a mitzvah not to teach rather than to teach poorly or improperly.

Rabbi Bernard Goldenberg of Torah Umesorah was found of relating the
following dvar torah in the name of the Vilna Gaon:
 The Aseres Hadibros come with two sets of "trop" ("cantillations) - one
for use in shul, the other for private study.  The pronunciation of the
6th commandment prohibiting murder differs in the two versions.  One way
it is read "Lo Sirtzoch" (with a komatz under the tzadi); the other way
is "Lo sirtzach" (with a patach).  The Vilna Gaon commented that this
alludes to two different ways of "murdering".  One who is able to teach
and doesn't kills with a komatz - i.e., he closes (kometz) himself off
from his potential students.  One can also kill with a patach - by
opening (pote'ach) his mouth to teach when he is unqualified.

A "Preil"iche Purim to all,
Elozor Preil


End of Volume 23 Issue 29