Volume 25 Number 86
                      Produced: Sun Jan 26  9:11:52 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Anthony Fiorino]
Holy Minhagim
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Kiddush at the Table
         [Joel Guttman]
Kiddush on Foot
         [Mechy Frankel]
Lashon Hara about Tradesmen
         [Rafi Stern]
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky]
Pringles and the OU
         [Jonathan Grodzinski ]
Religiosity and Plagiarism
         [Steve Bailey]


From: Anthony Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 23:50:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Converts

Zev Sero asked:
> Apropos of all this, what's the status of someone between mila and
> tevila?  I recently participated in a hatafat dam brit, and we said
> the brachot and gave him a Jewish name.  If he never goes through
> with the rest of it, or does so before a passul `bet din', were our
> brachot retroactively said in vain?  And what's the status of his
> name right now?

The crux of the conversion process involve hodaat hamitzvot, informing
of the potential convert of the mitzvot, kabalat hamitzvot of the part
of the convert, stated before the bet din, and tvila, immersion in the
mikveh.  The convert is not a Jew until after tvila (and for this reason
recites the blessing "al ha-tvila" after immersing, in contrast to the
usual case in which brachot are recited prior to the execution of a
mitzva; a bracha recited prior to immersion has no halachic meaning
since it is recited by a non-Jew).  Brit mila, or hatafat dam brit, is
done prior to the conversion because otherwise the convert would emerge
from the mikveh in a state of non-adherance to the mitzvah of brit mila.
Brit mila, in addition to tevila and kabalat hamitzvot, are considered
the 3 essential components of conversion (obviously, brit mila is not a
component for women). See yevamot 46a,b; 47a,b. Although there are
positions in the gemara that hold that mila (probably with kabalat
hamitzvot) may be sufficient for gerut, we do not poskin that way; the
absence of any one of the three components (for a man) means that the
conversion is incomplete.  Thus, the status of a non-Jew who has
undergone circumcision but not yet tevila (this can be a sizable chunk
of time for those who must be circumcised) is that of a non-Jew.  The
naming should be delayed until after immersion, since it is at that time
that the convert is a Jew (I believe this is in one of Rav Moshe's

With regard to saying a bracha over the brit and the possibility of
bracha levatala, no bracha is to be recited over the hatafat dam brit
(shulchan aruch yoreh deah 268:1), basically because there is a safek as
to whether hatafat dam brit is required.

Eitan Fiorino
Anthony (Eitan) S. Fiorino, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Medicine - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
email: <afiorino@...>
homepage: http://mail.med.upenn.edu/~afiorino


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 18:59:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Holy Minhagim

Russel Jay Hendel, PhD writes about an absolutely delicious innovation
in the form by which a long standing minhag is practiced:

<< It is a well established custom that people "throw candy" at a
 Chathan when he gets his Ofroof aliyah on the Shabbath before his
 wedding. However in the synagogue where I am now affiliated there were
 several instances of children being a little bit too enthuiastic and
 some people were hurt in a minor way (mostly other children). The Rabbi
 of my synagogue therefore instituted the custom of using a trap door in
 the ceiling which is pulled open so that the candy can "fall" on the
 chathan. >>

What incredible creativity!! For those who do throw candy at chattanim
and bnai mitzvah what happens with the sefer Torah at that time? Does it
get pelted also in the wild melee?

It is for this reason that in my shul I have insisted on throwing of
candy after the Torah is returned to the aron hakodeh. Then with the
star attraction in a stategic place at the shulchan where keriat haTorah
takes place the wild children (usually ages 20-35 and older) practice
their "holy" minhag. But this innovation of which Russel Jay Hendel
writes is absolutely spectacular.

chaim wasserman


From: Joel Guttman <guttman@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 16:04:32 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Kiddush at the Table

In the Digest #83, Yisrael Medad wrote that, in his family, family members
tend not to come to the table when he starts to say Kiddush, and he is
concerned that there is a problem making them "yotzei" when they are
scattered around the room.  He asks:

> Is there any source for this that would deflect their anger away from
> my demands to some gadol:-)?

The answer is "Yes!"  The Mishna B'rura in Siman 271 writes explicitly
that when the people hearing kiddush are "walking about" the room (free
translation), this is "not considered kviyut at all".  "Kviyut" is
needed for the family to be "yotzei".  In fact, this is one of two
reasons the Mishna B'rura gives for sitting at Kiddush, since by
standing there is a reason to doubt if there is enough "kviyut" -- even
though the family is standing around the table.  In fact, he writes that
according to the Vilna Gaon, this din of sitting around the table is
apparently "me'akeiv" and not only a "lechatchila" din.  See She'ar
Hatzion, ibid.

Incidentally, the other reason for sitting around the table is that by
standing (and even more so, not being assembled around the table) the
principle of "kiddush bemakom se'uda" is not being observed.
Nevertheless, the p'sak of the Rema is that one is yotzei by standing,
but people being scattered around the room is more problematic, as the
above quotation from the Mishna Brura indicates.

			Ya'akov Guttman


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 02:45:01 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Kiddush on Foot

I. Walfish writes: 
<However, one could stand on Friday night for the entire kiddush,
following the Arizal, based on the reason that Shabbos is considered a
Kallah, and just as one stands when the Kallah is married..., Therefore, my
question is this:
On what basis (source?) do people stand for Shabbos lunch kiddush and
for Yom Tov..> 

You might try checking out the discussion of these matters in Sperber's
Minhagei Yisrael, Vol 2, pp 157-171.  Just a few points:
 1. Standing on Fri night is not just traceable to a kallah analogy.
R. Chaim Vital (who is presumably reflecting the Ari) points out that
the 35 words of "vayikhulu" plus the 35 words of kiddush itself (at
least in his girsa of kiddush) total exactly seventy words. Along with
the prefatory "yom hashishi" you also have a word count of 72, along
with the bonus that the roshei tayvos (first letters) of the first four
words now form the tetragrammaton. Thus in mystical lore, the four
letter name of God is bound up with the seventy two letter name of God
("olam chesed yiboneh", chesed bigimatria=72) and with the seventy
"crowns" of the shabbos (Zohar Vayakheil: yoma doh misatroh bi'shiv'in
atorin..) and now the entire soup-to-nuts-kiddush (except for the actual
drinking) is a representation of the holy name of God, so of course one
would stand for all of it.

2.  Standing on shabbos day is a tougher sell since, as noted there is
neither aidus, nor a representation of the Holy name going on, however
in mystical lore we have ample precedent for also standing on the day
kiddush (cited in Sperber's footnotes we have e.g. the Munkatcher's
insistence that the day's kiddush was of even higher spiritual degree
than the night's and required standing).  Without appealing to any
mystical kavonos we can also cite a tendency towards "loa plug" i,e a
desire to not differentiate between kiddush practices.

3. An interesting aside is the problem we introduce with the "yom
hashishi" of now violating the prohibition of quoting partial
piskum. Tayrutzim were covered the last time the standing for kiddush
thread surfaced (check MJ archives) or you can check the Sperber

4.  In truth these are all after-the-fact excavations/rationalizations
for many, certainly for me.  The real reason I stand (night and day) is
simpler. I do it because my father did it and many of us tended to
maintain the home practices, despite being subjected to the casuistic
blandishments and minhogim that inevitably are visited those sent off to
learn with the litvaks.

Mechy Frankel			W: (703) 325-1277
<frankle@...>		H: (301) 593-3949  


From: Rafi Stern <rafistern@...>
Date: 21 Jan 1997 08:46:40 -0000
Subject: Lashon Hara about Tradesmen

My parents came on Aliyah just over a year ago and have joined us in the
rapidly growing community of Bet Shemesh. For those of you who are
unfamiliar, Bet Shemesh is a small town (about 25,000 residents) half
way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem which until a few years ago was a
rather backward place with many social problems. Recently, there has
been a lot of building development in the area and a large influx of
mainly young middle class population from Jerusalem and elsewhere. There
is a very large Anglo-Saxon religious community which has also developed
including a very large proportion of new Olim. One of the new features
these newcomers have brought with them is western ways of doing business
and expectations of service by shops and tradesmen.

My parents are shortly moving into their new apartment after a year of
rental and I have been helping them dealing with the various tradesmen
who have been doing work for them. Although some of the workmen have
been very reliable and done excellent work, unfortunately we have not
had good experiences with all of them and one we had to threaten with
court action in order to get him to deliver.

I am aware that the laws of Lashon HaRa (defamatory speech) are such
that you are allowed or even obligated to tell relevant derogatory
experiences about workmen to people who have a specific need to know of
these experiences (i.e.  they are going to hire the same guy). However I
cannot go out into the street and tell all the world about my
experiences if there is no specific need to do so.

My question is; where is the border? Can I/Should I spread the word
amongst newcomers or old-timers in Bet Shemesh so that no-one will have
the same experiences we had and in order that maybe the commercial
culture in the city may change? If noone specifically asks me the
question am I allowed to do so, on the assumption that everyone is in
the same boat? For example on the Bet Shemesh email newsgroup (yes,
there is one)? (BTW, if anyone wants to know there is a Bet Shemesh
community home page at www.shemesh.co.il).

Rafi Stern
Tel:   (H)972-2-9919162  (W)972-2-6873312 
Email: <rafistern@...>             


From: <KHRESQ@...> (Kenneth H. Ryesky)
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 21:08:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Plagiarism/Cheating

Touro Law School has an Institute of Jewish Law, which publishes various
materials from time to time.  In April 1995 the Institute published an
article regarding cheating on exams by college students.  It is
available on the Web at (I think):

http://www.tourolaw.edu/institutes/jewishlaw/april95/part4.html#Cheating on

If that doesn't work, try the home page at http://www.tourolaw.edu and
navigate to the Institute of Jewish Law from there.

-- Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.


From: <JGrodz@...> (Jonathan Grodzinski )
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 17:08:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pringles and the OU

>  David Herskovic wrote: The ingredients listed on packets of Pringles
>  (in the UK) includes 'Emulsifier: E471'.  I have a book called 'The
>  New E for Additives' which lists the ingredients behind all E
>  numbers. In it there is a chapter titled 'Is It Kosher' which lists
>  all non-kosher additives and included in the list is the above E
>  number. Yet Pringles has an OU Hecsher.  The book does however make
>  the point that there is an "apparent paradox that some foods are
>  approved by the Rabinical authorities but contain additives which are
>  on the banned list. In all cases this means that the food has been
>  checked back to source, additives and all, and it has been prepared
>  in accordance with Jewish principles."

I quote from  "the REALLY Jewish food guide" (London Beth Din) :

E471 Mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids (Glycerol monostearate,
distearate) this is one of the most common emulsifiers. E471, when
present in kosher products will, of course, be of vegetable origin

> Why is this so? And is this lchatchila (ideal, first choice) or is it
>done to expand the kosher range of foods so that consumers are not
>tempted towards non-kosher varieties?

I think that David Herscovitz should consult publications by Kashrut
authorities rather than by authorities on additives. Again I reccomend
"the REALLY Jewish food guide" (London Beth Din) , it is a wealth of
information, not only about the Kashrut status of both supervised and
unsupervised, but about the certification of factories and their

>  [Whilst on the subject, as food technology is nowadays a complex
>subject do Kashrus authorities have the neccesary know-how to rule on
>complicated and fast changing issues?

Does it not go without saying that any Kashrut authority worth its salt
employs food tecnologist(s) nowadays?

>And are there forums for authorities to swap and  discuss information?]

They do "swap and discuss"

Jonathan Grodzinski 
(J Grodzinski & Daughters - fourth generation kosher bakers London)


From: <zilbail@...> (Steve Bailey)
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 10:49:07 +0200
Subject: Religiosity and Plagiarism

 Ruth Sternglantz (V.25 #83) bemoans the presence of cheating and
plagiarism in frum college students and asks why the Chillul HaShem
involved is not a sufficient condition to influence the students'
behavior. As other posters noted, the phenomenon is widespread in
yeshiva high schools as well.
 This subject is of particular interest to me since I am spending this
year as a Senior Educator at the Lookstein Center at Bar Ilan, writing
"An Educator's Handbook for Moral Education in Jewish High Schools",
which is designed to address issues of cheating, plagiarism, disrespect,
insensitivity and other ethical violations that are unfortunately
commonplace in Jewish schools. In the section on cheating, dishonesty
and plagiarism, psychological research and survey literature has noted
that rationailizing the action, blaming the teacher or the course,
noting that other students do it, seeing that it works, believing that
parents and teachers want the student to show good grades for college,
minimizing the value of secular studies and a general
compartmentalization of halachik values from every-day, practical
behavior -- all contribute to the high frequency of cheating.
 The only time a frum child WON'T cheat is if he or she says, "I have
the opportunity, I could get away with it, I will benefit from it and
other kids do it -- but I won't do it because it violates the Torah's
moral value and I choose to abide by this value". The challenge in
Jewish education is how to get most students to think this way, since at
present, most do not.

Dr. Steve Bailey
Lookstein Center/Bar Ilan Univ.


End of Volume 25 Issue 86