Volume 26 Number 18
                      Produced: Mon Mar 31  6:40:03 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bishul Akum - Food cooked by a non-Jew
         [Michael &Michelle Hoffman]
Eating at Kiddush
         [Danny Geretz]
G-d's involvement in the world
         [Eli Turkel]
Intermarried Person Employed in Jewish Institution
         [Susan Chambre]
Lunar Eclipse
         [Yehuda Poch]
Mezonot Rolls
         [Scott, Tanya]
         [Rachel Shamah]
Mishloach Manos
         [Eliyahu Segal]
Modern day red heifer
         [Jonathan Katz]
Organ Donation
         [Aaron Aryeh Fischman]
Pets on shabbat
         [Adam Schwartz]


From: Michael &Michelle Hoffman <hoffmanm@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 12:32:03 +0200
Subject: Re: Bishul Akum - Food cooked by a non-Jew

Immanuel Burton wrote:

>I have heard on several occasions that food cooked by a Jew who
>desecrates Shabbos in public may not be eaten, and has the same status
>as Bishul Akum (food cooked by a non-Jew).  Can anyone provide a source
>for this as I have been unable to find one?

 Two reasons for the prohibition of Bishul Akum are given by Rashi. On
his commentary to the Mishna in Avoda Zara 35b (Dibur haMaschil
"v'haShalkos) he states the reason being "mishum chatnus" i.e. to avoid
intermarriage.  However, further on in the Gemara 38a (Dibur haMaschil
"miderabanan") he mentions the reason for the prohibition as "yachileno
davar tamei" i.e.  the cook might have added some non-kosher ingredient.
 The Darkei Teshuva on Yoreh Deah 113:15 brings these two opinions and
says that the difference between them would be a yisrael mumar i.e. an
apostate Jew. According to the first opinion there would be no problem
as there is no prohibition of marrying non religious Jews, but if the
reason is because of non-kosher ingredients the rule of Bishul Akum
would apply equally to non-Jews as to non-religious Jews.
 (The Darkei Teshuva goes on to question this distinction, since he
brings that it is prohibited to marry a mumar, but still seems to hold
that the halacha permits the cooking of a mumar as long as there is no
chashash [concern/possibility - Mod.] for non-kosher ingredients e.g. a
mumar servant, as opposed to a mumar inn keeper)
 As the whole prohibition of Bishul Akum is Rabbinic, the Rama writes
(113:11) that we follow the lenient rulings with regard to this
prohibition.  Also I don't know of any Rabbinic authority that equates
today's non-religious Jews with mumarim with regard to marriages.
 All the Rishonim and the Acharonim seem to hold that the main reason
for Bishul Akum is to prevent inter-marriage, and since it is permitted
to marry any Jew, it would seem that the prohibition of Bishul Akum
today only refers to non-Jews. (Some of the stricter kashrus
organizations in Israel put a religious Jew in charge of cooking.)

Michael Hoffman


From: <DGeretz@...> (Danny Geretz)
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 09:45:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Eating at Kiddush

In Vol 26 #16, Akiva Miller's post seems to posit two halachot (and I
paraphrase for brevity):

1.  At a kiddush, you can't eat until either you've heard or said kiddush.

2.  If you eat at a kiddush, you have to be kovea seuda (eat a certain
halachic minimum amount of food in order to comprise a "meal").

First off, I believe that there are at least some poskim who permit you
to eat on Shabbos prior to making kiddush (especially ones with a more
Chassidishe background).  Thus, 1 is not always valid.

Second, 2 seems to be backwards - I always thought in order to fulfill
the requirement of kiddush, you have to be kovea seuda.  Otherwise,
you're just happening to recite a couple of pesukim "and" making a
bracha over wine ("fake" kiddush), and having a snack (assuming that
your posek permits "snacks" before "real" kiddush).  To be yotze
kiddush, you'll have to make "real" kiddush again later and have a real
meal (kovea seudah).


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 13:29:27 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: G-d's involvement in the world

   Rambam in his Guide to the Perplexed discusses various possibilities
to the degree of G-d's involvement in the daily world. It is clear that
not all later authorities, especially kabalistic approaches, agreed with
Rambam's conclusions.

1. Does anyone know of any books/articles that discuss/summarize the
   different Jewish approaches to this subject.

   An obvious corollary to this subject is the purpose of prayer. Albo
already raises the question whether it is "realistic" to assume that G-d
will change the course of events because of our prayers.  Rav
Soloveitchik has written extensively about prayer especially in an
article titled "ra-yanot al ha-tefillah". Here he insists on the
centrality of the request (ba-ka-shah) to prayer. He discusses the
difficulty in praising G-d and many other questions. However, he never
discusses this question whether prayer can really change events.  Does
anyone know why?

Eli Turkel            <turkel@...>


From: <Smchambre@...> (Susan Chambre)
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 16:32:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Intermarried Person Employed in Jewish Institution

I was rather shocked to discover that a man I believe to be gentile who
I believe is married to a Jewish woman was recently announced as having
been hired by a large, well-known Orthodox institution.

 It is possible that this person may no longer be married to her, and
also possible that he has converted. The article makes no mention of his
marital status and I know about his wife (either current or former)
because I have a connection to the institution where she is employed.

Before I raise this issue with officials at the organization, I'd like
to know about this situation from an Halachic perspective. If, indeed,
this is a man who is intermarried is it fitting and proper for him to be
in a visible position albeit one not directly associated with the
religious aspects of the organization?

Susan Chambre 


From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 14:41:30 +0200
Subject: Re: Lunar Eclipse

[There were a few other postings on this topic, that covered one or two
of the points covered below. (Danny Geretz and <david@...>) However,
as Yehuda's posting appears to cover the issue well, I will only be
using his here. Thanks in advance to the people who sent in the other
contributions. Mod.]

>	Can one make kiddush lavana during a full lunar eclipse?
>Normally we do not say kiddush lavana when it is cloudy and the moon is
>not visible.  Although the light of the moon is not visible during an
>eclipse, on a clear night the orb and shape is very visible.  And
>considering that the moon has no light of its own anyway, must one see
>what is no more than reflected light, to say the bracha?  Chaim

1. I would think that kiddush levana is not possible during a lunar
eclipse since the vast majority of lunar eclipses occur on the nights of
the 15th or 16th of the Jewish month (i.e. the nights FOLLOWING the 14th
and 15th) and kiddush levana is only permissible until the night of the
14th (following the 13th) i.e. before the moon reaches full moon status.
A lunar eclipse can only take place during full moon.

2. I have heard more than one posek say that even a normal moon, for
instance on the 9th of the month, if it is behind misty cloud, is not
clear enough to say kiddush levana.  This even goes so far as to include
a moon that can be seen clearly but around which there exists thin mist
in the atmosphere, resulting in a "halo" effect.  Some poskim hold that
even this is not adequate, and that it must be totally clear with
absolutely no interference.  In this case, if brightness of the moon is
the issue, then kiddush levana during an eclipse would not be allowed.

3. During an eclipse, the moon is visible.  There is even some light
"emanating" from (reflected by) it.  Rather than being white, however,
the moon takes on a dull orange glow.  If kiddush levana were allowed on
the date of the eclipse, and if clarity and brightness are not an issue,
then it should be allowed since there is still some light, and since the
shape of the moon is still clear.


From: Scott, Tanya <SCOTTT@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 97 00:48:00 PST
Subject: Mezonot Rolls

From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
>  Thus a breakfast of two large danishes for example,
> would require washing, bircas hamotzi and bircas hamozon."

If this is the case, then why is it that we rarely see people washing at
a Kiddush? Don't lots of people eat more than two large danishes at a
Kiddush? Last year, I attended a shiur in Hilchos Brachos in Har Nof
where this question was asked.  If I recall correctly, the Rav said that
the reason one does not wash is that one does not intend to be kovaya
seuda on the cake, regardless of whether or not he eats the shiur
(amount) cited above.

I think many people don't wash at kiddush when eating enough danish for
K'vias S'udah, because they don't realize that this is a complicated
halacha.  Also, I think if people are even vaguely aware of this problem
they probably don't intend to eat as much as they do and what may start
out requiring only al hamichyoh, requires birchat ha'mazon if you end up
eating cake that becomes the equivalent of the amount of bread eaten at
a regular meal.  Interestingly, I recently learned that if you're eating
only a slice of pizza, you don't say yadayim, but you wash and say
hamotzee and birkat ha'mazon after.  If you eat another slice after your
initial hamotzee and washing, you needn't add anything else before
benching.  Two or three slices up front though require everything for a
regular hamotzee.  I hear that things may be a little different in other
states where a slice of pizza is considered mezonos.


From: <Mywhey@...> (Rachel Shamah)
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 19:38:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mikveh

Can anyone tell me why Mikvaot are closed during the day?  My
Grandmother tells me when she was young it was the opposite way around.
Women never went out alone at night - so they performed this mitzvah in
the day.

Any ideas?

your friend -- Rachel Shamah


From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 21:14:32 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Mishloach Manos

> From: Paul Merling <MerlingP@...>
>    The Rema in Laws of the Purim banquet (695: 4) states that a woman
> should send Mishloach Manos(Purim food gifts) only to a woman, and a man
> sends only to a man. The reason given is that if we will allow cross
> gender Mishloach Manos, this can bring to a chshad or worry that the
> woman has received Kiddushin (first part of Marriage Process) from the
> sender, as it was the custom in many areas to send sivlonos (gifts)
> after Kiddushin.  Can this chshad or worry be operative today when we do
> not separate Kiddushin from Chuppa? If there was Kiddushin there was
> Chuppa and he would not be sending her a gift he would be living with
    part snipped
> manos to the opposite sex. What do todays Poskim say about this.
part snipped

	Someone asked (I think a friend of mine named Yossi Pinsker) Rav
Zalman Nechemia Goldberg about this.  He said that you would only even
think there might be a chsash with people who live in Istanbul because
of their particular minhagim.
			Eliyahu Segal 
Write to : <segaleli@...>


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 12:05:44 EST
Subject: Modern day red heifer

There have been reports recently that a "kosher" red heifer has been
born in Kfar Hasidim. One report I saw went on to state:

>However, the cow must be at least two-years-old before it can be used.
>Until then, the cow will be carefully watched, to ensure that nothing
>occurs to invalidate its status.

During the time of the Temple, a blemished red heifer could not be used,
and thus it makes sense that it would be protected from harm (although I 
am unclear whether it is a commandment to protect it from blemish or
just a practical issue). However, is there any reason to protect a red
heifer from harm nowadays?

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

[Sure, the expectation that Mashiach will arrive speedily, and then it
will be needed. Mod]


From: <afischman@...> (Aaron Aryeh Fischman)
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 20:05:45 -0500
Subject: Organ Donation

I know that the topic of bonemarrow donations was discussed earlier, but I 
have perhaps a harder question- Is it permissable to donate ones organs after 

Aharon Fischman


From: Adam Schwartz <adamsch@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 10:17:16 +0300
Subject: Pets on shabbat

Phil Chernofsky <philch@...> wrote:
> Concerning the fish that jumped out of the aquarium...
> Sh'mirat Shabbat K'Hilchato says in the name of the Chazon Ish that one
> may definitely pick up the fish and return it to the water on Shabbat.
> What makes this statement noteworthy is that it is described as a
> lenient opinion of someone known as being super-strict in halachic
> matters.

and <BoruchM@...> (Bernard Merzel) wrote:
> See "Shm'iras Shabbos K"Hilchasah" Perek 27 Siman 25 Note 85 which
> discusses question of Tzaar Baaley Chayim (suffering endured by a living
> creature) and more specifically Siman 28 which discusses the actual
> issue of a fish leaping out of the water, and permits returning it to
> the water becuase of Tzaar Baaley Chayim, though a more stringent
> opininon is mentioned .  Note 98 mentions the lenient(e.g. Chazon Ish)
> and stricter authorities.

Just one point.  When someone advocates adherence to a d'rabbanan (muktza)
of shabbat and non-adherence to another rabbinical law of Tzaar Baaley Chayim,
one shouldn't label that as generically 'strict'.  That conduct is
strict regarding shabbat but lenient regarding Tzaar Baaley Chayim.

That's akin to saying that people who keep a Yom Tov Sheni when they
visit Israel are 'strict'.  Rather, they are strict regarding Yom Tov
Sheni and lenient regarding Tefillin (by not wearing tefillin on
'shimini' shel Pesach for example)



End of Volume 26 Issue 18