Volume 25 Number 60
                      Produced: Mon Dec 30 15:14:48 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chamar Medina (2)
         [Chana Luntz, Dr. Steven Oppenheimer]
Chevra Kadisha
         [Yehuda Poch]
El-Al flights and bodies
         [Sue Kahana]
German Minhag to Use Beer for Havdolo
         [Samson Bechhofer]
Schnorring on Shabbos
         [Carl Sherer]
Shemitah wine
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Understanding Aggadah
         [Eli Turkel]
         [David Erlich]
Wheelchair Accessible Mikva
         [Joel Goldberg]


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 21:09:35 +0000
Subject: Chamar Medina

In message <199612271616.LAA16972@...>, Isaac Balbin
>The only other issue which I believe needs to be dealt with is the fact
>that we actually (finally) have decent wines which we would not be
>ashamed to serve a guest (as opposed to the sickly sweet sugar stuff
>which isn't fit for the Mizbeach and which Geonim such as Rav
>Soloveitchik forbade for use for Kiddush!). 

On additional issue comes up in countries that are particularly strict
about drink-driving - such as Australia. In Australia, at least for the
first two years after you get your driving licence (and somebody told me
it was being extended to the full five years of the probationary
licence), you are only permitted to drive with a zero blood alcohol
rating (ie if you get breathalized, and there is any reaction when you
blow in the bag, you lose your licence - something that is heavily
policed in Austrailia, especially on a Motzei Shabbas).

If you are a young man planning to date on Motzei Shabbas - drinking
wine (or beer for that matter) can severely crimp your social life.



From: Dr. Steven Oppenheimer <oppy@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 04:37:20 +0000
Subject: Chamar Medina


Regarding Shlomo Godick's point questioning whether soda refers to
seltzer or a sweetened carbonated beverage such as coke, pepsi, the two
sources I cited (Radiance of Shabbos and Shut Divrei Chachamim only use
the word soda without explanation.  Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, shlita in
Yechave Da'at refers to Tempo ( although he does not allow its use as
Chamar Medina).  Tempo in Israel is used to refer to the sweetened
carbonated beverage.  Shut Avnei Yashfe ( Rabbi Feinhandler ) in his
Tshuva writes that there are poskim who permit "Gazoz" as Chamar Medina.
Gazoz is the equivalent of our soda pop (i.e. sweetened carbonated
beverage ).  Rabbi Feinhandler also checks all of his Tshuvas with his
Rebbe, Rav Elyashiv, shlita.

Many poskim refer to the addition of sugar into a beverage as making the
beverage more "Chashuv" (important) so that it should not be considered
as water which would cannot be considered as Chamar Medina according to
Shulchan Aruch (#296).

I can appreciate your "diyuk" into the meaning of soda, but I think that
those who entertain using "soda" as Chamar Medina have the sweetened
variety in mind.  It would be interesting, however, to ask a direct
question to Rav Scheinberg, shlita, for example, to get a clarification.
As an aside, it seems from the responsa literature that wine and grape
juice are the preferred beverages when available and when health permits
their consumption.  No one has even discussed the shiur ( amount ) that
needs to be consumed and the use of whiskey for example poses special
problems in that there are poskim, Mishna Brura, for example, who
require a revi'it.

I wish to thank all who participate in this discussion for their efforts
in "harbatzat Torah" and "libun ha'd'vorim".

Steven Oppenheimer, D.D.S.


From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 13:55:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Chevra Kadisha

Andrea Penkower Rosen asked some very pertinent questions regarding chevra
kadisha members and infection.  I am not a member of a chevra kadisha, but
my father used to be and is now a funeral director.  I often transport
members of the chevra to the chapel to perform taharas and then wait around
until they have completed their mitzvah and I return them to their homes.  I
see what goes on immediately prior to and following taharas, and I hear the
conversations.  These are my thoughts.

>l.  We have been told that the danger of infection from hepatitis is much
>greater than the danger of infection from the AIDS virus.  Most of our
>members have already been vaccinated for hapatitis but not all.  Do you
>advise or require all your members to take the hepatitis vaccination?
>     BTW, are you aware that after the first 3 initial injections, it is
>necessary to receive a booster injection?

Every member of every chevra in Toronto has had the Hepatitis injections.
In addition, every member of my family has had them due to the work that my
father does with possible carriers following their deaths.  We have all (in
my family) received the booster as well.  This is highly suggested as you
never know when this disease can be transmitted in the course of a tahara.
The injections we got were three shots, two months apart each, to the
triceps area, followed six months later by a booster.  They were not
particularly painful and are very advantageous.  In Toronto, the chevrei
kadisha paid for them.  It was also insisted, by the way, that all school
teachers and their families also get injected.

As to AIDS, I am no masmid.  But it is my understanding that the AIDS virus
can only last up to 72 hours outside a living body.  All AIDS cases
that are dealt with in my father's funeral home are known in advance and
precautions are taken, such as double gloves, etc.  There has even been one
case where a tahara was not done because the risk of infection was too high.

As to kavod hames and differentiation between mesim, I think that the more
important issue is the safety of the chevra members.  That is why that
particular tahara was not done.

>2.  In order to combat infection, we have been advised to use bleach.  Do
>you wash the tahara table with a bleach solution before and after each
>tahara?   Do you use bleach in the tisha kavim?  If you do use bleach, what
>do you do to improve air circulation within the tahara room so the chevra
>members dont suffocate?

I do not know of a case where bleach has been used, but that does not mean
that it hasn't.  I will ask my father to respond directly to these questions
as well.

\  \  \  \   |   /  /  /  /       Yehuda Poch		 __/\__
 \  \  \  \  |  /  /  /  /        Toronto, Ontario		 \  /   \  / 
  \_\_\_\|/_/_/_/         <yehuda@...>		 /_\_/_\  
           _|_                 http://www.interlog.com/~yehuda	     \/


From: Sue Kahana <sue@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 08:35:47 +0300
Subject: El-Al flights and bodies

When we made Aliya 17 years ago, our dog was bumped by this supposed 
Halachic grounds. At the time, we tried to research the reason, and 
no one whom we asked was able to come up with any halachic basis for 
it, including our LOR in NY, and our LOR here in Israel. The best 
that anyone could do was maybe somehow they could say it was Kvod 
HaMet, but that's really not a reasonable answer, since there are 
several cargo holds, and there's no reason for the live animal to be 
anywhere near the coffin. 

Sue Kahana, Systems Administrator
Hadassah University Hospital


From: Samson Bechhofer <Samson_Bechhofer_at_WFGNYHUB%<WFGNYHUB@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 96 12:33 EST
Subject: German Minhag to Use Beer for Havdolo

Myron Chaitovsky writes (in response to Carl Sherer) that it is a German
minhag to use beer for Havdolo on Motzoei Pessach.  As a member in long
good standing of the Breuer Kehilla cited in Mr. Chaitovsky's post, I
should note that to my knowledge, this minhag is not observed by most
families in Washington Heights and I am certain that it is not observed
in the Breuer family.  I have been told by people who grew up in
Frankfurt that this minhag was observed in Germany mainly by Jews who
had Polish connnections (either geographic or educational) and may have
also been observed after the Nazis banned the production of kosher wine.


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 00:00:04 +0000
Subject: Schnorring on Shabbos

Joseph J. Greenberg writes:

> Our shul has recently instituted the practice of sending a card
> (soliciting money) to members that receive an aliyah on Shabbat,
> that add on a mishebayrach (we are a suburban Young Israel in the
> Detroit area) for their family and friends. 
> ...
> The question is, should a shul be
> soliciting funds outright from it's own members who have pledged to
> give money _somewhere_ (not necessarily to the shul)?

I don't understand why, when a person gets an aliya in a shul on
Shabbos, he should be contributing money anywhere *other than* the shul
that gave him that aliya.  It strikes me that giving the money to the
shul that gave him the aliya is a simple Hakoras HaTov (acknowledging
when someone has done good to you) and that the money should be donated
to the shul that gave him the aliya.  I would suggest that the text of
the Mi Sheberach said in shul should be amended accordingly by the
Gabbai to say "Ba'avoor shenosan matono leBais HaKnesses" (because he
made a donation to the shul).

Many of the shuls in Eretz Yisrael have a simple solution to this 
problem.  There is a sign on the bulletin board outside that says 
"any MiSheberach after an aliya is an automatic pledge of NIS x to 
the shul."  This seems to take care of the problem described.

Hope this is helpful.

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 07:17:54 +0000
Subject: Shemitah wine

Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...> wrote:

>In Eretz Yisrael we have good, inexpensive wines.  The wines of the
>Shmita Year (3 years back) were so excellent in quality that Carmel
>Wines wanted to export them (which the halacha prohibits doing).  They
>were sold at wholesale-level prices fixed by the Otzar Beis Din (about
>$1.70 a bottle) in cartons of 12 bottles.  According to some rishonim,
>you fulfill a mitzvah every time you eat or drink food/beverage with
>k'dushas shvi'is.  (If you want to use shmita wine for havdalah, you
>must be careful not to extinguish the flame of the havdalah candle in
>the spilled wine.)

This is all true; however, one must be careful about shemitah wine
acquired today, since it is likely that it passed its time of biyur
(when there are no more grapes from the 7th year left on the vines
[Pesah following the Shemitah year]) without being declared hefqer
(ownerless), making it prohibited to drink the wine.

BTW, as far as Shlomo's statement about good, inexpensive wines, I have
to put my plug in for Baron; IMHO, their wines are comparible in quality
to the Yarden/Gamla/Golan wines and cost about half as much.  Our
typical Shabbath qiddush wine costs NIS13-18 (equivalent of about

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5658422 Fax:+972 3 5658424


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 15:34:13 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Understanding Aggadah

Daniel Eidensohn writes

>> In a strong attack on the Mahretz Chajes - the major modern Kabbalist
>> Rabbi Shlomo Eliyashiv asserts that Chazal are describing things they
>> knew directly through Ruach HaKodesh and are not guessing or merely
>> applying general principles.

   In this case how do arguments arise between conflicting Aggadic

   In fact this is very relevant to Art Kamlet's question:
>> after Sarah dies, Abraham once more marries (to Keturah, who
>> commentators say might have been Hagar) and has more children

   Isaac is 37 (127-90) when his mother dies and so Ishmael is 50 years
old. So if in fact Ketura is Hagar then Ketura could not have been very
young and in fact she has 6 children starting from at least her 60's.
However, in the midrash there are other opinions that the two women are
not the same person. In that case Ketura could have been a young woman
and then the only problem is that Abraham is old. As others have pointed
out it is less miraculous for an old man to have children. In addition
Abraham lived until the age of 187 and so presumably kept many of his
physical functions for longer periods that holds today. 
                          Eli Turkel


From: David Erlich <davide@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 96 00:14:59 PST
Subject: Vitamins

Can anyone enlighten me on the halacha regarding vitamins where the
there is no supervision. Many vitamins seem to have stearate which is a
cattle derivative. What is the halacha on this? Also Synergy which does
have a hechsher from Harav Cheiner of New York called Kng. What is this?
 Thank you,
David Erlich


From: Joel Goldberg <joel@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 09:34:01 GMT+2
Subject: Wheelchair Accessible Mikva

My wife is disabled, quadrapalegic, and she uses the accessible mikva in

It is equipped with a chair (minus its legs) attached to a crane. My
wife doesn't use it because she would fall off the chair, being
quadrapalegic and having no way to hold on as the chair swings through
the air.

What she does do, and this is the point of my posting, is get helped
into the mikva by 3-4 attendants who are there to help disabled
women. Any mikva could implement this solution. The disabled woman calls
the woman in charge and says that she will need the mikva such and such
a night. The woman in charge then calls the volunteers who have agreed
to come help disabled women.

It is important to know this, because the target woman of the original
question is literally 1000 miles from any of the places mentioned. Of
course it is very useful that accessible mikvas be publicized, and I
would encourage anyone who knows of others to publish their names and
locations as well.



End of Volume 25 Issue 60