Volume 26 Number 34
                      Produced: Fri May  2  1:38:21 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Haftarot of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Judaica Databases
         [Seth Kadish]
Matzah Before Pesach
         [Liba Kates]
Roasted meat at the Seder
         [Ken Miller]
S'firoh after Seder, Succoh on Shimini
         [Mechy Frankel]
Sfeeras Haomer
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Saul Mashbaum <mshalom@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 08:21:17 GMT-2
Subject: Haftarot of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim

Baruch Schwartz wrote:
> This year, for the first time since 5733 (1973), Ahare Mot and Kedoshim
>will be read separately AND neither of them will be Rosh Hodesh, Mahar
>Hodesh or Shabbat HaGadol. Thus, for the first time in 24 years, it will
>be necessary to read a regular haftarah for each of these parashiyot.
>This is extremely rare, and will not happen again, I think, until 5784

I wish to point out several sources on this subject.

1) Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe OH part 1 siman 36 deals with a
case in which the chumash was open to the hafotra in Yechezkel when the
maftir made the brachot, although the haftarah from Amos was the one
which should be read.  In the course of his tshuva Rav Moshe notes, as
the poster did, that the haftara from Yechezkel is very rarely read,
with as many as 44 years passing between readings of this haftara. This
tshuva is cited and discussed in source 3 below.

2) The Rov, Harav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveichik (whose yahrzeit was last
week) discussed the haftarotof Acharei Mot and Kedoshim in a public
lecture which appears in translation to Hebrew from the Yiddish by Moshe
Krone in "Divrei Hashkafa", under the title "Bein Pesach LeShavuot". The
Rov cites opinions that the haftarah from Amos is the haftarah for both
Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, and in the rare case in which each of these
sedrot has its haftarah read, Amos is read twice.  The Rov goes on to
explain the conceptual connection of the haftarah from Amos to both
Acharei Mot and Kedoshim.

3) A detailed discussion of this subject appears in "Bein Pesach
LeShavuot" an encyclopedic work by Rav Tzvi Cohen, pp 114-117. Rav Cohen
gives a detailed list of those years, over a period of about 200 years,
in which both haftarot are read (the next time this happens is indeed in
another 27 years). In a long footnote, he cites the different opinions
about which haftarah to read for Acharei Mot and which for Kedoshim in
this rare case. His conclusion is that the haftarah from Amos is the
haftarah for Acharei Mot, and the one from Yechezkel is the haftorah for

Saul Mashbaum


From: <skadish@...> (Seth Kadish)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 15:22:41 GMT
Subject: Judaica Databases

        I'm trying to select a Judaica database to buy, and having a
hard time making a decision; I hope some mail-jewish readers will be
able to give some advise about their experiences with the databases
available on the market.  I've found that it's hard to really understand
what their advantages and disadvantages are until using them, but you
usually won't have a chance to use them much until you buy them.
        The following is some of what I've already been able to find
out, which others may find helpful as well.  I've thought a lot about
what to look for in a CD-Rom database, and hope others can make
practical suggestions regarding my criterion, and also point out other
important things I may have overlooked.  Given my budget, I will have a
chance to purchase only one of them, so I would appreciate help in
making the right choice.
        It seems to me that these databases have two main uses: research
and teaching.  By research, I mean the possibility of surveying a wide
body of literature (e.g. ALL of extant rabbinic literature, or tens of
thousands of responsa) for information on a specific topic.  By
teaching, I mean the preparation of source-sheets for students by using
the computer to call up the relevant texts and do "cut-and-paste",
rather than tediously typing in the sources by hand, or photocopying the
sources and literally cutting and pasting them on paper.
        For both research and teaching, the two criterion for a good
database would seem to be quality and content.  Quality means ease of
use, the power of the search engine, hypertext links, etc.  In terms of
content, here are some of the things I have thought of looking for, and
some of what I have been able to find out thus far:

        1.  Bible and medieval Jewish exegesis.  Bar-Ilan says it is
based on the Leningrad codex, but this has very limited value without
nikkud, te`amim, and mesora.  (Are there any databases that have this?
The letters alone are no great achievement.)  Their selection of
commentaries is also quite limited.  I would have expected any database
that calls itself "academic" and markets itself in this field to have
corrected texts of all the major targumim, Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra,
Ramban, Radak, Rabbi Yosef Kara, Bekhor Shor, Hizkuni, Abravanel, Ibn
Caspi, etc. for a partial list.  The strange thing is that Bar-Ilan
University claims to have exactly such a project: its superb new edition
of Mikraot Gedolot ("Ha-Keter") has all of these features, and even
claims that they are being entered simultaneously as a database which
includes full critical editions of the commentaries.  However, I was
able to get no information on this "other" Bible database, and was told
by a marketer of the regular "Bar-Ilan CD" that the Bible CD is an
entirely separate project.  What a pity they cannot be combined.

        2.  Rabbinic literature.  On this, Bar-Ilan (at least according
to their official list of texts) gets an A+.  They usually pick the very
best editions of midrashim, and their selection is quite full.

        3.  Halakhic literature.
                a.  Talmud, Codes and "nosei kelim".  On this, Bar-Ilan
seems quite lacking.  Anyone doing research on halakhic topics knows
that even the Rambam (Mishneh Torah), Tur and Shulhan Arukh are not
terribly useful without their surrounding commentaries.  Tosafot and
Beit Yosef on the Tur were recently added, but Bar-Ilan is still off to
a very slow start in this area.  In contrast, at a fair in Jerusalem
last year I was introduced to a CD (I think it was "Taklitorah") which
seems to be graphics based rather than text based: The screen shows
pages of the codes with their commentaries, along with hypertext links.
Not only this, but dozens of important commentaries appear that are
absent from the Bar-Ilan CD (though of course, these are the standard
Vilna or Warsaw editions, not critical editions).  I'm at somewhat of a
loss how so much information can be stored: hundreds of thousands of
*pictures* of printed pages, not just the text itself.  I'm also not
sure how the search engine works on a graphics based program.  (Perhaps
the search is only for Talmud and major codes, which are entered a
second time in a text-based form?  Can any of you computer experts out
there help?)  The hypetext links seemed very useful, though: One can
look at the gemara and immediately call up, say, the Rambam or the Tur.
The new edition of the Bar-Ilan CD will apparently also have such
hypertext links.  One more small issue: On Bar-Ilan's CD it is possible
to call up, by number, a chapter of the Rambam or a siman in the Mishnah
Berurah.  But, at least from my very limited experience with an older
edition of the CD, is seems that they entirely ommited the INTRODUCTIONS
to these and other works, because the introductions have no number!  If
I am right about this lack, then it is a needless problem which should
be corrected if it hasn't been done already.
                b.  responsa.  This is the Bar-Ilan CD's claim to fame,
and they certainly have done a great job on the responsa database.  It
has major potential for studying Halakha and Jewish history.

        4.  Jewish Thought.  I'm surprised that this area is so
neglected in terms of Judaica databases.  Bar-Ilan has nothing at all on
it.  It could be very useful, for both teaching and research, to have
full collections on disk of the works of medieval Jewish philosophy (in
their standard Hebrew forms), like Kuzari, Moreh Nevukhim, Sefer
ha-Ikkarim, etc.  Other collections that would be useful are ethical
works (mussar), Kabbala, and Hasidic works.  There is one software
company in Israel (DBS) that advertises a database along these lines,
but I have no idea at all what the quality of their program is or
exactly which books it includes, and would like to find out.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
Bivrakha, Seth Kadish
Rehov Hartuv 4/3, Netanya (soon to be Carmiel)


From: <karena@...> (Liba Kates)
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 12:18:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Matzah Before Pesach

Chana (<heather@...>) wrote:
> something that came up at one of the sedarim I was at this year: - we
> say in the Ma Nishtana - "on all other nights we eat Chametz OR Matza" -
> so according to the person leading my seder, the GRA, as brought down by
> his talmid the Brisker Rav, derives from this that the prohibition on
> eating matza can only extend to the DAY of the 14th and not even the
> night before - because otherwise we would be saying sheker [falsehood -
> Mod.] when we ask the Ma Nishtana (ie, according to your version of the
> minhag, there would be 30 nights on which we would not eat Chametz OR
> Matza, but only Chametz - or the version I am familiar with, from Rosh
> Chodesh Nissan, there would be 14 such nights) !! - and hence the minhag
> is a minhag shtus!!!
> Um!!??!! - is all i can say.

First off the history of this story, if the story is accurate, seems a
little confused.  The talmid of the Gra is known as the Volozhiner, not
to be confused with a rav of the same first name (the Brisker) who was
also in Volozhin about a century and a half later.

Next, "on all other nights" means the entire year, not necessarily every
night.  "Chometz or matzo" refers to all products which are chometz or
are not chometz, not bread and matzo specifically.

So the question is valid.  Untill the day before the sader you are
eating chometz (as long as your mother lets you!) or matzo.  There is no
falsehood incorporated into the Pesach seder.

Gut Moed.
				    Liba __/\__
					   \/	<Karena@...>


From: Ken Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 11:26:34 -0500
Subject: re: Roasted meat at the Seder

In MJ 26:32, Andrea Penkower Rosen asked, "For those of us who do not
eat roasted meats or fowl for the sedarim, what is the halachic
definition of roasted?"

My wife insisted that I research this question several years back. Most
of the books I looked at explicitly forbid something called "tzli
kedar". The word "tzli" translates literally as "roast". The word
"kedar" is a form of "kedera" which translates literally as "pot". Based
in this, it is quite common to find books and rabbis who forbid "pot
roast" without investigating the question any deeper than that.

But, as Ms. Rosen points out, "cookbook parlance" is not necessarily the
same as rabbinic lingo. What the rabbis rightly forbid as "pot roast"
could be very different than what the cookbooks refer to as "pot roast".
So my wife went directly to our rabbi and discussed it with him, getting
a very clear definition of the halacha. He said that simply being made
in the oven does not define it as a roasted food, but that the important
criteria is how much liquid is being used in the recipe.

I will not repeat here what he gave us as the amount of liquid which
would save the pot roast from being forbidden. Rather, I strongly
recommend that you ignore anyone who simply says "no pot roast at the
Seder", and instead, go discuss it with your own rabbi.


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 17:32:56 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: S'firoh after Seder, Succoh on Shimini

P. Merling writes with regard to the custom of delaying the first night's
sifiroh till after the seder..
< Someone gave a good reason for the custom. Maybe if the
sfeera is done first, we declare that this is the 16th of Nisan (and we
do state this with great certainty, and that is why we disregard the
whole Sfeika Diyoma issue for this Mitsva.) Then how do we go after this
and make a Seder whose Mitsva is on the 15th of Nisan.>

I believe the explanation cited above is more or less correct, with the
expanded explanation that the notion of mystical kavonos, especially as
filtered through the perceptual lens of the early Chasidic masters plays
a significant role on firming up this minhog.  i.e. the necessary
kavonos for the seder would be disrupted both above and below by the
inherent contradiction required by a prior application of the proper
chol kavonos of the sifiroh.

To get a jump start on the next litvak-chasidish divergence, it is
likely that for essentially similar considerations the practice of many
chasidim is not to sit in the succoh on the last day of yom tov (my own
minhog but more because of the proximate reason that my father didn't)
since the proper and required kavonos of shimini atzeres would get all
bollixed up by confusion with succos kavonos.  (and though I haven't
seen it discussed from quite that angle, i believe it is the source of
the zohar's vehemence against putting on t'filin on chol ha'moeid,
another good source of grist for a chasidishe-litvak split including an
amusing development in my own shul where, after fifty or so years of
existence, it was decided by the power that be to initiate a split in
daily minyonim so as to avoid "loa sisgodidu", i.e. disputes breaking
out between the t'filinless and be-tifilined who had been innocently and
peacefully davening together me'qadmas di'noh - until the split sessions
were instituted along with clear implications of the correct vs the
grudgingly tolerated minhog. Oh well)

Both these issues are discussed in A. Wertheim's "Halichos Vihalochos
Bichasidus", Mossad harav Kook (i think).

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


From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 01:17:24 EDT
Subject: Sfeeras Haomer

>               The Rav's view that the Mitsva of Sfeeras Haomer
>signifies pain in some way is certainly not the Chassidic
>viewpoint. Chassidim and particularly Karlin Chassidim perform the
>Mitsva with great ecstasy and joy
	I recall learning that until the time of the death of Rabbi
Akiva's students the time between Pesach and Shavuos was a time of great
anticipation.  The counting of the Omer was a sign of the excitement
building as the Jews, having left Egypt for the purpose of receiving the
Torah, eagerly awaited fulfillment of that purpose.



End of Volume 26 Issue 34