Volume 26 Number 45
                      Produced: Mon May 12  7:15:06 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

1 more rare Haftara
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Ahare Mot-Kedoshim
         [Robert I Summers]
Matzah Before Pesach
         [Joseph Geretz]
New Clothing during Sefirah
         [Solomon Zolty]
Question on Seder
         [Eli Friedwald]
Shechayanu for Sefiras Ha-Omer
         [Alan Davidson]
Succah on Shemini Atseret
         [Arthur J Einhorn]
Succah on Shemini Atzeres
         [Steve White]
Supermarkets and Chametz on Pesach
         [Michael Rogovin]
Watching TV
         [M. Gluck]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 08:15:47 +0300 (WET)
Subject: 1 more rare Haftara

 Our readers posted 3 rare Haftarot - Mikees (15 times in 247 years),
Aharai or Kedoshim (Ashkenazim only), and Pinhas (as not in the 3 weeks
outside of Israel).
 There is 1 more - VaYakhel in Minhag Sefaradi. VaYakhel is read
together with Pekudai in a non leap year, execpt in a HSA year (R"H on
Thurs., Heshvan & Kislev are full) then they are seperated because this
is an extra Shabbat between Succot and Pesah ( Shabbat Bereshit is early
- 24 Tishrei - in other years it can fall on 26,27,or 29 Tishrei). But
it's also Parashat Parah.
 In a leap year most times VaYakhel will also be Parashat Shekalim. Only
in a HSG or HHA year (see above) it needs it's own Haftara. This
happened in 5744 and will happen again in 5765 & 5768. The Minhag
Sefaradi is to read VaYishlah Shlomo, it is so rare that it is missing
in most simple Humashim! Ashkenazim read VaYaas Hirom which is also read
as Haftara for the 2nd Shabbat of Hanuka,(& it is for Pekudai for Minhag
Sefaradi). In Israel some Ashkenazim add it to Pekudai's Haftara
VaTishlam because they are together in the Bible, except in a year with
2 Shabbat Hanuka as it has already been read (part of this is also the
Haftara for the 2nd day of Succot outside of Israel).


From: <risummers@...> (Robert I Summers)
Date: Thu, 01 May 1997 22:22:38 EDT
Subject: Ahare Mot-Kedoshim

>From: <SCHWARTZ@...> (Baruch Schwartz)

Baruch, thank you for bringing this to our attention.  I have always
marvelled at the oddity of rarely read Haftarot, especially the haftarah
for Miketz (I Kings 3.15 - 4.1) which relates the famous story of King
Solomon as wise judge in his unique proposal to determine the maternity
of the baby in question.  Miketz usually coincides with Shabbat
Chanukkah, and also often coincides with Rosh Chodesh Tevet.  It rarely
falls outside the celebration of Chanukkah.  Yet, this selection was
read in 5730/1969, 5733/1972, 5737/1976 and only recently this past year
5757/1996.  It will be read again in the year 5761/2000 .

While the selection from Amos 9.7-15 for Kedoshim is often read, you
correctly point out how rarely we read the selection for Ahare Mot from
Ezekiel 22.1-19.

However, please note that the Encyclopedia Judaica calendar indicates
that this very special oddity in the Jewish Calendar occurs next in
5776/2016 and 5779/2019.  Since 1973 this special set of circumstances
also occured in 1978, 1992 and 1995.

Robert I. Summers
274 Madison Avenue  Suite #1106
New York City, NY 10016-0701
212 725-0909 law office


From: Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 20:59:28 -0400
Subject: Matzah Before Pesach

> In #32, Chana Luntz writes:
> 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!!!

I'm not sure that we understand R' Chaim's question (or conclusion)
properly. If the phrase ON ALL OTHER NIGHTS WE EAT... is to be taken
*absolutely literally* then you have a problem even if you eat matzoh up
until the 14th of Nissan since there are still two nights of the year
when you may not eat chometz or matzah, to wit Yom Kippur and Tisha
B'Av.  Moreover, the question seems to imply that if someone made a
neder (a vow) to prohibit him and his family from eating chometz or
matzoh for a certain period of time then the first question of the mah
nishtana would be a falsehood. This is probably not the case.

It seems to me that the intent of the first question is that an all
other nights of the year (which are eligible for eating) we may *choose*
whether or not we wish to eat chometz or matzah. Fundamentally, the
minhag to refrain from eating matzah from Rosh Chodesh Nissan stems from
a *choice* not to eat matzah during this time period to highlight the
uniqueness of, and our love for, the mitzvah of eating matzah on Pesach
night. After adhering to this choice for several generations this choice
has become a full-fledged minhag and we who adhere to this minhag are
perhaps bound by it much as we would be bound by a neder. However this
does not take away from the fact that refraining from eating matzah is
essentially a choice we make during this time period.

In the final analysis, one who eats matzah up until erev Pesach can
indeed support his position with R' Chaim's inference from the Mah
Nishtana. I myself enjoy this as a good chap! It does not seem to me
however that this inference carries enough weight to obviate an accepted
minhag in Klal Yisroel as a minhag shtus. In fact I wonder whether the
conclusion of minhag shtus was actually stated by R' Chaim or was added
in later by an overzealos student.

Kol Tuv,
Yossi Geretz


From: Solomon Zolty <cp373@...>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 20:00:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: New Clothing during Sefirah

Somebody recently asked me a shailah if there was anything wrong with
buying new clothes during sefira. As far as I know the only thing that
shouldnt be done about new clothes is make a shechianu.

                  Mordechai Zolty 


From: Eli Friedwald <Eli@...>
Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 22:19:27 +0100
Subject: Question on Seder

In a recent posting, Scott Spiegler asks why, specifically, the first
nights of Pesach are referred to as 'seder' nights, given that all
Jewish festivals/mitzvot are governed by a strict ordering ('seder').

The apparent reason, is that these nights carry an exceptionally high
number of both mitzvot and other minhagim/rituals. They positively queue
up on us and need to be logically sequenced to reflect our sages'
intentions for the symbolism of the night. The Mishna in Pesachim makes
clear that the various mitzvos and minhagim of the evening require to be
performed in a specific order; even the cups of wine must be drank at
specified stages of the seder ceremony.

In post-Mishnaic times, the ordering was encapsulated famously as the
sequence: 'kadesh,rechatz,carpas,yachatz,magid...'.These phrases were
probably introduced as a mnemonic to the required order of rituals,
prior to the era of printed Haggadahs with Artscroll commentaries.
Celebrants of Pesach evening needed an easy way to remember the correct
order of play! 

It would be interesting to trace the first usage of the word 'seder', to
describe this evening's service.This label does not derive from the
mishna in Pesachim, to my memory (although the word 'seder' is sometimes
used to refer to Temple sacrifice ..eg 'seder ho'avodah' ).

The most obvious literary source is actually  part of today's Haggadah.
This is the paragraph said after the meal: 'Chasal SIDDUR pesach
kehilchaso..ka'asher zachinu leSADER oto ken nizkeh la'asoto. This
derives from a 'piyut', a piece of medieval prose dating back to around
the 11th century. It would appear from this difficult piyut, that the
author intends the phrases 'siddur' and 'lesader' to refer to our
current symbolic fulfilment of the night's mitzvos, which we pray will
be eventually replaced by their proper fulfilment, when the Temple will
be rebuilt.. LeShanah Habaah beYrushalayim !

Eli Friedwald


From: Alan Davidson <DAVIDSON@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 97 11:11:18 EDT
Subject: Shechayanu for Sefiras Ha-Omer

   I was recently taught that the reason why there is no Shechayanu for
Sefiras Ha'Omer is because the mitzvah is itself associated with two
days where we do make a Shechayanu -- Pesach and Shavuous.  Also, one
person responded that sefirah is a relatively joyous mitzvah for
chasidim -- to a certain extent it is in that the stress is on elevating
barley (an animal food analagous to an animal soul) and purifying so we
can be prepared for matan torah.


From: Arthur J Einhorn <0017801@...>
Date: 07 May 1997 16:55:16 GMT
Subject: Re: Succah on Shemini Atseret

Wth respect to this article:
| From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
|     Rav Zvi Schachter in his sefer "Nefesh Harav" p. 220 quotes Rav
| Soleveitchik with an entirely different explanation. He says (my
| translation) based on the gemara in Sukkah 47a that one definitely
| must sit in the sukkah on shemini atseret outside of Israel. "And the
| Chassidic custom of not doing so is definitely a mistake. And perhaps
| their mistake came from the fact that the Chassidim had the custom that
| their great Rebbeim would have a large "tisch" on Shemini Atseret and
| large crowds of Chassidim would visit their Rebbe.

I have heard from reliable sources who lived in Williamsburg that the
Satmar Rebbe ZT"L changed his minhag and ate in the succah on shmini
atzeres. I think I also heard that this was on the basis of
conversations with Rav Yonoson Steiff ZT"L.

Ahron Einhorn


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 09:38:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Succah on Shemini Atzeres

In #39,  Gershon Dubin writes:
> 	There is a Minchas Eluzar (Munkaczer rebbe's) tshuva on this
>  topic.  If I remember correctly, he says that the Gemara says that
>  sitting in the succah on Shemini Atzeres does not appear to be "bal
>  tosif" i.e. an unwarranted additional day to Sukkos, because there are
>  times that people choose to sit in the succah for the fresh air,
>  irrespective of the mitzvah to sit there.  Thus sitting in the succah on
>  S.E. is distinct from taking a lulav, which is obviously a Sukkos
>  mitzvah which you would not otherwise do.  What he adds is that in
>  climates such as in Eastern Europe, it is not obvious that one is
>  sitting and shivering in the sukka on S.E. for the pleasure of it and it
>  is therefore forbidden as "bal tosif".  I should emphasize that this is
>  post facto justification i.e.  he recommends sitting in the sukka as
>  concluded by the Gemara, he is only trying to find a "zechus" (merit)
>  for those who don't.

Is "bal tosif" really the governing halachic principle with respect to
lulav on Shemini Atzeret?  I thought that the principle was "safeq
d'oraita l'humra, safeq d'rabbanan l'kula" (in uncertain cases with
respect to Torah laws, stringency is required; in uncertain cases with
respect to Rabbinic laws, leniency is required).

Hence, sitting in a sukkah is d'oraita, even today, and therefore one
must sit the eighth day in a sukka, just as one must eat matza the
eighth day today.  However, 4 minim today are d'rabbanan (after the
first day), so one is lenient in this matter and does not take lulav the
eighth day.

As a parallel, many (most/all?) opinions on "gebrukhts" (foods with
matza cooked into them) consider this prohibition rabbinic, rather than
Torah.  For this reason, many people who do not eat "gebrukhts" the rest
of Pesach do so on the eighth day of Pesach.



From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 23:44:52 +0000
Subject: Supermarkets and Chametz on Pesach

Ranon Katzoff writes 
> People around here seem to intuit that chametz in a large supermarket
> chain, such as Kroger's in the midwest, or Shoprite in the east, is not
> in Jewish ownership during Pesach, does not become chametz she'avar alav
> hapesach, and thus does not require "mechirat chametz" to permit
> subsequent sale to Jews. On the other hand, we intuit the opposite about
> chametz owned by Supersol/Hypercol in Israel. There we expect to see
> signs prominently displayed that the chametz was "sold" before Pesach.

To this shyla, I would add the following question.  In Manhattan, a
prominent Jewish-owned supermarket sold its chametz through a major
orthodox synagogue, but remained open selling chametz during Pesach.  In
Queens, the Vaad stated that one is not permitted to purchase from
Jewish owned supermarkets, including those with minority stock
ownership, even if they display a letter that they sold their chametz,
until at least Lag B'Omer.  Although I will address the question to my
LOR as to what to do here in Manhatan, I am curious how other
communities treat this issue.

Further, what about products that arrive in the supermarket (say a
non-Jewish owned store) which were purchased after Pesach but may have
been owned by a Jewish manufacturer during Pesach?  In today's economy,
it is likely impossible to trace the ownership of any particular item of

Michael Rogovin


From: <moish@...> (M. Gluck)
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 15:19:56 -0400
Subject: Watching TV

Relative to the question of watching TV on Sefirah, I would like to
express my opinion in general about watching TV, which  is the opinion
already expressed by many competent noted Halachik authorities: 
Going to the movies & watching TV should NOT be allowed.
No good can come from it. It can only cause harm especially in young
children and teenagers. There are plenty Jewish Books and tapes etc. to
keep someone busy a life-time. 



End of Volume 26 Issue 45