Volume 23 Number 54
                       Produced: Sun Mar 24 20:53:53 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Fish on the Ka'arah at Seder
         [Elimelekh Polinsky]
Kosher cows
         [Alan Rubin]
Matzah and Get
         [Michael Pitkowsky]
Non-wheat Matzah
         [Martin Dauber]
Psalm 97
         [Richard Schultz]
SECOND Seder in Israel
         [Chana Luntz]
Siamese Twins
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Siamese twins
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Slits in skirts
         [Louise Miller]
Slits in Skirts (2)
         [Ahuva Levkowitz, Francine S. Glazer]
Twins and Mitzvot by the non-observant
         [R J Israel]


From: <mpolinsk@...> (Elimelekh Polinsky)
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 17:17:23 -0800
Subject: Fish on the Ka'arah at Seder

Someone mentioned to me the custom of having a fish on the Seder plate. They
say the zro'a, shankbone, is for Moshe and the egg is for Aharon and the
fish is for Miriam.

Does anyone know a source for this?

Chag Kasher v'Sameach,



From: <arubin@...> (Alan Rubin)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 96 20:32 GMT
Subject: Kosher cows

While we in Britain are in the midst of a discussion on the safety of
our beef I wonder whether anyone could explain the Jewish system of
examining slaughtered cows.

I know next to nothing about this.  I am told that the most important
test performed is inflation of the lungs with water.  If any water leaks
the animal is deemed to be not Kosher.

What pathological lesion is this leakage supposed to represent?  I am a
histopathologist ( though with no vetinerary knowledge ) and it seems to
me that the most likely cause of any leakage would be trauma during the
process of evisceration.  Any leakage during life would cause a
pneumothorax which would indeed be life threatening but I find it hard
to believe that a high proportion of cows are wandering around with

Alan Rubin     <arubin@...>


From: Michael Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 96 10:15:31 PST
Subject: Matzah and Get 

Matzah is rarely made of any of the five species besides wheat,
this may stem from ShAr OH 453:1 which deals with the fulfilling
of the mitzvah of matzah and possible ingredients.  The Ramah says
that "the custom is to initially use wheat".

  Regarding a forced get and secular courts, see the articles in the
Jewish Law Annual, vols. 1 and 4 by Bernard Meislin.  I have heard that
Rabbi Yosef Kapah here in Jerusalem is very willing to use the courts
power to force a husband to give a get.  Apparently many of the other
dayyanim are more hesitant about putting pressure on the husband and
Rabbi Kapach feels that the psak of the Rambam (Laws of Divorce 2:20)
entitles the courts to force the husband to give a get in certain
circumstances and this is not considered an invalid get.

Name: Menahem Michael Pitkowsky
E-mail: <pitab@...>


From: <mhd601@...> (Martin Dauber)
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 10:19:33 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Non-wheat Matzah

On MJvol50 Jonathan Katz (AKA <Frisch1@...>) questions the general
absence of Matza from the "other"four grains.

First, mehadrin min haMehadrin (mitzvah Min HaMuvchar) is to use white,
unwashed wheat for Matzahs Mitzvah.

Second, Oat Shmurah Matzah has been widely available for those who need
it (I think the price is around 15$ for four Matzahs).  This year I have
seen advertisements for spelt Shmurah Matzah in some recent publications
(e.g.  Kashrus Magazine Pesach edition).

By the way, what is spelt?

Best personal regards for a good Shabbos and a Chag Kasher VeSameach!

Martin Dauber


From: <schultr@...> (Richard Schultz)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 07:35:31 +0200
Subject: Psalm 97

Stan Tenen <meru1@...> writes:

>Just before the (Ashkenaz) chazzan's part, Psalm 97 says:
>"For You, HaShem, are supreme above the earth; exceedingly exalted above
>all powers."  (Artscroll Ashkenaz Siddur, p.310-311.)  The Hebrew word
>translated "powers" is actually Elokim.
>Is there a traditional teaching of how and why this is so? I am NOT
>interested in the standard, apologetic, explanation that Elokim can
>refer to powers in general (or any other easy out.)  The sense of the
>verse is clearly that HaShem is "exalted" over Elokim.

The reason that "elohim" in that verse is usually translated as "powers"
or "deities" (the old JPS has small-g "gods"; I believe that the new
JPS uses "deities) is because the original Hebrew is "na`aleita `al
*kol* elohim."  The word "kol" (= all) is always, to the best of my
knowledge, folloed by a plural or collective noun.  So that the translation
has to be "you are exalted over all . . ." followed by whatever meaning
you want to give "elohim"; but clearly, it cannot be "elohim" in the 
sense of God (e.g. "bereshit bara elohim", In the beginning of God's. . .).

A (very) cursory search seems to indicate that the phrase "al kol elohim"
occurs in three places:  Psalms 95, 96, and 97 (plus the paraphrase of
Psalm 96 found in 1 Chronicles 16):

Psalm 95:3 -- ki 'el gadol hashem umelech gadol `al kol elohim
	   (for the Lord is a great God and great king over all gods)

Psalm 96:4 -- ki gadol hashem umhullal m'od nora' hu `al kol elohim
   (for great is the Lord and highly praised; he is revered over all gods)

Psalm 97:9 -- ki atah hashem `elyon `al kol ha'aretz m'od na`aleta `al kol
   elohim (for you, Lord, are high above all the earth; highly exalted over
   all gods)

Thus, it is fairly clear from the language of the phrase that in this
context "elohim" refers to a plural group of some kind of exalted powers.
(Targum Onkelos translates the first two as "elaha" (gods) and the third
as "dachalaya" (powers) for what it's worth, and Ibn Ezra a.l. also 
explains the references in terms of heavenly powers, for whatever that's

Richard Schultz	                             <schultr@...>
Department of Chemistry                      tel: 972-3-531-8065
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel       fax: 972-3-535-1250


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 12:11:56 GMT
Subject: SECOND Seder in Israel


I will be in Israel for Pesach, and am therefore going to need a SECOND
seder.  Although i have lots of first seder invitations, my networks
have not managed to turn up any people having second sedarim (although
everybody assures me there must be lots around). Since i really don't
fancy a second seder by myself - I thought it would be best to find a
second seder (somewhere, anywhere),and then try and find a first seder
to go with it somewhere near where the second seder will be (the
additional problem is that for those of us keeping two days, it works
out to be a three day yomtov).  My base for Pesach is in the Old Katamon
area of Jerusalem, but I have alternatives in Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, and
possibly a dozen more places for first seder (I am also a good walker).

Please can anybody help




From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 11:10:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Siamese Twins

The Siamese Twins: In the case of the girls, it is not the same as the case
in the Gemara, because the girls do not feel all of the pains of the other.
There is complete separation above the waist, and they are considered in the
medical profession as two people joined below the waist.

Which makes it an even more interesting question.

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 11:13:00 -0500
Subject: Siamese twins

>Eli Passow <passow@...> writes:
>>	Recent articles in Time and Life magazine discuss the Siamese twins, 
>>Abigail and Brittany Hensel. They have 2 heads, 2 hearts, 1 liver, 2 
>>arms, 2 legs, and 1 set of sexual organs. Question: If these girls were 
>>Jewish, could they marry ? If so, could they marry more than one 

To that David Charlap answers (MJ23#52):
>I recall a gemora discussing something similar.  It talks about a man
>with two heads - does he count as one or two people for a minyan.  They
>concluded that he counts as one person.  The rationale was that if you
>prick one head with a pin, the other will feel it.  Therefore it is one
>person with two heads and not two people with one body.

In this case the test (prick one head with a pin) would not work, each
one of these girls have a seperate nervouse system, which is joint in
some parts of the body. However, I agree with your conclusion that they
could mary only one man.

There are two halachic issues here, namely, can two sisters marry one
man, and can two men share one sexual organ of two heads women. The
latter possibility is unthinkable from the Jewish prospective. The
former one, that is, two sisters marry one person might not be
prohobited here, because the prohobition is "legatot erva", and that
will not occur here as there is only one erva. (My LOR suggested that).

If this analyses is correct we judge a person, for marriage purposes in
judaism by two critiria: by past lineagy (Jewish vs. non-Jewish;
mamzerut, Moavi/Adomi, Cohen) and by the reproductive organ (andgoginos,
kerut shofcha etc) and not by the number of heads. To some extent it
makes sense since marriage for the most part is for
procreation. However, if it would be two headed men, I think that they
would be required to put two sets of Tefilin, and count twice for the

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <miller@...> (Louise Miller)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 96 09:37:18 PST
Subject: Slits in skirts

Tzniut notwithstanding, the reason skirts have slits are to enable the
wearer to walk.  If you sew up the slit, you will tear the skirt when
you attempt to walk.  The alternatives are to fill the slit with a pleat
(which is more expensive which is why it's less common,) or buy a skirt
that is full enough or short enough to allow you to walk.  (I'm not
talking about skirts with mile-long slits, rather the more normal ones
you'd wear to work or shul.)  Note that these days when a catalog
company describes a skirt as having a "kick pleat," they mean a slit
that has an overlap, not a genuine pleat.

Does anyone else think this discussion is getting silly?

Louise Miller (who is at this moment wearing a skirt with a "kick pleat"
from LL Bean, a good source of modest casual skirts, but they need
better colors.)

From: Ahuva Levkowitz <alevkowitz@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 96 12:08:47 
Subject: Slits in Skirts

I don't believe that slits are meant to be a "peek-a-boo" game.  They
are usually found in skirts of a certain length to enable the wearer to
walk "normally" rather than wiggle around with her knees held together
in the confines of a narrow or slit-less skirt (hence the ripping of a
sewn-up pleat).

For those conscientious about not having slits, the best option is to
sew in a kick-pleat.  This is a piece of material which is pleated with
the skirt's slit and sewn in a the edges. It gives one the extra knee
room necessary and doesn't rip when trying to catch a bus.  It is also
the most attractive option because it keeps with the original style of
the garment.


From: Francine S. Glazer <fglazer@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 10:03:37 -0500
Subject: Re:  Slits in Skirts

Esther Posen says:
> The idea behind the slit thing (i think) is that as a
> woman walks wearing a slit a little game of peek-a-boo goes on as she
> takes each step.  This is thougth to be provocative to men... 

The other idea behind the slit thing is that long straight skirts can 
be quite difficult to walk in...  the slit provides room for the 
wearer to take a complete step.  

Fran Glazer


From: <RJISRAEL@...> (R J Israel)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 13:41:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Twins and Mitzvot by the non-observant

1. Man with two heads is from Menahot 37b. The question is asked about
which head should wear tefillin. The questioner is thrown out of the Bet

2. Mitzvot by a non-observant Jew: This is only from memory - David Tzvi
Hoffman, a/the major posek of the German community at the turn of the
century in his responsa (M'lamed L'hoil) is asked whether a man who has
his store open all day is to be permitted to make Havdalah for the
community. The p'sak is that each Mitzvah is a d'var bifnay atzmo (each
is independent of the other) and if he intends to make Havdalah, that is
sufficient ground for his doing so, irrespective of his other


End of Volume 23 Issue 54