Volume 24 Number 76
                       Produced: Thu Aug  8  0:33:20 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Cellular Calls for mail-jewish
         [Sol Lerner]
Anonymous's vow
         [Yrachmiel Tilles]
Drashot before Musaf
         [Rabbi Yoram Ulman]
Jewish spices
         [David Bannett]
Modern Educational Theory, Rebbeim, and Secular Subjects
         [Russell Hendel]
Rabbi Yosef Yehoshua Apfel
         [Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria]
Some questions from Vayikra
         [Jonathan Katz]
The root "KDSH"
         [David I. Cohen]
Tisha Ba-Av
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Sol Lerner <slerner@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 17:46:07 -0400
Subject: Administrivia - Cellular Calls for mail-jewish

Dear m.j'ers,

My name is Shlomo Lerner.  I work for a small startup company called
Applied Language Technologies (ALTech, for short).  We are working on
speech-recognition-based applications.

Over the coming week, we need to collect recordings of different people
on a variety of cellular telephones and we would like to get a large
representative sampling.  However, cellular calls cost money for people
who call in and the cost of attempting to reimburse them is quite high
(administrative, etc.). So, I came up with the following idea:

Any m.j'er who has a cellular telephone and wishes to participate should
call 1-800-619-7717 from their cell-phone to reach our data collection
system.  The system will ask several questions and wait for your spoken
response.  If you wish, you may make up reasonable answers to the
personal questions-- we are not looking for information _about_ you,
just typical responses to these questions.

The last question asks how you heard about our data collection.  You
should respond "mail.jewish."

In return, we will tally the number of callers who identify themselves
as an m.j'er.  We will then send $8/call to Avi-- $5/call for the
cellular expenses (we expect the typical call will be 4 minutes long and
should cost less than that-- especially during off-peak hours) and
$3/call which Avi will send to one or more Tzeddaka's (he'll include the
list of charities at the end of this letter).  You can then deduct $5
for each call that you make from next year's m.j subscription fee.

We are interested in getting _at_most_ three calls per person.  The
first call should be cellular from within a moving car.  If you have
time to make more calls, the second one can be cellular from anywhere
that you usually use your cell phone, and the third one can be from your
home telephone.  We usually have trouble getting data from women-- so we
would especially appreciate calls from adult females.

If we get over 200 calls by August 19, we'll send Avi an extra $500 for

If you have any questions for me, you can send email to
<sol@...>  Thanks for your help! 

[I'll divide the Tzeddaka funds three ways:

A local Yeshiva Gedola: RJJ - Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva
The NCSY program for handicapped children
Mazon - A New York based organization that distributes food to the
Jewish hungry.

Avi Feldblum]


From: <ascent@...> (Yrachmiel Tilles)
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 16:54:37 +0300
Subject: Re: Anonymous's vow

There is no need to lump Anonymous's vow and her "minhagim" into one issue.
Even if she is 100 % determined to pursue her personal practice, still she
should seek to release herself from the vow.  Do it because you want to, not
because a 12 year old vowed so.  Say "b'li neder" ("without vow" - i.e. no
obligation for tomorrow just because I did it today).  It certainly seems
that nearly all the Great Ones of past and present agree that vows are to be
avoided whenever possible.

Shalom and Blessings from the holy city of Tsfat.
Yrachmiel Tilles - ASCENT Seminars
PO Box 296        |    e-mail: <ascent@...> (YT)
13102 Tsfat       |    tel: 06-921364, 971407 (home: 972056)
ISRAEL            |    fax: 972-6-921942 (attn. Y.Tilles)


From: Rabbi Yoram Ulman <yulman@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Aug 96 20:52:35 -700
Subject: Drashot before Musaf

I came accross 2 doc. about the subject of whether the drasha before
musaf is a hefsek and also re the status of Kaddish before Musaf ( is it
shayach to Kriyas Ha Torah or Musaf etc.) and even though these are
docs. over a year old and maybe I didnt see all of them but i want to
make the following comment. Israel Botnick is right that the Kaddish is
shayach to Mussaf ( there already was 1 kaddish before maftir and it is
the one shayach to kriyas HaTorah. Therefore ideally right after Ashrei
and Yehallu ( as well as Uvnucho etc depending on the Minhag) the kaddish
should be said without a hefsek. The abovementioned tfilos ( including
hineni)is not a hefsek since chetzi kaddish should be preceded by psukim
from tehillim or the like. Until now this is more or less what
I. Botnick wrote. I would just like to point out a psak of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe recorded in Shaarei Halocho UMinhag Vol 2 P57. The
Rebbe says that in those cases when there was a hefsek before the
kaddish of Musaf ( he gives as an example people leaving the shule
before Musaf to attend a bris or even every Rosh Chodesh for those that
have a minhag to put Rabbeinu Tam trffilin before Musaf thus making a
hefsek )one should say a mizmor before saying Kaddish. The same psak
could apply in my opinion to a drosha. Even though it is a hefsek -
however in a situation when the Rov feels that the most practical or
effective time to make a drosho is before Mussaf ( e.g. more baalei
batim are present then than before Kriyas HaTorah ) one can use this
solution - deliver the drosho before musaf and mizmor should be said
before Mussaf.

Rabbi Y. Ulman
Sydney Australia 


From: David Bannett <BNET@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Jul 1996 19:01:28 GMT +2:00
Subject: Jewish spices

Re: the posting that pointed out that while most people know that
cholent eaten on Shabbat tastes especially good because it contains a
special spice named "Shabbat", it is less commonly known that there is a
real spice mentioned in the mishnah by the same name, "Shabbat".

If one goes to a supermarket in Israel and purchases a prepackaged
plastic bag of dill, he may note that the label says "shevet", which is
the proper Hebrew word for dill.  If one goes to the open market and
asks for shevet, the seller will probably look bewildered because shevet
is more commonly called "shamir" and many people are not familiar with
the "dictionary word".  So, the nikkud (vocalization) shows that shabbat
and shevet are two different spices and the only way to mix the two is
to eat shevet in the cholent on shabbat.  Personally, if I ever eat left
over cholent on Sunday, I add ketchup to make up for the lack of the
special Shabbat spice.

The mefareshim (commentators) on the mishnah in Uk'tzin 3,4 say that the
name shevet comes from Arabic and is anise or dill.  The Tiferet Yisrael
evens spells dill with two lameds.

The Rambam in hilkhot tum'at okhlin 1,7 states that it usually eaten raw
as a "field vegetable" and the Kesef Mishneh explains that it is often
eaten after meals.  This is of interest only because I have seen
acquaintances, Jews from Persia and Kurdistan, habitually eat large
amounts of raw parsley or dill both during meals and after meals as a
dessert or "after dinner mint". Old customs perpetuated.

David Bannett


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 19:36:32 -0400
Subject: Modern Educational Theory, Rebbeim, and Secular Subjects

What is superior sensitivity in Rabbinic responses to questions?:

S1--SENSITIVITY 1: Try and respond in such a manner as to get the person
to do as many Mitzvoth as possible.

S2--SENSITIVITY 2: Try and listen to what the person is asking and if
possible provide them with it---do not bombard them with the fact that
they have the "opportunity" to do lots of Mitzvoth and practice Middoth.

I give 3 examples in which I argue that S2 is superior:Examples 2 and 3
come from recent MJs. 

EXAMPLE 1: In college a group of students chipped in to buy Pesach
meals.  There was left over money. The chairman of the meal committee
announced that the excess money would go to Charity.

Not being involved (I went home that Pesach) I protested that Charity
should not be forced on people...rather, the money should be allocated
in some fair way and returned to the students. After a lengthy debate
(including a debate on whether the matter should be solved by going to a
Rabbi/ Bethdin) the students got their money back (Some thanked me and
when I asked them why they didn't speak up they explained they were
embarrased to speak against Tzedakah)

EXAMPLE 2: It was reported that a person davened Maariv three times in a
Shivah house and when she asked a Sheilah (if she had to always daven
maariv because it was like a neder) was told yes (and her husband thinks
it fantastic).(S1)

But several people have suggested that since she asked she really didn't
want to continue the practice forever and maybe it would be better to
find a heter (S2).

EXAMPLE 3: Recently a person, Anonymous, mentioned she had taken a vow
at 12 to always cover her head. Now at 22 she was upset because she went
to a synagogue where her Talith looked very peculiar; she said she broke
her vow but "had a blast".

In response to her question a woman of 40 suggested that she had lived
like that for a long time and offered her the possibility of shairing
with her.  Another person then commented what sensitivity was displayed
at the offer.

In my mind however Anonymous clearly stated that "she had a blast" at
living differently and felt compelled to violate her vow.  I believe
that real sensitivity dictates finding her a heter (not making her
"aware" that she really wants to behave differently).

These three examples suggest serious discussion about what the goals of
a Posayk should be when they have options and what real sensitivity is.

In closing I respectfully point out that the mystics when they wished to
coin a term for Moses could find no pithier expression then THE FAITHFUL
SHEPARD (Reayah Mehaymnah) which as the Sages explain refer to Moses
listening capacity (since a Shepard must "infer" a sheeps need from its


From: Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria <yaakovshem@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Aug 1996 09:25:00 -0700
Subject: Rabbi Yosef Yehoshua Apfel

Rabbi Yosef Yehoshua Apfel died erev shabbat ekev.His levaya took place
Sunday in Leeds. Rabbi Apfel ztz"l was one the closet students of the
the Rav Yaakov Yehiel Weinberg,(the Serdei Eish), and one the last
surviving graduates of the famed Hildeheimer Seminary of Berlin. The
family is sitting at 4 Maple Croft Shadwell Lane Leeds ls17.


From: <frisch1@...> (Jonathan Katz)
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 96 22:15:09 EDT
Subject: Some questions from Vayikra

I had a few questions which came up while learning Vayikra. Since I looked
only in Rashi for possible solutions, I am curious to hear what other
commentators have to say, and would also be interested in what
people on mail-jewish think.

1. Vayikra 17:13 "Any man...who traps [hunts?] an animal...which may be
This sure doesn't sound like kosher slaughter! The word used is tzayid
denoting hunting, not shochet denoting slaughter.

2. Vayikra 23:9-13 speaks about the bringing of the Omer on Pesach - no new
grain may be eaten before this is done. Vayikra 23:14 says "...an eternal
decree for all generations in all your dwelling places" Yet, we do not keep
this law today. While we do wait to eat new grain until this time, we
certainly don't bring Omer anymore!

Thanks in advance for any responses. (and if I get some good responses I
will come back and post questions on Bamidbar as well...)

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive, 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 16:21:07 -0700
Subject: The root "KDSH"

In Vol. 24 #69 R. Hendel writes that the Hebrew root word "KDSH" 
connotes intense preparation. I am curious as to his source for that 
translation, as the more common understanding of "KDSH" is to separate 
or to make separate, distinct and different, usually, but not always 
connting a distinction or separateness of a higher spiritual level. 
Thus, marriage where the partners becoming separated from (and 
forbidden to) all others is called "kiddushin". Likewise, but in the 
negative sense, a "kedaysha" or prostiture has negatively separated 
herself from normative moral society. Of course, the concept of 
holiness, "kedusha" derives from this idea of spritual uniqueness as 


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 15:51:30 -0400
Subject: Tisha Ba-Av

    I was in Norfolk, VA over Tisha ba-av and heard 2 comments from the
rabbi that is relevant to some recent discussions.

1. In the 13 principles at the end of the prayers most people say
   "be ve-at ha-masheach be-kal yom she-yavoh"
    However, it is known that the Messiah can not come on every day of
    the year for example shabbat, fridays etc.  Instead there should be
    a pause before she-yavoh.  Thus we wait each day that the Messiah
    should come, not necessarily today but we still wait in anticipation

2.  In the kinot it is mentioned that The towns of Speyer, Mayence and Worms
    were destroyed by the crusdaers. This was a message that the crusaders
    were disturbed that the land of Israel was in the hands of infidels
    and set out to correct this. However, the Jews in these cities were
    comfortable in exile and not worried about the desolate state of the
    land. Thus, the crusaders care more for Israel than the Jews did.
    Of course these does not justify their unprovoked acts of destruction.



End of Volume 24 Issue 76