Volume 26 Number 46
                      Produced: Mon May 12 23:28:41 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Tradition" magazine
         [Akiva Miller]
2 More reasons for day mikva
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Avodah Zarah - Gold
         [Eli Pollock]
Concentration in Prayer
         [Russell Hendel]
Jewish Marriage
         [Asher Breatross]
Repeating Words in Tefillah
         [Joseph Geretz]
Requirement of Hashgacha
         [Binyomin Segal]
Source of Sedar for Pesach
         [Rose Landowne]
St. Louis
         [Eric W. Mack]
Teaching Toddlers Torah
         [S.H. Schwartz]
Which Direction to Daven
         [Avi Rabinowitz]


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 10:49:44 -0500
Subject: "Tradition" magazine

Recently, I have noticed several references to articles published in
Tradition magazine. Can anyone let me know if back issues are available,
and if so, how to obtain them?


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 07:50:21 +0300 (WET)
Subject: 2 More reasons for day mikva

Here are 2 more reasons for day mikva -
1] Lel Shabbat & Lel Yom Tov can be a problem. Husband is in the synagogue
so how does wife leave the home? What should she do with her small
children, what does she explain to her big girls,guests etc.? 
2]It is not that simple to use a hot mikva on Shabbat. Althougth most do
use it, after learning the Poskim one can see that it is a problem. The
older Minhag (Sefaradim) was to tovel (immerse) on Fridays at twilight
(ben hashimashot) because not washing in hot water is a Rabbincal decree &
does not apply during twilight.
For our posters that celebrate Yom HaAsmaout - have a happy day!  


From: <elip@...> (Eli Pollock)
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 11:35:40 EDT
Subject: Avodah Zarah - Gold

Gold does not need to be melted down . As stated in the gemara in avodah
zarah - scraping off a part of the image ( i.e. the nose) in sufficient.
 This was observed and i believe  reported on by yigal yadin in the book
"bar kochba". the jews then had stolen dishes from the romans. these
copper plates(pictured in the book) had images of greek mythology on
them. in each instance part of the facial image was scrapped off in
keeping with the halacha.
Eli Pollock


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 22:39:03 -0400
Subject: RE: Concentration in Prayer

In a recent posting I suggested prayer involves
	* an awareness of one's helplessness
	* ...before G-d.
Since an Alzheimer's patient makes me aware of my helplessness(indeed,
I may one day be like him) he is not to be considered as disturbing
prayer but rather as helping it.

In a rejoinder, Vol26n37, Zvi asks for sources and disputes 4 specific
items in my posting.  Paradoxically, the sharpness of his rejoinder
allows me to crystallize the exact difference between us.  I will first
state the precise disagreement between us, then apply it to the four
examples, and finally give sources. The discussion should enhance
peoples appreciation of prayer.

In a nutshell I equate "DISRUPTION" with anything that intefers with my
awareness of helplessness while Zvi equates "DISRUPTION" with anything
that (re)directs ones attention to something other than what they were
doing(in psychology we refer to this as a "startle complex"). We can now
understand that

* A wicked person does NOT cause "redirection of attention" while a
noise making Alzheimer does. Hence according to Zvi one is disruptive
and one isn't. On the other hand, both the wicked and Alzheimer person
enhance my capacity for seeing my potential helplessness(I could become
wicked and I could become sick: hence I need G-ds help). (The fact that
one redirects my attention by making noises is irrelevant to me.) Thus
neither of these people is disruptive towards prayer.

* Holding money during prayer would contradict my feeling of
helplessness since money gives people power.  Also people tend to think
of money and money would redirect my attention. Thus according to both
Zvi and myself coins would be a DISRUPTION.

* My point about music was that music depicting grandeur(standard
Christian music) contradicts "helplessness" while music depicting
"petition"(standard Jewish music) is consistent with
"helplessness". Zvi's point was that neither of them distracts or
redirects attention.

* Finally Zvi and I explain the "decorum" laws of prayer
differently. According to Zvi improper decorum "redirects ones
attention" and hence decorum is required. However my position (see the
top of this posting) is that decorum is needed not for concentration but
because prayer also requires "..before G-d".  Thus e.g.  if I was
wearing torn clothing, Zvi would say I will be redirecting my thoughts
to the clothing and hence this is prohibited while I would say that even
if I am aware of my helplessness I am not aware that I am before
G-d(because you wouldn't stand before a king in torn clothing) and
therefore I prohibit it.

I now give sources: Rambam, Learning 3:13 citing Songs Rabbah emphasizes
that the best learning takes place at night, because there are no
distractions (in the sense of redirection of attention).  Thus for
learning we do equate distraction with redirection of attention(I also
mentioned the Succah law that intensive learning need not take place in
the Succah).  The clearest source for my suggested "helplessness"
definition of Prayer occurs in Rambam, Prayer 1:2--"...Prayer basically
means asking for grace, praising G-ds (kingship) and asking ones
needs(=helplessness)..." As I indicated the 13 requirements for prayer
mentioned in Chapters 4,5 of Prayer emanate from the "before King"
requirement of prayer.

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


From: <ash@...> (Asher Breatross)
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 16:04:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Jewish Marriage

An excellent book on the above subject is:

Beyond Bashert:  A Guide to Dating and Marriage Enrichment
by Lisa Aiken.

It is published by Jason Aronson (1996).


From: Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 19:58:06 -0400
Subject: Repeating Words in Tefillah

From: <keller@...> (Irwin Keller)
> On the second night of Seder, the ba'al ha'Seder did not allow my
> children to 'sing' the song, Dayeinu, as he said "assur lekapel otiyot'=
> 'one is not allowed to repeat letters' in the Tefilah. I think I
> remembera 'string' of discussions regarding repetition of words in the
> tefilah in general. 

First of all, it is probably erroneous to extrapolate from the laws of
Tefila since the Hagaddah is not, as far as I can see, bound by any of
the laws of tefillah I am familiar with.

1.  The format of the Hagaddah, at least the portion containing the
Dayeinu, is V'higadeta Levincha (and you shall relate to your son).
Obviously this type of format does NOT conform with any standard for

2.  Most sedorim which I have attended have involved extensive
discussion between the father and sons between sentences and
paragraphs. This is completely consistent with the principle of
V'higadeta Levincha as well as the concept of Harei Zeh Meshubach
(i.e. the more one discusses the Exodus, the more praiseworthy he is
considered). However, this would contradict the standard for Tefillah
which is generally not to interrupt at all while one is praying.

3. The concept of Harei Zeh Meshubach (i.e. the more one discusses the
Exodus, the more praiseworthy he is considered) is itself contradictory
to what we know about Tefillah. In general, it is considered improper to
deviate or add to the prescribed format of Tefillah. See tractate
Berachot, page 33 side B for R' Chanina's castigation of an individual
who added on words to the prescribed formula for tefilla. Yet for the
mitzvah of Hagadda it is clear that one who adds additional discussion
is praiseworthy.

It seems clear that Hagaddah is not bound by the laws for Tefillah so it
does not seem correct to apply the restriction of assur lekapel otiyot
'= one is not allowed to repeat letters' to the Haggadah, even if you
admit that it does apply to Tefillah.

Kol Tuv,
Yossi Geretz


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 14:52:12 -0500
Subject: Requirement of Hashgacha

Andy Goldfinger asks:

*My question concerns a meta-issue: just why do we need mashgichim on a
*halachic basis? 
*is there in general any HALACHIC reason to require hashgacha?

IF there is a safek (doubt) about the kosher status of a food one is
required to have supervision. There are then 2 basic questions: 1 what
raises a doubt and 2 what is sufficient supervision.

1 What raises a doubt:

any 1 of a number of things is sufficient to raise a doubt.

the rabbis legislated that we treat a number of foods as if they were in
doubt (though not always to the same degree). examples include - to
varying degrees - meat, milk, and cheese.

also anything which because of standard production has a real doubt -
past examples include anything that was made with vinegar (often wine) -
but today includes almost anything processed commercially.

2 what is sufficient supervision:

any 1 adult religious jew (m/f ger whatever) is sufficient supervision
even if they are financially involved. the principle is "eid echad
neeman bissurim" (one witness is sufficient in matters of prohibition -
as opposed to monetarey and capital cases) the gemara explicitly
includes women in this category. and rashi points out that this
principle is what allows us to eat in another person's home.

based on this it is clear that from a strictly halachik perspective any
religious jew is sufficient hashgacha on his/her home AND BUSINESS.

the issue of forbidding a woman or ger to be a mashgiach is not directly
related to the issue of kashrus, but rather related to the "public
position of authority" issue.about which i will not comment.

another related issue to supervision is "bishul akum" (the cooking of
non-jews) under specific circumstances something cooked by a non-jew is
forbidden EVEN IF ALL THE INGREDIENTS WERE KOSHER. this then requires
not just supervision but participation by the "supervising" jew.

hope this all helps


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 10:14:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Source of Sedar for Pesach

>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 ! >

I always thought of it that way too, but this year I heard that the
piyut was recited on Shabbat hagadol, and refers to the hope that now
that they've learned it through, they hope to be zocheh to do the seder
correctly on Pesach night.

Rose Landowne


From: <ce157@...> (Eric W. Mack)
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 20:11:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: St. Louis

Cheryl & I are attending the Washington University reunion this
week (May 16-18).  Anybody else on this list going to be there?

Eric Mack    <ce157@...>


From: S.H. Schwartz <schwartz@...>
Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 09:17:14 -0400
Subject: Teaching Toddlers Torah

> From: <yoss@...> (J Gold)
> Subject: Upsheren
> There are many sources for this Minhag - In Shalos U'tshuvos Arugas
> Habosem #210 it is explained that there is a Medrash that states that
> when the Torah states "Shalosh Shonim Arelim" - For three years you
> shall not touch the fruit - it is referring to a child whose hair should
> not be cut until he reaches his 3rd. birthday. He should also not be
> taught any Torah until that period.

Would someone please elaborate on the last sentence above?
I understand that a toddler might have insufficient da'as to comprehend
that there is a haShem, that a blessing on food makes haShem's
"property" permitted to us, etc.  But is teaching Torah actually prohibited?
Should a (properly behaving!) 1-2 year-old *not* be brought to his 
parent's shiur?  Surely we don't chava"sh avoid speaking divrei Torah
at the Shabbat table!  What about Torah-oriented children's stories?

Steven (Shimon) Schwartz
With Rebecca, Forest Hills, NY: <schwartz@...>
Computer Associates, Islandia, NY: <schwartz@...>


From: Avi Rabinowitz <avirab@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 01:24:37 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Which Direction to Daven

I'm responding to something for a shinui.

 Whichever direction you face, the direction in front of your heart
is off into space (shamayim), unless the tfilot are affected by the
gravity of the earth and curve around to Yerushalayim, or if they are
beamed off satelites etc.
 Best is to daven while doing pushups, so that you are facing
Yerushalayim directly ahead of you, and also shukkeling at the same time
(shukkeling was the last topic I responded to I think)
A table of the correct angle of the pushups for different locations on
this planet can be compiled by computer and made available to all
MJ-ers.(Note: In orbit, or on the moon, the direction and angle would
change radically during long shmoneh-esrei's)


End of Volume 26 Issue 46