Volume 26 Number 27
                      Produced: Sun Apr 13  0:12:47 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Professor Nehama Leibowitz ZTL
         [Anthony Waller]
Eating before Kiddush
         [Gershon Dubin]
Food Cooked by a Jewish Non-Observer of Shabbos
         [Immanuel Burton]
Mushrooms - Not Kosher For Pesach?
         [David Brotsky]
Pigs Carcasses, Tume and Holiness
         [Paul Merling]
So that the children will ask
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Torah & common sense
         [Carl Singer]


From: Anthony Waller <P85014@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 97 22:19:07 IST
Subject: Administrivia - Professor Nehama Leibowitz ZTL

  The great Torah scholar, Professor Nehama Leibowitz has died at the
age of 92 in Jerusalem.

  Her funeral will take place at 3pm on Sunday 13 April from Bet
HaHesped, Kiryat Yerushalaim.  This is a new funeral parlour which is
situated next to the Har Menuhot Cemetry, opposite the Herzog (Ezrat
Nashim) Hospital in Givat Shaul.

  May her memory be a blessing.

Anthony Waller                   Email:  <p85014@...>
Bar-Ilan University, Israel.     Ph: 972-3-5318784, Fax: 972-3-5344446


From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 10:00:39 PST
Subject: Re: Eating before Kiddush

>From: <DGeretz@...> (Danny Geretz)
>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.

	This needs to be clarified.  No posek at all allows a healthy
person to eat before making kiddush *once they have incurred the
obligation to make kiddush*.  For men,  this is davening shacharis. 
Differences do occur in what you may eat before shacharis;  these apply
equally to weekdays and are a function of balancing out not eating
before davening vs. not being able to concentrate without eating
something.  Once you have davened shacharis,  you must make kiddush.

>regular hamotzee.  I hear that things may be a little different in
>other states where a slice of pizza is considered mezonos.

	I don't think the situation is different in the States.  If
anything,  you have understated the problem,  since there is a
significant halachic opinion that requires netilas yadayim and hamotzi
for even one slice of pizza!



From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 15:44:00 +0000
Subject: Food Cooked by a Jewish Non-Observer of Shabbos

> 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?
> Immanuel M. Burton | Tel: +44 (0)181-8029736

Being that the law of Bishul Akum is a Rabbinic law designed to prevent
intermarriage, it is hard to imagine any Possek would include a "mumer"
who desecrates Shabbat, nonetheless the Pri Magadim apparently does.
There is a law about those who cook on Shabbat, and when the food can be
used. According to halacha if A Jew cooked the food, it may be used
immediately after Shabbat, if a non Jew cooked the food it may be used
only after "kidai sheyaaseh, the amount of time it would have taken to
do the work. The reason that we a stricter regarding work done by a non
Jew is that, we do not suspect that a Jew would break Shabbat for
another Jew. But we do suspect that a Jew would ask a non-Jew to do work
for him (Rambam, Mishna Breura 318:5). The Pri Magdim 325:22 says that
the mumer who habitually breaks Shabbat should have the status of a non
Jew regarding this halacha Of Kdai sheyaseh - meaning that we should
treat a Mumer like a non-Jew, because this Jew would break Shabbat for
the benefit of another Jew. The Mishna Breura does not agree with the
Pri Magdim, but there are a number of Poskim who do rule like the Pri
Magadim. In his conclusion the Pri Magadim does say in passing that the
cooking of a mumer would be Bishul Akum! I have not seen later achronim
citing the last line of the Pri Magadim which is the issue which you
sought, but there are achronim who rule in accordance with the Pri
Magadim, regarding the staus of food cooked on shabbat by a mumer to be
like the food of a non-Jew and therefore require Kidai sheyaasu. See
Minchat Yitzchak Volume 9, section 39. Pskai Teshuvot section 318, Rav
Elyashiv rules like the Pri Magadim , see "Maor Hashabat section 18 note
66* and he cites a letter from Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, who states
that it is difficult to be lenient against the Pri Migadim in this
issue, (also see Ktav Sofer Oruch Chaim section 50)

Ari Kahn


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 22:02:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mushrooms - Not Kosher For Pesach?

According to this year's voluminous and well regarded Laws of Pesach: A
Digest, by Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz, there is problem using mushhrooms
on pesach because of the way they are grown. According to the book,
Chapter 10, page 33

" Commercially-produced mushrooms are rooted in rye grains.They then
place the rye grains with the root of the mushrooms into either sawdust
or wheat strw or well fermented stable manure, etc. This place of growth
is called the compost and it is arranged on benches or in boxes, When
the temperature is right, pieces of mushroom spwan are placed just below
the surface of the compost. Since the compost may be wheat, this would
create a she'olah whether the mushroom grown on wheat may be used on
Pesach. There may be heterim. However, due to the Chumrus Pesach we
would suggest not to use them. "

We checked a prior year's book and did not see this mentioned. Is this a
new issue, discovered in the last year? Is Rabbi Blumenkrantz correct
regarding the technical details? Have any of the kashrus agencies
mentioned this issue? I hope we can find out the story before Pesach -
the thought of living without mushrooms during Pesach is quite a blow!

David Brotsky
Subscribe to the NEW Bilubi Newsletter on Virtual Jerusalem
For Details, Check Out Our Website At http://www.echonyc.com/~ericg/bilubi
BILUBI - The Religious Zionists Young Professionals Group In NY


From: Paul Merling <MerlingP@...>
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 97 16:40:00 PDT
Subject: Pigs Carcasses, Tume and Holiness

      Michael J. Savitz in Vol 26 #14 asks why do we permit the use of
pig products despite what seems an explicit verse "From their flesh you
shall not eat and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are
Tamei(polluted) to you." Rabbi Dovid Tsvee Hoffmann also known by the
name of his responsa collection Melamed Lihoil answers this question in
his commentary on Leviticus. First of all he demonstrates that the verse
cannot be taken literally ie. to forbid everyone to become Tamei. The
most stringent Tuma is definitely touching a dead person(one needs the
ashes of the red heifer to become Tahor or cleansed,) and this is
explicitly forbidden only to a Kohein(see parshas Emor.) The verse must
therefore be interpreted to mean "do not touch their carcasses if you
plan to go to the Mishkan/Mikdash or you plan to eat Kodesh."
        The Ramban on the spot explains that the verse is addressing
itself to Jews during the Regel or Holiday time when everyone went to
the Mishkan/mikdash and had to eat Kodshim. Rabbi Hoffmann points to the
desert prohibition of eating meat which is not Shlamin( See Leviticus
Chapter 17.)  Therefore the Jews at this period wanted to stay Tahor all
the time. The interpretation mentioned earlier is therefore not a forced
one rather it is the informed Pshat.
          Still one still feels uneasy. The Torah is forever, so why
would Hashem write a verse which is not easily understood for almost all
of Israel's history (as per Rabbi Hoffmann's understanding ?)  To answer
this question, one is reminded of the period of the Second Temple and
possibly somewhat thereafter, when large numbers of Jews were organized
into Chaburos and ate regular food (not kodesh or teruma) only while
Tahor. In other words they acted as though they were Kohanim and avoided
becoming Tamei. What is most interesting about these groups (which
included the Chachamim) is that they were very stringent about giving
their Matnos Kihuna or gifts to the priests and even gave Dimei, an
added emolument. They were saying thereby, we desire the holiness of
priests but we do not claim we are priests and will not deprive them of
their Torah ordained gifts. No, we will be extra careful about giving
these gifts.  Also remember that they did not call themselves Chasidim
or Yireim. They called themselves Chaveirim -- friends, saying thereby,
everyone willing to join our group is welcome as a friend, provided they
are commited to our rules. One did not have to be a scholar and women
were also included. We are the heirs of such holy people.
             By saying "and their carcasses you shall not touch," the
Torah is hinting that to stay away from Tuma is an eternal value(see
below) even for laymen. Remember that the Torah concludes these laws by
declaring in Chapter 11 verses 45 and 46 "You shall be holy as I am
holy." By avoiding Tuma one is holy because one is always ready to eat
Kodesh and go into the Mikdash. Eating kodesh (eating from Hashem's
table Kavayachol) and going into the Mikdash (visiting His abode)
definitely impart Kidusha and creates a bond to Hashem, the source of
all holiness .
             I am not suggesting that we should introduce eating Chulin
Bitihara today. Since we have no Mikdash at present the customs of the
ancient Chaburos may be inappropriate. In fact the whole custom was
discontinued long ago. Maybe someone knows specifically when the
Chaburos ended? Did these groups ever exist in Chuts Laarets?
              By the way the Halacha is that an animal carcass imparts
Tume but none of the pigskin products do. In general one gets The Tume
of Niveila by touching or lifting the edible parts of the carcass.
              Let us pray that we shall live to see the return of the
Shicine to Yirushalayim and the resumption of the sacrifices. Then we
will be allowed the added sanctity of eating Chulin Bitihara. Is this
not the meaning of the prayer we say before Rosh Chodesh " May (Hashem)
gather our exiled from all corners of the earth, All Israel will then be
Chaveirim, and let us say Amein."
            Have a good Chodesh.             


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 08:57:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: So that the children will ask

Last year my son-in-law came to the Seder table with all sorts of
plastic things and a stuffed "Lambchops" to have our granddaughter (age
4) play with during the Haggadah.

This and the traditional things which nursery children get in school
kept her going throughout the night. Theere were frogs, an assortment of
little plastic jungle animals, plastic bugs.

This year my wife added styrofoam balls which will be hail stones. And
there will also be a bloody clump of something, the "blood" having been
gotten in a magic store. Masks with the eyes taped up will simulate the
darkness of choshech. All told she has 7 of the 10 plagues covered. And
I just found a gorgeously stuffed grasshopper about 15 inches in length
which will, I think, surprise everyone when it comes hopping on the
table. (Dever, sh'chin and Makkas Bechoros will have to be imagined.)

And, of course, Lambchops will return when Rabban Gamliel's segment of
the Haggadah is reached.

I would appreciate hearing before Pesach of any other ideas which have
been used by families at the Seder table for the sake of children being
active throughout the night and participating in the festivities of
sippiur yetzias mitzrayim. It would be helpful the ages of the children
with which these "shtick" were most effective.

Chag Kasher veSameach 
chaim wasserman


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 97 14:25:15 UT
Subject: Torah & common sense

The recent question about the goldfish drowning (yes, that's what fish
do when out of the water) rekindled various other stories, apocryphal or
true, re: person in street hit by a car, candles tipping over on
Shabbos, etc.

Since not everything in life is well planned out (from our perspective,
not the Heybershters' - "mahn tracht un Gut Lacht, pardon my phonetic
German) and we can't always ask a shyleh -- let's simply say because of
the exigencies of time or emergency -- it seems that it's important to
consider whether (or not?) the Torah is not only "Meen Ha Schmayim" but
also well-sprinkled with common sense - or perhaps more accurately is
consonant with common sense (which, you'll recall the pundits tell us is

Some might argue that to impute anything practical is to risk the danger
of transgression.  E.g, "Kosher means clean", the Torah was given to
Jews who lived in a hot climate before refrigeration, it saved their
lives .... and today since we have modern refrigeration, Kosher is not
valid -- and similar arguments ad nauseum.

However, the Torah does not ascribe to us a cult-like state of existence
where we cannot function even for a minute without a P'sak or P'sak

Without question (or maybe with many questions afterwards) the Balabus
whose flying fish landed on the floor should have quickly returned it to
the tank (using hand or paper plate - the choice only as to which was
handier and which would more efficiently accomplish the task.)  The
Monday morning quarterbacking could follow after the fish is safely
returned.  We have conceivably have issues of Mukseh, Tzar Ba'alay
Chaim, Tzar for the youngsters in the home and z'man bitul Torah (and
Shabbos) spending several hours pouring water over the fish.

Moving away from the example to the general situation. (And really NOT
picking on the stranger with the goldfish, but as a sincere general
question.)  Are we raising or becoming a generation of Yiddin who have
too little common sense, and who fear / love G-d (but do not understand)
in such a way that they are paralyzed when action is required of them?

I keep circling around an issue of today's Jew and yesterday's Jew --
yes we are, as the old joke goes, one generation further from Sinai
(thus also one generation closer to the third Bais Hamigdash) but so
much of the warmth and goodness and seychel and .... that I recall from
my youth is lacking in some (not all) of today's young balabatim.  In
their mother's home, in their Yeshivos, on the streets -- maybe there's
the problem.  They're not learning or following in the right footsteps.

I guess I can't turn back the clock, but I can choose my neighborhoods
and associates.


End of Volume 26 Issue 27