Volume 23 Number 74
                       Produced: Wed Apr 24 17:47:52 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Brit Milah of Ephraim Eliezer HaKohen Feldblum, n''y
         [Steve White]
         [Russell Hendel]
         [Seth Magot]
Paskening From a Ma'aseh Rav
         [Moshe Twersky]
Shaving on Chol Hamoed
         [Sholom Parnes]
Tzaddik Mit a Peltz
         [Zemira Shaindl Wieselthier]
Using Welches Grape Juice For Kiddush
         [Isaac Balbin]
Welch's Grape Juice
         [Barry Siegel]
Yom Hazikaron
         [Gideon Miller]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 17:41:26 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I think that things are getting more stable on the Shamash system, but I
have heard from a number of you that various issues may not have gotten
through to all of you. The issues should be available via ftp/gopher/web
or via email request to the listproc (I'll put together the syntax for
the commands later this evening and send it out in another issue), but
if I hear from a large number of you what issues you missed, I may just
send them out again via the full list.

More later, let me try and get an issue out to you all first.



From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 17:28:22 -0400
Subject: Brit Milah of Ephraim Eliezer HaKohen Feldblum, n''y

At Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park, NJ, we were privileged
last Sunday, 25 Nisan 5756 (April 14, 1996), to celebrate the Brit Milah
of Ephraim Eliezer HaKohen, n''y, son of Avi and Carolynn Feldblum (our
friendly moderator and his wife, of course).

Aside from the proud parents, as well as the proud siblings (Eliyahu,
Esther and Tzipporah), the ba'alei simcha included:

Mohel:  Rabbi Pirutinsky
Sandak:  Rabbi Meir Fulda of Yeshiva University
Namer of Baby:  Rabbi Busel of Rabbi Joseph Jacob School
Holder of Baby during naming, and leader of Bentsching:  Rabbi Ronald
Schwarzberg, mara d'atra of Congregation Ahavas Achim
Kvatter:  Dr. Sheldon Goldstein

Kvellers:  Everyone else

Special connection via cordless phone to Israel, live from the shul:  Rabbi
Dr. Meir Simcha and Ayala Feldblum, proud Saba and Savta

The baby was named for Avi's beloved maternal grandfather, his Zaide, Rabbi
Ephraim Eliezer HaKohen Yolles, zt''l, Rebbe of Sambor, long-time Rov in
Philadelphia, and intimate of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt''l.  Many of us were
privileged over the course of the weekend's festivities to read or hear the
classic Lubavitch Torah for Wachnacht, which was in fact originally written
to Rav Yolles by Rav Schneerson on the occasion of _Avi's_ Wachtnacht.
 (Perhaps our moderator would share that himself in coming weeks.) [OK,
I'll try to summarize what I understood, and hopefully others on the
list who may have learned that maamar will correct and further instruct
me on it. Mod.]

Rabbi Fulda made closing remarks of Torah praising the midot, community
contributions, and learning of both Avi and Carolynn (whom, he pointed
out, he knew before they _were_ "Avi and Carolynn"), as well as Avi's
grandfather, namesake of the baby.  Those who attended this simcha were
reminded of something they -- and this list -- already knew quite well:
the tremendous love _and_ respect the **entire** community has for both
Avi and Carolynn.

(Which is why someone else had to write this up.  Avi is far too modest to
include such details, but you, gentle readers, deserved to hear them.)

I'm sure the entire mail-jewish community joins in wishing Avi and
Carolynn nachat (or even naches) from Ephraim Eliezer and all the
children, and that they be privileged to raise him (and them) to Torah,
Chuppa, and Ma'asim Tovim.

Steve White

[I'd like to take this opportunity to that the over 100 of you who sent
in wishes of mazal tov via email, and Carolynn and I truely appreciate
it. Mod.]


From: Russell Hendel <RHendel@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 13:06:45 -0500
Subject: Discipleship

I would like to respond to David Riceman's question in Vol 23 # 63 and
Jeff Mandin's response in Vol 23 #66 on discipleship.

The question is: According to the Jewish tradition is a disciple best
when they only learn what their teacher told them or when they deviate.

I would like to suggest that the issue of IMITATING vs DEVIATING is not
an issue in the PERSON but an issue in TIMING.

Before I explain this, maybe an example would clarify it.  The great
Rambam started out in life by writing a PERUSH on the MISNAYOTH.  He saw
his goal as clarifying what was already there, not creating original

However in the Misheh torah which he wrote later he did several original
or semi original things: He adjudicated in controversies; He also
introduced several timed "It appears to me"; finally he is most famous
for his comprehensive classification scheme (which of course DEVIATED
from that of the Mishnah).

Was the Rambam then an IMITATOR or a DEVIATOR?  It seems to me he was
both.  Early in his life he was an imitator while later in his life he
was a deviator.  It is the time in ones development that legitimizes or
prohibits deviation vs imitation.

Returning to the main question let us examine sources: All rishonim
agree that there are three components to learning: Learning TENACH,
learning fixed halachah (usually mishnah), and learning Talmud, analysis
and generalization of the fixed halachah.

The rambam clearly identifies mishnah with FIXED HALACHAH and also
clearly identifies TALMUD with: derivation from principles, perception
of similarity and contrast, generalization etc.

When MACHLOKETH does exist in the rishonim on this three fold approach
it is only on timing (e.g. should you spend two days a week on tenach,
two on mishnah, two on gemarrah, or should every day be broken up; when
you know tenach and mishnah do you still spend three times a day etc).
There is no controversy on requirement of three fold breaking up.

But then the HALACHAH itself solves our problem:

MISHNAH is an IMITATION stage.  In fact: MISHNAH comes from SHANAH which
means to IMITATE.  The term undoubtedly comes from the famous SIFRE on
VESHINNATAM LEVANECHAH...that the knowledge of halachah should be clear
sharp statement summaries (like the sharpness of the TOOTH

Clearly then every student is required to go thru this imitation STAGE
when they learn the corpus of laws and minhagim and simply imitate their

But halachah also encourages TALMUD.  TALMUD includes GENERALIZATION
which requires taking a fixed law and deviating from its fixedness and
making a generalization.  In fact all studies of reason involve
classifications that imply chidusim (e.g other advocated reasons may
differ in the case their is the "nafkah mina").

Since HALACHAH requires a TALMUD stage it is clear that all students
must go thru this deviating stage. Note that even simply TALMUDIC
activities like the derivation of fixed halachah from POSOOKIM may
involve implications not found in the original halachah(and hence are

Since both these aspects exist it becomes readily understanable how
statements supporting each approach exist.  However we emphasize that it
is time not the person that causes the distinction.  Any personwho has
"graduated" from the MISHANAH stage should go to the TALMUD stage and
create novelty.

Since not everyone becomes a good talmudist we can understand why the
IMITATORS will outnumber the DEVIATORS. Theoretically however everyone
should go thru the two stages.

There are certain statements in halachah which might indicate e.g. that
a person should not enter a DEVIATING stage while his REBBE is alive
unless he gives permission. This however does not contradict what we
have said.

It is true that the Rambam is the only rishon who EXPLICITLY states that
after learning and Tenach and MIshnah one should learn Talmud all the
time and only review tenach and mishnah when necessary....but the
absence of an explicit statement in other rishonim doesn't mean they
disagree.  As a simple example, every BAAL KORAY knows that "the first
year" one may spend 3 hours a day or 21 hours a week learning the
PARSHAH.  After doing this for 10 years or so it usually is sufficient
to spend maybe a half hours or hour a day (3-7 hours a week) to get the
same results.  I don't know any POSAYK who would require someone to
learn laining 21 hours a week independent of how well he knows the

In conclusion: Everyone should spend the initial part of their life
learning Tenach and fixed halachah.  During this stage one should be an
imitator.  After one knows basic halachah one should concentrate
entirely on talmud and make chidusim, generalizations, and distinctions
as they see fit.  Statements in the Talmudic literature supporting
IMITATION vs DEVIATION should be interpreted to refer to a certain time
in one's life and development and not as absolute statements.

I hope the above discussion on Mishnah vs Talmud clarifies the matter

Russell Jay Hendel Ph.d. ASA
Dept of Math and COmputer Science
Drexel Univ, Phil Pa


From: <magot@...> (Seth Magot)
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 13:24:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mikva

I need some clarification about halacha concerning the mikva.  There is
a women that I know who is well past 60.  She is Jewish, but has never
gone to the mikva.  Her daughter who has become much morfe observant
that her has asked her to use the mikva (just once) because it would
become a blessing (?) for her children.  I have never heard this before
- but there is a lot that I am ignorant about.  Any comments to the list
or directly to me would be appreciated.

Seth Magot


From: <twerskyd@...> (Moshe Twersky)
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 17:47:45 -0700
Subject: Paskening From a Ma'aseh Rav

Isaac Balbin, in his response to Michael Lipkin, (regarding shaving on
Chol-Hamoed) stated that "If you are a Talmid, and he [the Rav] let you
see him act in a particular way, then this is a psak."

The gemara in Bava Basra (130b) however says, that one may not derive
halochos from a "Maseh-Rav."  The Rashbam there (s.v. ve'lo) explains
that it often misunderstood why a particular act was done in a
particular set of circumstances.

Rav Shechter himself, in his introduction to Nefesh Harav (pg. 3-4),
makes the point clear that much of what the Rav did was not intended to
be viewed as halacha; rather, they were his personal practices.

Metzudas Dovid  -- David Twersky on the interNET


From: Sholom Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 21:07:35 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Shaving on Chol Hamoed

Michael Lipkin asks about shaving on Chol Hamoed.
See T'echumin Vol 2 page 116 article by Rabbi Yitzchak Pachah and
a response by Rabbi Shalom Mashash (Sefardi chief rabbi of Jerusalem)
in T'echumim volume 3 page 517.
There is also a Tesshuva by Rabbi Aaron Lichtenstein on this matter,
although I don't have the exact source.
Shabat Shalom 
Sholom Parnes


From: Zemira Shaindl Wieselthier <zsw2@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 21:21:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Tzaddik Mit a Peltz

Does anyone know the origin of the Yiddish phrase "tzaddik mit a peltz"?
What does it mean, and what can it be applied to? How is it relevant to
Jewish studies and/or personalities?

Zemira Wieselthier


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 18:29:41 +1000
Subject: Using Welches Grape Juice For Kiddush

> From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
> Is there any problem using Welches Grape Juice for kiddush or the four
> cups on Pesach. I have heard that there is a controversy over its use
> because it is 'from concentrate'. Has this issue been resolved one way
> or another?

We don't get Welches grape juice down here, but on the general issue
please note that Rav Soloveitchik (according to Rav Shechter in Nefesh
Horav or the Haggodo that was put out by Rav Soloveitchik's grandson)
held that for Kiddush (not the other 3 cups) one should only use wine
that was fit for pouring on the Mizbeach. In particular this
precludes Wine or Grape Juices that are pasteurised or have added
sugar. Note also that Rav Auerbach in Minchas Shlomo is negative
regarding reconstituted/pasteurised grape juice. Of course there
are other opinions. I'd suggest that you discuss with your local


From: Barry Siegel <sieg@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 96 9:07:41 EDT
Subject: Welch's Grape Juice

Rabbi Luban of the Orthodox Union (OU) spoke of this issue this past
Pesach.  Briefly the official halachic position of the OU is that one
can make the Bracha Hagafen and thus Kiddush using Welch's grape juice,
which is made using grape juice from concentrate.

He expained that in the Welch process the concentrate is made via
evaporation and water is added later to make it grape juice.

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach Z'l held that one should not use
reconstituted grape juice. However, we do not know exactly what juice
"strength" that he was referring to.

Some of the factors discussed were 
	1 The strength of the juice product?
	2 Can it ferment? (by adding yeast)
	3 Is this similar to raisin wine?

Barry Siegel  HR 1C-125 (908)615-2928 centinel!sieg OR <sieg@...>


From: <Gideon_Miller@...> (Gideon Miller)
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 96 10:30:04 EDT
Subject: Yom Hazikaron

In response to the request by Mike Marmor for anecdotal resource material on 
Yom Hazikaron, I strongly suggest reading the book "O, Jerusalem", recounting 
the 1948 War of Independence and written by two journalists, Collins and 
LaPierre.  It is objective, eloquent, detailed and fascinating.  I personally 
am moved by this book every time I pick it up and it has given me a  profound 
appreciation for the gift of Eretz Yisroel.  I urge everyone to read it.

Gideon Miller    


End of Volume 23 Issue 74