Volume 26 Number 33
                      Produced: Fri May  2  1:37:02 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chametz Ink
         [Ezriel Krumbein]
Eating Human Flesh to Survive
         [David Brail]
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Hallel at end of Seder
         [Elozor Preil]
         [Russell Hendel]
Lo rainu Ra'aya
         [Aryeh A. Frimer]
Megillat Shir HaShirim on Shabbat
         [Yisrael Medad]
Pork vs. Chometz or Milk and Meat
         [Joseph Geretz]
Returning Two Sifrei Torah to Ark
         [Michael and Abby Pitkowsky]
Sheva Brachot At The Seder?
         [David Brotsky]
Shidduchim and Illness
         [Avi Naiman]
         [George Max Saiger]
         [Zvi Goldberg]
Vinegar on Pesach
         [Jonathan Katz]
         [Clive Silverman]


From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 23:16:25 -0700
Subject: Chametz Ink

> From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...>
> The Beit Yosef in Orach Chaim 442:10 ues the word vitroil in reference
> to a product which is chametz.  Does anyone know what he is refering 
> to, as the "standard" vitroil in ink does not appear to be chametz (In
> short, I need HELP from a linguist or a chemist).

 The problem with the ink was not the vitriol but the alcohol made from
 barley which is mentioned earlier in the section.  The vitriol is
 mentioned as a substance which will make the ink nifsal mey achilas
 kelev [spoiled to the point a dog would not eat it - Mod.].  As to what
 vitriol itself is the beis yosef refers to it as the result of shchikas
 afatzim; and afatzim is translated by Jastrow as gallnuts.  In a
 display at the Vaad Mishmeres Stam a number of years ago they had a
 gallnut included so you could probably ask your local sofer.


From: David Brail <dbrail@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 14:04:42 -0400
Subject: Eating Human Flesh to Survive

I was watching "Alive" on tape the other night, and it got me to
thinking, what is the Halachic view on that sort of thing?  If you don't
remember the movie, it is about a plane wreck in the Andes, where the
survivors, with no other option for sustenance, eat their dead comrades.
They ultimately survive long enough to be rescued.

What should one do in these circumstances?  Are there any special
prayers that would be recited?



From: <rebbeb@...> (Aryeh Blaut)
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 12:56:47 PST
Subject: Education

I am working on a project.

A.  I am looking to compile sources on Education/Chinuch.  Eventually, I
want to compare these sources with the secular views (both yesteryear
and modern) on education.

B.  In relation to the first project, I am taking a survey of the various
opinions as to the definition of a TEACHER and the definition of a

Please send your replies to <RebbeB@...>

Thank you,

R' Aryeh Blaut
<RebbeB@...>  or  AryehBlaut@aol.com


From: <empreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 17:17:49 EDT
Subject: Re: Hallel at end of Seder

Akiva Miller wrote:

> by the time we reach the Grace after Meals and the Hallel portion of
> the Seder, it is quite late, and the wine has been accumulating, and
> these prayers are said all year round which detracts from the novelty
> of the night. I am looking for ideas which will help the people at the
> table to be awake and interested for the Hallel.

At my seder, we sing and chant the entire Hallel together.  This gets
everyone involved, and b"H it has worked very nicely.  We are lucky that
my kids go to a school (Moriah in Englewood,NJ) where the children are
taught a "niggun" for Hallel in second grade, and it is used for every
Hallel sung throughout the year in school.

Kol tuv, 
Elozor Preil


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 19:11:21 -0400
Subject: IN vs TOWARDS the OMER

A few years ago I was priveleged to hear from the Rav, Rabbi Joseph
Soloveitchick, why in counting the Omer we use cardinal numbers(e.g.
today is 8 days in the Omer) vs ordinal numbers (today is the 8th day in
the omer). The Rav explained that the underlying conceptual issue is
whether there is one mitzvah to count a group of 49 days(and hence we
would count 1st, 2nd, 3rd...) or whether there is a separate Mitzvoh to
count each night (and hence we would count "today is 8 days.." "today is
7 days..." etc since each night is a separate Mitzvoh without required
connection to the preceding night).

I have been searching for a similar succinct conceptual explanation for
the two versions of counting: "Today is 8 days IN the Omer" vs "Today is
8 days TOWARDS the Omer."

The question was intensified to me recently when I reminded myself of
the statement by the Radack in the Book of (Grammatical) Roots that the
Hebrew Prepositions "IN" and "TOWARDS" often interchange in meaning in
Biblical Hebrew.

Another reason I am asking is because I traditionally count in English
(i.e.  I say the blessing in Hebrew, but (using my own reasoning) I
"count" in the language I feel most comfortable "to count in"--which is

Can anyone provide a succinct conceptual difference between the TO and
TOWARDS version.

Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d,ASA::rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 11:44:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Lo rainu Ra'aya

With respect to my work on Bat Mitzvah celebrations, women's services
and similar innovations, has anyone come accross a discussion of minhag
and "Lo ra'inu Ra'aya/eino Ra'aya"; that is arguments in favor or
rejecting the position that the absence of a practice suggests that "the
minhag is NOT to do it". (The leading references are, of course, the
Beit Yosef and Shach in YD siman Aleph and the Shach in HM 37 siman
katan 38).  Any intersting Marei Makom, teshuvot, reviews etc.?
	Thanks in advance.


From: <isrmedia@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 97 15:50:05 PDT
Subject: Megillat Shir HaShirim on Shabbat

This Pesach at Shiloh, we read the Shir HaShirim on the Shabbat from a
kosher megilla.  As Rav Nechemia Taylor pointed out in his post-
davening shiur, on Purim we cannot do that and actually Purim is pushed
off because of that.  So why is it allowed on Pesach?

I am being concise:
 he explained that the Purim reading is an individual obligation whereas
the reading of the Shir HaShirim Megilla on Pesach (and Kohelet on
Succot) is a communal obligation as it was King Solomon who instituted
the practice.

 For Pesach, Shir HaShirim was selected as it pertains to the process of
redemption which is the heart of the Pesach message.  For Succot, which
is celebrated in part by non-Jews sacrificing at the Temple, Kohelet is
chosen as the philosophical statement of Judaism for the non-Jews.

Yisrael Medad
E-mail: isrmedia


From: Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 11:58:32 -0400
Subject: Pork vs. Chometz or Milk and Meat

Dear Stephen,

You wrote...
> Note that the Talmud does not tell us to feed pork to Gentiles.  That is
> because the laws of Kashruth do not apply to Gentiles.  However, the
> Talmud gives us a directive to feed pork to the dogs. While pork is
> certainly not Kosher for a Jew to eat, it is Kosher for our beloved
> pooches.  Thus, by feeding pork to our dogs, we are actually helping
> them to keep Kosher!  A Mitzvah in and of itself!

Perhaps I can clarify the point for you.

Actually neither dogs nor gentiles (no comparison here) are required to
keep any sort of kosher dietary restrictions whatsoever. Therefore, ritual
slaughter and salting is totally irrelevant since we are not dealing with
kosher food here. Additionally, if you should spot a dog (not your own) or
a gentile eating Pork, Chometz on Passover or Milk and Meat mixtures during
the year you are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever to restrict
their activity in this regard since, again, only Jews are bound by kosher
dietary regulations. However, since you personally are prohibited from
having any benefit from chometz on Passover or Milk and Meat mixtures all
year round, you are prohibited from serving them to your personal pet
pooch, although you are permitted to serve him pork since you are only
prohibited from eating it, although you may derive benefit from it.

You raise an interesting point that the Torah advises us to throw
non-kosher meat to the dogs rather than to give it to a gentile. According
to the sages this is not a prohibition from distributing it to gentiles per
se, rather dogs are mentioned specifically as the recipients of our
forbidden meats as reward to the dogs since they did not molest or even
bark at the Children of Israel when they left Egypt (Exodus 11:7)

Gut Yom Tov,
Yossi Geretz


From: Michael and Abby Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 97 01:05:18 PDT
Subject: Returning Two Sifrei Torah to Ark

Can anyone find any source discussing which sefer torah the shaliah
tzibbur takes when the scrolls are returned to the ark when two or more
sifrei torah have been used.  I know that there are different customs
but I have yet to find a discussion of the issue in any source.

Name: Michael Menahem and Abby Pitkowsky
E-mail: <pitab@...> 


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky)
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 18:46:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sheva Brachot At The Seder?

A friend of a friend recently got married a few days before pesach,
close enough that the question of holding a shevah bracha 'during' the
seder came up. I don't know what happened in the end, but I was
wondering what the proper thing is to do when the time for a sheva
bracha falls on yomtov in general, and pesach in particular. I know that
it is only a minhag and that you don't necessarily have to have one all
seven nights. However, if you wish to have a shevah bracha on a yom tov,
is there any problem of interfering with the simcha of the yom tov?
Also, as regards pesach, could you use the third cup after benching as
the one for sheva brachot, assuming its ok to have a sheva bracha at the
seder, of course. What would be the procedures necessary to have the
sheva bracha not interfere with the seder, not that I am recommending
such a course of action!

David Brotsky
BILUBI - The Religious Zionists Young Professionals Group In NY
Subscribe To Our NEW Electronic Newsletter at


From: Avi Naiman <avi@...>
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 11:50:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Shidduchim and Illness

In "I Am I" (The Shaar Press, 1993), Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M. D.,
writes (page 65; I use *'s to indicate his use of italics):

	While it is true that certain types of mental illness can be
	hereditary, awareness of a case in the family need not be
	grounds for rejecting a shidduch.  The incidence of the group of
	related psychiatric disorders -- depression, phobias, anxiety
	disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder -- among Jews is quite
	high, and it is rare to find a family that does *not* have a
	case.  The problem may have been covered up, or just written
	off as an eccentricity.  The choice is then whether to do a
	shidduch with a family where there is a *known* case of an
	emotional disorder, or with one where it has been concealed.
	It can rarely be totally avoided.

Avi Naiman


From: George Max Saiger <gmsaiger@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 21:24:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Tzdakah

A friend runs a service locally helping people make reasoned choices re
their tz'dakah dollars.  He tells me that there is a halachik principle
that local needs come first, and only then Jewish charities "abroad".
But not all local needs must be fully satisfied before money can go to
UJA, Israeli yeshivos, etc.  The ratio is determined by the local
rabbinate.  He already knows that figure for Baltimore, but since this
is a nationwide list, asked me to post this query: Does anyone know the
ratio for their community?  All responses will be much appreciated.

George Saiger
Potomac MD


From: <zg@...> (Zvi Goldberg)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 12:31:32 EDT
Subject: Upsheren

	Some families (usually Chasidic) do not give their male child a
haircut until he is 3 years old (upsheren). Can anyone explain the source
and reason ? Also, I've heard that in Israel, they make bonfires on Lag
B'omer and throw the locks in. What is the reason for this ? And why on
Lag B'omer ? And why the fires ?


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 97 11:10:04 -0400
Subject: Vinegar on Pesach

How can vinegar be made kosher for Pesach? Isn't vinegar by definition
made from grain products?

Jonathan Katz
520 W. 122nd, Apt. #3
New York, NY 10027


From: Clive Silverman <parchment@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 08:57:32 +0300
Subject: Vitriol-hametz

>Beit Yosef....Orach Chaim 442:10 ....vitriol. from Michael Broyde<

I noted the above question as I have recently been doing a little
research on ink and all references to its constituents are of interest.
I couldn't find a direct reference in the above text to vitriol however
and suggest the following reading of the matter - I would be pleased for
any feedback.

The text of the quoted section in Orech Chaim deals with ink (dyo) mixed
with an alcoholic beverage made from barley. This is generally permitted
for writing.

Vitriol was known as kankantom from the times of the Mishnah, being
derived from the Greek kalkanthon. In later rabbinical literature other
names were appended such as vitriol, derived from the Latin, (and
so-named because of a glass like appearance in certain forms) and
Kupferwasser in German and Yiddish.
 The name Kupferwasser has a counterpart in old English which knew the
material as Copperas. cf. Oxford English Dictionary - Copperas is a
generic terms for three metal sulphates. Copper, Zinc and Ferrous. The
last of these is the vitriol or kankantom intended by the sages.(not the
copper as suggested by many books including I think the Steinsalz

 Kankantom is one of three main constituents of ink used for STaM
(writing of religious texts).

Back to the Orach Chaim:
A couple of commentators explain the possible objections to the ink 
mentioned by the Beit Yosef.
 The Magen Avraham in note 15 says that we do not worry that the scribe
may put the nib in his mouth and thereby put the chametz (the barley
drink) in his mouth. This is probably either absentmindedness or a way
of clearing the nib from dried ink.
 Chok Yaakov at note 19 concurs but adds that ink made by a non-jew on
Pesach may be a problem because it was not seen as unfit for eating
prior to Pesach. This is an interesting comment because ink is made
Lishma (with intent for the Mitzva) but I assume he refers to the mixing
with the barley on Pesach.
 Be'er Hetev notes the same reason as the Chok Yaakov and adds that if
the ink allowed by the Beit Yosef were to fall into food on Pesach (even
if it formed a majority of the mix thereafter) it is batel (i.e.  the
food is permitted).

Kol Tuv
Clive Silverman - Beit Rimon.


End of Volume 26 Issue 33