Volume 23 Number 56
                       Produced: Tue Mar 26 23:20:55 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bereavement and Why Bad Things...
         [David Hollander]
Chevra Kadisha & Geneology
         [Mike Paneth]
Dairy Equipment
         [Michael & Bonnie Rogovin]
Forced get
         [Michael J Broyde]
Kibud Av v'Aym
         [Ruth Langer]
Kosher Deli Products
         [Mimi Markofsky]
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Siamese twins (2)
         [Esther Parnes, Janice Gelb]
Sleepless in South Africa
         [Andy Kohlenberg]
Starbucks Coffee
         [Linda Katz]
Teaching Torah to Non-Jews
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]


From: <David_Hollander@...> (David Hollander)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 96 16:35:21 EST
Subject: Bereavement and Why Bad Things...

Sarah Miller <adc@...> wrote 
>After our 19 year old son, a hesder yeshiva student, was killed in a road 
>accident less than a year ago, I welcome any chizuk which may foster 

There was an ensuing discussion of the need for a frum alternative to 
Kushner's  Why Bad Things Happen To Good People

I propose Artscroll's 2 books
Times of Challenge
Vistas of Challenge


From: Mike Paneth <mikep@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 20:25:20 +-1000
Subject: Chevra Kadisha & Geneology

A friend at the local Chevra Kadisha (burial society) asked me to see if
anyone can help with the following.

They are currently running a locally designed DOS based program to
manage the jewish grave sites throughout the State and have about 35,000
graves on record.  They would like to move up to a Windows based
program.  Does anyone know of a Chevra Kadisha who are using such a
program (especially one tailored for the jewish market - hebrew as well
as english dates, names etc).

The Chevra are also gathering as much information as is possible from
people purchasing graves, as well as from bereaved family members, about
the jewishness of the the deceased and their living spouses and
children.  The information is being entered into a geneology program,
but it is at the end of it's capabilities and is not capable of storing
and maintaining the large amount of information.  The information is
especially important as there have been several incidents where the
Chevra has found out that children who considered themselves to be
jewish, have had their mother converted not according to Halacha or even
not converted at all.

The chevra is also working together with the local Holocaust Museum, and
are making a record of all concentration camp tatoos on the deceased.
This evidence must be kept for future generations.  It is hoped to scan
the photographs into the geneological database.  It is also hoped to
scan a photo of the deceased tombstone into the database.

Does anyone know of a geneology program that has the capacity to record
this information, and to produce a quality geneology report?

Mike Paneth


From: Michael & Bonnie Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 22:44:02 -0500
Subject: Dairy Equipment

> A lot of products are now marked ou-d, but in fact aren't dairy but 
> just dairy equipment.  Is there a way to tell the difference?  Does someone
> publish a list?

Unless their policy changed, I believe the OU does indeed use OU-D for
dairy _and_ dairy equipment.  KOF-K and OK use "DE" for dairy equipment.

[Similar corrections to my statement sent in by several others. Thanks
for clarifying the situation. Mod.]


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 12:55:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Forced get

	One person asked the following question:
> >4. Under what circumstances can or should a Bet-Din require a husband to
> >give a Get? Is this possible in the US? Israel?
and one writer responded with the following answer:
> The problem is that if the Beit Din "requires" the husband to give a Get
> then the Get is "meuseh" (forced) and is invalid.  The Gemara says (I don't
> have a cite unfortunately) that much like certain sacrifices the rule is
> "kofin oso ad sheyomar rotze ani" (he is forced until he says 'I want to').
> Unfortunately, the Beit Din's ability to "force" today is quite restricted.
> In some States in the United States (notably New York) there is a Get law
> which states that no one may receive a *civil* divorce unless s/he has first
> removed all obstacles that might prevent the other spouse from remarrying.
> * * * *
> In Israel, the Beit Din does have the power to jail husbands who do not give
> their wives Gittin.  In some cases it has been successful, in other cases
> this has not been successful.

A casual reader of this post might assume that al pe din one may coerce
a get in any situation that the beit din feels divorce is good.  This
would be a serious mistake of halacha.  While the matter is in dispute
between Rambam and Rabbenu Tam, the Shulchan Aruch EH 154 is quite clear
that coercion is permitted only in certain very limited situations where
halacha recognizes that divorce is either mandatory or a mitzvah.  Thus,
if the husband is impotent, or beats his wife or frequents prostitutes,
a beit din will order a get, and if the husband does not cooperate, the
beit din can use force.  However, in the case of mere estrangement
without any finding of fault, force -- even if authorized by a beit din
-- is prohibited and can void a get.  The purpose of the various
pre-nuptual agreements that have been written is to allow for a
halachicly sanctioned form of support payments to be used to subtely
encourage the husband to give a get to avoid payments that he al pe din
must make.

The citation to the principle of kofin oto ad sheyomar rotze ani MUST be
limited to cases of serious halachicly mandated fault with leads to
mandatory (or perhaps maybe mitzvah legarsha) divorce.

Rabbi Michael Broyde


From: Ruth Langer <langerr@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 13:30:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kibud Av v'Aym

Does anyone know of halachic materials dealing with
kibud av v'aym and aging, particularly mentally debilitated parents
and the permission to turn the care of the parent over to another 
(i.e., nursing homes, hired nurses, etc.) Please reply to: 

 Ruth Langer, Jewish Studies, Theology Department, Boston College


From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...> (Mimi Markofsky)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 22:28:03 -0500
Subject: Kosher Deli Products

[The issue of the reliability of various Hechsherim is a tricky one to
discuss. My recommendation is that IF you have reliable factual
information, please send it to the list. If you want to communicate
direcly with Mimi, that is also fine. But I will be careful to not send
rumors or feelings about a Hechsher to the list. Mod.]

There seems to be some controversy over Best Kosher Products (and all
their subsidiary companies).  I've been told that the products are
kosher, "but not recommended" by my local Va'ad.  What is the story?
Are they kosher?  Is the kashrus acceptable at the highest madrega, but
the politics aren't?  In a large metropolitan city, we have a very
difficult time getting decent deli products without going to a carry out
(of which we only have 2).

Mimi Markofsky


From: <er@...> (Elie Rosenfeld)
Date: 25 Mar 1996   9:25 EST
Subject: Mazinkin

A.M. Goldstein:
>>I would like to know all and everything about the "krenzel tanz," done
>>when the last child is married off.  Who participates, any special
>>music, can it be done before sheva brachot, what customs, practices,

Carl Sherer:
> (gives the logistics of the dance)
>Unfortunately, I don't remember what music was played - it was towards the
>end of the wedding (but before Sheva Brachos) and I was worn out from

Both my parents and in-laws married off their youngest in the last two
years, so I got to participate in this dance twice.  There is a special
Yiddish song for the dance - called "Mazinka ois g'geben" [the youngest
is given].  The standard during the dance is that the band will do this
number and then segue into another Yiddish tune called "mechutaines
d'mina", usually just as an instrumental (the lyrics are rather

Elie Rosenfeld


From: Esther Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 05:44:34 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Siamese twins

Re: Siamese twins
It would seem to me that the twins, if they were Jewish, would not be 
allowed to marry one person either. That person would be transgressing 
the prohibition of a man marrying two sisters.
What a sad situation. Sh'elo Nayda.

Sholom J. Parnes - Efrat

From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 10:32:49 -0800
Subject: Siamese twins

David Charlap says:
> 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 
> >man?
> 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 fact, the article I read about the twins says that if someone 
tickles the side of one twin, the other does *not* feel it, so I'm 
not sure the Gemora reasoning would apply.

Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


From: Andy Kohlenberg <KOHLENAI@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 07:45:12 GMT+0200
Subject: Sleepless in South Africa

Dear Mail-Jewish Digest:

My friend's wife recently gave birth to a boy. When he named him Gilad a
certain chacham (wise man) told him that the Biblical Gilad is known as
a "ben na'avat hamardut" (son of a promiscuous woman).  Gilad, he
implied, is not a good name for a Jewish child because it brings to mind
undersirable qualities and lineage. I have done a bit of research on the
name Gilad and I still have a few questions.

In Chronicles 1 Chapter 7, verse 14 the name Gilad is mentioned as the
grandson of an Aramean concubine. Would it be reasonable to associate
the expression "ben na'avat hamardut" from Samuel 1 Chapter 20, Verse 30
with Gilad because of his grandmother?

Are there any commentaries which speak critically of Gilad and find
fault in his lineage? Also, is the Gilad mentioned in Chronicles the
same as the father of Yiftach mentioned in the Book of Judges?

Can someone help me to make sense of all this?

Aharon Hayon
Port Elizabeth
South Africa


From: <MSGraphics@...> (Linda Katz)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 17:12:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Starbucks Coffee

In response to previous postings- there has been some error.
(I'm a little behind but I have not seen this properly clarified.)

Starbucks does NOT DO flavored coffees- though almost every other
gourmet coffee brand does, and many coffee shops sell Starbucks coffee
and other brands too-- but if you buy from a Starbucks outlet, all
coffees should be under OU- and having them grind the coffee in house is
*fine*.  (Check with your LOR- although one poster said no, I've heard
it may even be fine for Pesach - though I grind my own-it's 100% pure
coffee. The coffees have fancy names to describe the roasts and blends-
there is no added flavor to the coffees themselves.)

I used to live in Seattle, where I could check hechshers better, when
Starbucks was a much smaller company. It used to be fine to patronize
any outlet. Now though, I would suggest not using any of the flavored
syrups (added after brewing to drinks) or any chocolate (as in caffe
mochas) without inspecting them yourself- they used to use OK and OU
products, but now that they've expanded and use their own brand, (and
different brands on the East and West coasts,) I have not seen a
hechsher on some of these products. If anyone can provide information
otherwise (or lobby Starbucks to get certification on their secondary
products-PLEASE!) I'd LOVE to hear about it.

I have been told by very reliable rabbonim that it's fine to drink
coffee at a Starbucks establishment (paper cup-including no problem of
maris eyin.) It is a recent development and it makes me too nervous to
get lattes or steamed drinks if the equipment is also used for steaming
any of the added syrups, chocolates, etc- and if in that outlet, those
products have no hechsher. As mentioned- some do, some don't. (The
steaming wand is at a very high temperature/pressure and is not a
problem- but the metal cups are presumably washed together...?)

But the brewed coffee and espresso are fine.
Once again- none of the roasts are flavored.
Linda Katz


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 23:32:35 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Teaching Torah to Non-Jews

In an enlightening teshuva issued by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Bloch zt"l,
the Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe in the thirties, to my grandfather,
Rabbi Dov Yehuda Schochet zt"l, who was then a Rabbi in Basel, he rules
that teching non-Jews any material that will make them more ethical is
permissible, even if it is Torah she'be'al Peh. The teshuva is engaging
and erudite, and if anyone would like a copy, please contact me. I also
have a tape available from our Brandman Tape Library in which I go
through the teshuva step by step as well.

On a personal note, Mazal Tov to list member Rabbi Dr. David Riceman,
whose wedding to Dr. Suzanne Arney I was priveleged to attend today in
Highland Park. It was a privelege, as well, to meet and join as an Eid
Yichud with our Moderator, Avi Feldblum, and meet the man behind the

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


End of Volume 23 Issue 56