Volume 26 Number 51
                      Produced: Thu May 15  7:00:43 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avodah Zarah and Gold
         [Eliyahu Segal]
Burning the Hair in the Bonfire at Miron
         [J Gold]
Hagbah question
         [Ezriel Krumbein]
Jewish Calendar in Emacs
         [David Charlap]
         [Tzvi Axelman]
Question on Chataf-Patach
         [Gershon Dubin]
Shir Hamaalot before Birkat Hamazon at the Seder
         [Danny Bateman]
Succah on Shemini Atzeres
         [Isaac Balbin]
Succah on Shmini Atseret in Chuts La'arets
         [Merling, Paul]
Supermarkets and Chametz on Pesach
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Teaching Toddlers Torah
         [J Gold]
Time of service on eve of Shavuot
         [Geoffrey Shisler]
Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim during Sefirat Haomer
         [Moshe Koppel]


From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 16:24:52 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Avodah Zarah and Gold

> From: Moishe Kimelman <kimel@...>
> In mj 46 Eli Pollock wrote:
> >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.
> If the image was worshiped, as is the case in the gold being discussed
> until now, then in order for it to be permitted it would require that
> a non-Jew deface or abuse it.

 Is that any non-Jew or specifically one who worships avoda zara?
Eliyahu segal


From: <yoss@...> (J Gold)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 18:12:17 -0400
Subject: Burning the Hair in the Bonfire at Miron

 <TzviR@...> (Tzvi Roszler) wrote:
<Possibility the reason for burning the hair in the bonfire at Miron,
since the hair are cosidered "ORLO", the halocho is "Orlo Bisreifoh" (it
must be burned). Just a thought in reply to the person who asked why
they burn the hair.<

It sounds good, but there is a Minhag to save all the hair that is cut
and to put it away in the house. This Minhag is mentioned in the
Achronim. I checked with a Rabbi who has done an extensive research of
all Halachas & Minhagim pertaining to the young child (& hopes to go to
print once he has enough sponsors), who told me that there is no known
source for Burning the hair in Meron & it was not the Minhag in the
olden days.  (According to your reason, why shouldn't it be burned
anywhere, not only in Meron).  Also, there are poskim who state that
hair that is cut should NOT be burned in general.



From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 22:52:38 -0700
Subject: Hagbah question

Does anyone know the source of pointing to the Torah when it is lifted
during hagbah.  Also some people use their pinkey to point instead of
their index finger.  And still some kiss their finger after pointing to
the Torah.  Is there any mekor that people know of for these practices?


From: David Charlap <david@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 97 11:13:18 -0400
Subject: Jewish Calendar in Emacs

Robert A. Book <rbook@...> writes:
>For those of you who use GNU Emacs (the text editor common on Unix
>computers), it may be useful to know that it has a built-in calendar
>feature which computes Hebrew dates, Jewish holidays (though it appears
>to know about only one day of each, including Channukah), and even
>sunset (and sunrise) times.

You must have an old version.  The one I'm using (19.29.  The current
version is even newer) indicates all the days of the multi-day
holidays.  It also has separate indication for Chol Hamoed, indicates
the week's Torah reading, and a lot more.

It is part of the standard Emacs distribution.  If you are an emacs
user and you want to use it, you must take a few steps to set it up.

First, create a file called "diary" in your home directory (wherever
that may be on your system), containing:


This is the list of the things you want it to track for you.  You may
also add dates for your own personal events (using either the Hebrew
or solar calendars.)

Once this is done, add these lines to your .emacs configuration file:

	;;; Calendar & Diary
	;;; See source files in
	;;;  /usr/gnu/Src/emacs/lisp/{calendar|diary|appt}.el
	;;;  (Directory pathname may be different.)
	;;; Configuration data in ~/diary
	(load-library "solar")
	(load-library "lunar")
	(setq calendar-latitude 38.94628056)    ; 38=9B56'46.61" N
	(setq calendar-longitude -77.34473611)   ; 77=9B20'41.05" W
	(setq nongregorian-diary-marking-hook 'mark-hebrew-diary-entries)
	(setq nongregorian-diary-listing-hook 'list-hebrew-diary-entries)
	(add-hook 'diary-display-hook 'fancy-diary-display)
	(setq all-hebrew-calendar-holidays t)   ; even minor holidays

Replacing, of course, the latitude and longitude with the coordinates
for wherever you are.  (The ones above are for my office in Reston, VA).

Once this is in place, start emacs and give the command

	M-x calendar

to activate the calendar.  To see the info for a day, hilight the day
and press "d".

For example, the info for this past Shabbos (5/10/97) is:

  Saturday, May 10, 1997
  Hebrew date (until sunset): Iyar 3, 5757
  Parshat Kedoshim
  Day 18, that is, 2 weeks and 4 days of the omer (until sunset)
  Sunrise 6:03am (EDT), sunset 8:09pm (EDT) at 38.9N, 77.3W 
	(14:06 hours daylight)

This should work on any system where Emacs was fully installed.  (If you
are a PC user and want to use it, it can be downloaded for all the
popular operating systems.)


From: <Haxelman@...> (Tzvi Axelman)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:42:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kiryat-Sefer

I'm looking to correspond with anyone on this list who lives in Kiryat
Sefer, if possible. Alternately with anyone who knows a lot about that
neighborhood, i.e. prices, quality of live, etc. I am looking into
moving to Eretz Yisroel in near future. Thank you.
 Tzvi Axelman


From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:19:53 EDT
Subject: Re: Question on Chataf-Patach

>Can someone shed light on the rules for when a resh (or any other
>letter) gets a chataf-patach and when it gets a sh'va na --
>specifically in Chumash as opposed to modern Hebrew.
	Check the Minchas Shai on the posuk "Va'avorcho mevorechecha" in
the beginning of Lech Lecha.



From: Danny Bateman <danny.bateman@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 15:12:11 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Shir Hamaalot before Birkat Hamazon at the Seder

Does anyone know why almost all Haggadot don't have Shir Hamaalot before
Birkat Hamazon at the Seder.  Could it be that the minhag of saying Shir
Hamaalot (and Al Naharot Bavel) came after the coding of the Haggadah?

| Danny Bateman            Telrad Telecommunications    TX1 S/W Department |
| <Danny.Bateman@...>  Phone: +972-8-927-3408  Fax: +972-8-927-3487 |
| <bateman@...>         http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6113 |


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 10:59:00 +1000
Subject: Re: Succah on Shemini Atzeres

  | From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
  | So far, none of the replies about the minhag not to use the Sukkah on
  | Shmini Atzeres night have mentioned the reason I grew up hearing.
  | Namely, that making Kiddush in the Sukkah that night would be a tartay
  | d'sasray [self-contradiction].  After all, we are reciting "Yom Shmini
  | Hag Ha'Atzeres Hazeh" which states that today is definitely no longer
  | Sukkos, while sitting in a Sukkah at the same time!  Whereas in the
  | morning Kiddush, there is no mention of the specific holiday and hence
  | the minhag to go back into the Sukkah for that Kiddush.

>From memory this is not a concern. The Gemora justifies this on the
grounds that sometimes people will sit outside for a meal. That's also
why the Gemora paskens, 'Yesuvei Yasvinon Bruchei Lo Mevrochinon' We sit
there, but we don't make a brocho.


From: Merling, Paul <MerlingP@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 97 14:13:00 PDT
Subject: Succah on Shmini Atseret in Chuts La'arets

             In this whole debate no one has mentioned the great thinker
and Gaon, Reb Tsadok of Lublin. He wrote a Sefer devoted to this topic
called Meishiv Davar.(It is usually sold in Seforim stores as part of a
set of Reb Tsadok's Seforim.) Contrary to what Steve White (Vol. 26,45)
writes, Reb Tsadok is afraid of an Isur D'o'rai'sa(Torah prohibition) if
one eats in the Succah on Shmini Atseres even in Chuts La'arets.
             Very interesting in his discussion of this issue is his
collection of Erets Yisraeil sources both in the Yerushalmi and
Medrashim which point to a Psak different than the one in the
Bavli. This may be one of those customs where the Binei Ashkinaz retain
their connection to the Torah of Erets Yisraeil. There are many other
such customs according to 'Minhag Ashkinaz Hakadmon' by Ta Shma.  He
does not discuss Succah during S.E., but he cites the ancient custom of
Friday night Kiddush in Shul as an example of the persistence of ancient
Jewish customs based on Erets Yisraeil sources in opposition to the
Halacha deriving from the Bavli.
              In the above mentioned book, he shows that the battle
between formal Halacha as derived from the Bavli and Minhag is very old
and many Rishonim (especially the Baal Hamaor and the Rabeinu Tam)
fought to uphold the old Minhagim.
            It is interesting to note that the Rav (as reported in
Mail-Jewish) discouraged the Minhag of not eating in the Succah on
Shmini Atseres, thereby confirming the thesis of his son Chaim, of the
contemporary victory of the formal Halacha over Minhag.
             But, "Leave Israel alone, if they are not Prophets they are
the descendants of Prophets."


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 11:00:28 +0000
Subject: Supermarkets and Chametz on 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.

I don't understand this.  The prohbition against buying hamez [leaven]
that a Jew owned during Pesah is rabbinic; its purpose is to fine a Jew
who does not comply with the halakha [law].  Why does the "Va`ad" want
to also fine Jews who _do_ comply with the halakha?  What do you think
this will do to the Jew who is borderline observant and was convinced,
this year, to sell his hamez, when next year comes?

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5658422 Fax:+972 3 5658345


From: <yoss@...> (J Gold)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 18:12:37 -0400
Subject: Teaching Toddlers Torah

S.H. Schwartz <schwartz@...> wrote:
> From: <yoss@...> (J Gold)
> 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
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?>>

The Remah in Yirah Deah # 245 states that when a child turns 3 one
should immediately begin learning with him the Letters of the Aleph Beth
- I was told by a Rabbi that many Poskim explain at length that until 3
years old one should not learn the Aleph Beth B'KSAV - meaning he should
begin viewing the Tzuras Ha'os (the actual letter) at 3. Prior to 3
however, one should teach him Brochos and Shema to recite Bal Peh (by
heart). He SHOULD be accustomed to hear Divrei Torah. The Gemarah states
in Sukkah - when one begins to talk he should be taught to say "Torah
Tziva" etc. and Shema Yisrael, and this is stated as Halacha in Yirah
Deah #245 (He mentioned that there are different interpretations as
well, but did not elaborate).
 <yoss@...> (J Gold)


From: Geoffrey Shisler <geoffrey@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 10:09:09 +0100
Subject: Time of service on eve of Shavuot

Based on the commentary of the Taz to Orach Chayim 494, as also brought
in the Mishna Berurah, most communities have the practice not to bring
in Yom Tov on the first night of Shavuot, until after nightfall.

Browsing through the library in my Shul, I came across Sefer, 'Marganita
Tava' by Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Silverstone, of Southport, England, (pub.
1956). In the first item in the Sefer, Rabbi Silverstone makes a very
powerful case that this custom is absolutely wrong! Indeed, he holds
that those who delay are being exceptionally lenient, whilst those who
bring in Shavuot while it is still day, are the ones who are being

In brief, his argument runs as follows:

The ruling of the Taz is based on the requirement that we must count
'seven *complete* weeks.' Therefore we must wait until the completion of
the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, before we can bring in

Rabbi Silverstone points out that the Gemarrah in Menachot 66a says that
the weeks will be 'complete' if we START counting on the second NIGHT of
Pesach. If you started to count in the morning, there wouldn't be seven
*complete* weeks. The Gemarrah is concerned with when we start counting,
not when we stop. If it was concerned about when we end the counting,
surely it would have mentioned it. The completeness is achieved, by not
missing out any of the days. In any case, once you have counted the 49th
day, (which you do on the night before), you have already counted them

The second issue, which is of major importance, is the need to be Mosif
Meichol Al HaKodesh - adding from the ordinary weekday onto the holiness
of Yom Tov, which is a *Torah* requirement ( see Yoma 81b,  Orach Chayim
261:2,  Chayei Adam, Hilchot Shabbat 5:1 etc). We must bring in every
Shabbat and every Yom Tov while it is still day, in order to fulfil this

Now, if we wait until dark before bringing in Shavuot, we are not
fulfilling this Torah injunction.

Notwithstanding the view of the Rambam, (who holds that the Mitzvah of
Sefirat HaOmer is MidOraitha), in our days the Mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer
is considered by most authorities to be MideRabbanan (a Rabbinic
decree). The adding from Chol to Kodesh however, is MidOraitha (a Torah

Neither the Bet Yosef, nor the Rema nor the Chayei Adam mention waiting
until night on the eve of Shavuot, (and the Chayei Adam surely was
familiar with what the Taz wrote).

In Rabbi Silverstone's view, there is no doubt that we must bring in
Shavuot while it is still day, to fulfill the Torah obligation to add
from Chol to Kodesh, just as we do on every other Shabbat and Yom Tov of
the year.

Comments would be most welcome.

If anyone would like a copy of the original article - which is, of
course much more detailed, for a stamped, addressed envelope, I'll be
happy to oblige.

My address is
c/o Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation
Wootton Gardens
Bournemouth, Dorset,

Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler
Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation


From: <koppel@...> (Moshe Koppel)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 20:04:03 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim during Sefirat Haomer

>From: <Klugerman@...> (Tszvi Klugerman)
>I am looking for responsa on the matter of celebrating Yom Haatzmaut and
>Yom Yerushalyim during Sefirat Haomer.

In Rackover's compendium of responsa on Yom Ha'atzmaut there is a letter
by Rav Mendel Kasher on this topic which is distinguished by its

Moshe Koppel.


End of Volume 26 Issue 51