Volume 26 Number 22
                      Produced: Sun Apr  6  8:50:55 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bar Mitzva before 13?
         [Jeff Finger]
Elyon Kosher Gelatin
         [Stan Tenen]
Intermarried Employee of Jewish Institution
         [Nina S Butler]
Melechet Gentile
         [David Oratz]
         [Yehuda Poch]
Poroshas Zochor Leining Inquiry
         [Mechy Frankel]
Quinoa, Millet, and Kasha
         [Carolynn Feldblum]
         [Janice Gelb]
Torah & Midos
         [Carl Singer]


From: <jfinger@...> (Jeff Finger)
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 20:21:32 -0800
Subject: Bar Mitzva before 13?

A man I know well is writing his memoirs. He is in his 80's and was
raised in a shtetl in Poland called Drilch. What he remembers is that he
was considered bar-mitzva at age 12 because his father was already
dead. Is this conceivable? Can anyone cast any light on this?

Itzhak Finger


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 1997 20:28:34 -0500
Subject: Elyon Kosher Gelatin

Does anyone know how the "unflavored kosher gelatin" manufactured by Elyon
of Canada is O-U pareve?  It was my understanding that this gelatin is from
fish.  (Does anyone know if this is correct?)  Would that not require an O-U
Fish designation?  If not, if processing this fish jello makes it truly
pareve, then why doesn't processing kosher animal gelatin make *it* pareve?
Are the rules with regard to processing fish products different?  


Stan Tenen

[PS from Cynthia Tenen: --and on the practical side, can I make chicken
aspic with it??]


From: Nina S Butler <nbutler+@pitt.edu>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 11:01:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Intermarried Employee of Jewish Institution

Regarding Susan Chambre's inquiry about intermarried employees of Jewish
institutions, I would like to add some realistic data to consider in
answering her question:

Our city had such a question when the JCC Teen Worker (in the job for
over 5 years) decided to intermarry.  This has also come up with the
upper brass at our United Jewish Federation.  Please keep in mind that
both of those agencies are committed to providing and supporting
education against intermarriage! So, in your answers, please include:
	- legal ramifications... clearly firing an employee for this
reason would be illegal, unless their original contracts stipulated
these kinds of specifications regarding their marital partners (also
illegal, isn't it??)
	- proper reaction and behavior of frum board members in such
institutions.  Jewish communal institutions are largely made up of
conservative, reform, and unaffiliated Jews.  What exactly should we be
asking of them?  Keep in mind that the current trend in the United
States is that our Day Schools' primary contributer will increasingly be
Federations.  We need to choose our issues carefully.  NO ONE WANTS
Jewish institutions to be made up of intermarried staffs (including the
irreligious administrations!), but what really can and should be done-
both before and after this occurrance?  And what if this happens in our
Orthodox institutions?  I can imagine what we would LIKE to do, but is
it legal?

I look forward to your responses!    Nina

NINA AND DANNY BUTLER     Mikey, Gavri, Uri, Shoshana and JJ
5710 Bartlett Street      Pittsburgh, PA  15217
(412) 421-1884            FAX:  (412) 521-0287
BEST WAY TO CONTACT US:   E-MAIL:  nbutler+@pitt.edu


From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 21:53:37 -500
Subject: Melechet Gentile

 The question in issue 19 concerning what one may or may not tell a
gentile on Shabbos raises a more fundamental question in my mind : Is MJ
the forum for discussing highly complex halachic issues (as opposed to
specific questions)?
 Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato devotes some 36 pages to this question, and
even that is distilled for the layman. Many hours of shiurim can
certainly be given on that issue.
 The complexities of Hilchot Shabbos are so great that it did not enter
the questioner's mind that a Jew himself can move a pen normally in many
circumstances! Certainly the complexities of "hakol cholim etzel
hatzinah" (all are considered sick with respect to the cold) which
underlies any heterim for a gentile turning on the heat,; the subtle
difference between how a Jew may tell a gentile to do (certain) melacha,
and under what circumstances the Jew may benefit from melacha --even if
the gentile did it of his own accord; and similar issues seem to put
this question out of the realm for which MJ was meant.
 I am sure that there are those who will disagree with me and I am open
to dissent!



From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 11:17:49 +0200
Subject: Re: 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.

Indeed, this is and was the case.  In the olden days, when electric
lighting was either non-existant or sparse, most women (in some places
all) went to the mikveh by daylight since it was unsafe to be out alone
at night.  However, the more preferable time to go is at night, for a
variety of reasons, which I shall get into in a minute.  Suffice it to
say that in modern times, when the streets are lit and women can drive
to the mikvah, there is no longer any reason to open them during the day
unless it is an unsafe area.

The reasons it is preferable to go at night stem firstly from tznius
(modesty).  By going at night, women draw less attention to themselves
and to the fact that they are going to the mikvah.  Secondly, the days
of impurity and then of cleanliness that a woman must count before going
to the mikvah are counted from sunset to sunset.  If a woman were to go
during the day, that would mean an extra day before she and her husband
could cohabit, since she would still have to count sunset to sunset, and
then only the next day could she go to the mikvah.

Still, if there is an important reason for mikvaos to be open during the
day (a bride on her wedding day for instance, or an unsafe area)
arrangements can usually be made to have the mikva open at a certain


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Fri, 04 Apr 1997 16:28:29 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Poroshas Zochor Leining Inquiry

1.  Reading zochor the other week I was reminded of a leining issue I've
puzzled over for a number of years (ok, at least five minutes a year for
a couple of years) which is the custom of repeating the words (or full
posuk depending on your minyon) of erasing the zeikher amoleik with the
zayin of zeikher pointed with both tseireih and segol. Since there does
not seem to ever have been the slightest doubt in any of the traditional
historical and halakhic sources (any available codices, masorah, minchas
shai, shulkhan arukh,..) that the correct girsoh is with a tseireih, my
problem is trying to find a satisfying source for this custom.

2.  Let me recount first what I do know about it so people won't just
repeat that back to me.  While the Aruch Hashulchan does not mention it,
I did find this custom cited in the Mishnoh Beruroh (Orach Chayim, siman
687, MB footnote 18) without any explanation other than the fact that
"some say" there is doubt concerning the correct version so it's correct
to repeat both.  I also found an interesting reference and explanation
in R. Moshe Sternbuch's Mo'adim U'zimanim, (Vol 2, footnote to siman
167).  R. Sternbuch claims that the repetition is due to a tradition
received from the Gra, the authenticity of which he seems to doubt,
terming it a "shimuoh mifukpakas me'rabeinu ha'gra".  He also brings a
very clever pilpul (quoted in the name of a R. Ratah) which references
the midrash in Bovoh Basroh 21b, describing how Yoav had mistakenly
thought that the injunction to erase the amoleikites only applied to the
males, because he interpreted the verse as erasing the "zochor" of
amoleik. The pilpul goes on to note that some words pointed with two
qomotz(s), have a semikhus (possessive) form with two segols according
to the paradigm of "timros oshon" with a semikhus form as in "eshen
hakivshon", thus making Yoav's mistake more understandable if he had a
reading in front of him as "zecher amoleik".  or something like
that. Needless to say this "explanation" is problematic, at least to me.

3.  In any event, what I took from R. Sternbuch's footnote was that it
is founded on a supposed qabboloh from the Gra.  Does anybody have any
other independent confirmation of that or any other explanation?  Do
sephardim or yemenites follow such a practice, or have even heard about
it?  Was this custom generally followed in Europe before the quite
recent time of the Mishnoh Beruroh? or is this some highly localized
yeshivishe shtik which somehow caught on in wider communities - and if
so when?  Any insights gratefully appreciated.

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


From: Carolynn Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 08:15:34 -0400
Subject: Quinoa, Millet, and Kasha

Does anyone know about the status of Quinoa, Millet, and/or Kasha
(Buckwheat) as far as use on Pesach?

Carolynn Feldblum


From: <janiceg@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 12:36:08 -0800
Subject: Tnayim/Chupah

In mail-jewish Vol. 26 #15, Paul Merling says:
>          It appears that in the Rema's time, kiddushin and chupa were
> still separated. When did we combine them as we do today? This combining
> trend is accelerating as many people have their Tnayim(conditions and
> penalties) done right before the Chuppa. In reality the Tnayim or
> Shiduchin make no sense if done prior to the Chuppa as it is unlikely
> that anyone would write the Tnayim and then break the agreement a few
> minutes later.

The explanation I was given is that Tnayim are very binding and that if
chas v'shalom something should happen to the chatan, the kallah would be
in an ambiguous status (possibly even considered a widow?).  So, Tnayim
and Chupah are now done almost at the same time to avoid this

Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 97 16:13:59 UT
Subject: Torah & Midos

Some thoughts and questions.  If you recognize yourself more in picture #1 
than in picture #2, see a competent Rov.

Two vignettes, both true.

#1) Two Yeshivisha couples (black suits, black hats, tzizis neatly and inch 
below the suit, wives in shytels) in a kosher pizza store.  From behind the 
counter, one of the men is handed a knish that had just been heated up on the 
oven.  He takes it and says "thank you."

So, no story here.

But then his "chaver" says, loud enough for the whole store to hear,
"When you pay for something you don't say 'thank you."

Yes this is an anomaly, like a traffic reporter noting that a car has
stalled on the GW Bridge, not mentioning the thousands of cars that have
driven across with stalling.  But the stalled car causes a traffic jam
which impacts many other properly functioning cars.

What would you do in this situation?

 #2) Because of scheduling conflicts (an evening Bar Mitzvah) we will be
unable to go a dinner where among the speakers will be Reb Shmuel
Kamenetsky.  We see that he's speaking at a "Parlor Meeting" in the
morning.  Check in hand, my wife and I go to this meeting.  Quickly we
realize that in our new, choshiveh community, women don't go to parlor
meetings -- the hostess and a woman who brought the food in from "out of
town" (you know how local chashgoches are controversial) are the only
other women there.  My wife is pretty much ignored by this pair and now
is silently exiled in the kitchen with them.  (Oh we came on time --
which was early, so we were among the first ones there.)  I don't fare
much better, only one person returns my hello and asks me if I'm from
out of town.

My wife happens upon the dining room where the Rosh HaYeshiva is eating
breakfast.  Seeing her in the doorway, he stops eating, stands up, walks
over and gives her a warm greeting.  They exchange 5 minutes of
pleasantries, "how are the ayneklach?, etc."  The balabatim at the
dining room table seem to be gawking as they don't understand this.
That don't understand how much love and respect this Goan has for his
fellow Jew.  No matter how hungry, tired or busy he is, he always
reaches out with a sincerely warm greeting.  Quite frankly, I see the
same midos in those who've graduated from his Yeshiva.  I'll assure you
that the folks in vignette #1 have never learned with him.


Which kind of Jews should we strive to be -- and should we tolerate "#1
Jews", ignore them, give them musar, ask them where they went to school
and contact their Rosh Yeshivas?

Carl Singer   <csinger@...>


End of Volume 26 Issue 22