Volume 26 Number 57
                      Produced: Mon May 19 22:57:38 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A. Lustiger on the Tradition Article
         [Merling, Paul]
Are Hummingbirds Kosher ?
         [Mark Farzan]
Arnie Lustiger's comments
         [Carl Singer]
Caps and Gowns (2)
         [Saul Mashbaum, Robert Israel]
Man lighting Shabbos candles
         [Jack Reiner]
         [Akiva Miller]
Tallis for Mincha (was re: Two Questions v26 #54)
         [Neil Parks]
Yom ha-Shoa v'ha-Gvura
         [Shlomo Godick]


From: Merling, Paul <MerlingP@...>
Date: Fri, 16 May 97 13:42:00 PDT
Subject: A. Lustiger on the Tradition Article

            I only browsed through the Tradition article some years ago
and I have not seen the recent Tradition articles. My response is to A.
Lustigers post of selections and comments on Reb Chaim Soloveitchik's

There is nothing new under the sun.
 Do not say that old times were better than today ....     Koheles

           He compares Yamim Noraim in a Yeshiva with same in a largely
nonobservant synagogue he grew up in. But this is comparing apples with
oranges. First of all, one's childhood memories are just too subjective
to base any such comparison. What Reb Chaim sees as residual piety of
the nonobservant Jews may be mostly a reflection of his own simple
childhood piety. Second, even if he is correct, it only confirms the
obvious that the first and often second generation of immigrants from
Eastern Europe retained some aspects of the old piety even when they
gave up most observances. Many of these people felt very guilty for
abandoning the ways of their fathers and grandfathers and this may have
contributed to the intense emotional experience Reb Chaim recalls.
            The only comparison which makes sense would be to compare,
let us say, Lakewood of today with Kletsk or Mir of yesteryear.(There
are B"H many old Kletskers and Mirers to be found.) Even then we realize
that they might be tempted to exaggerate the differences due to their
impressionable youth when they were in those Yeshivos and their memories
of the Shoa sufferings of many of their fellow students.
                 My feeling is that there has been little change in the
Yeshiva Yomim Noraim experience. Young men in the flush of their youth
do not worry too much about death or anything, despite all attempts to
make them fear the Midas Hadin(Divine Judgment.) My faulty memory of my
Yeshiva experience is that the focus of these days was asking Hakodosh
Baruch Hu to assist us in realizing our aspirations for greatness in
Torah, Midos and Yiras Shamayim. Nothing else really concerned me in
those days. To be sure we prayed for forgiveness of sins, but a Yeshiva
student's Aveirus(transgressions) are usually small potatoes and they
know it.
                Both of my parents O"BM were born and raised in very
pious homes in Eastern Europe, and both of them continued in their
parents footsteps. Yet, their attitudes towards sickness, parnassa and
hospitals bears no resemblance to what Reb Chaim and Arnold Lustinger
describe. My mother would tearfully petition for her husband and
children's welfare when kindling the Shabbos candles. As a child I
davened at her side on the Yamim Noraim. Those were days of many tears
and hearing the women's Nusach which she had learned from her mother
H"YD. This did not stop her from having a 'can do' attitude towards
life's challenges and problems.
              Is there really a contradiction between feeling "G-d's
palpable presence" and having a positive attitude towards human
potential and activities? Haven't we learned "and he(the doctor) shall
heal, " "Many have done like Reb Yishmael and have succeeded," "They
elevate G-d (in song) with their throats and a sword with many points is
in their hands."
              It is true that, thank Hashem, there are very few Orthodox
Jews who are paupers today, which was not the case in pre-war
Poland. Many, if not most, of these people had no way to improve their
situation and could only rely on Hashem. But even then there was a
substantial middle class and It remains to be demonstrated that their
religious life was so different than ours.
              It seems to me that all this talk about a radical rupture
with the Orthodoxy of Ahmal (the past) is greatly exaggerated and is
most probably a nostalgia for a past that may never have existed.
              After all is said and done, the great difference between
then and now is the Shoa catastrophe and the missing communities,
Yeshivos and scholars. Nostalgia is no crime but it should not deter us
from the primary directive which is to rebuild what was so cruelly


From: Mark Farzan <FMF@...>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 18:09:00 -0700
Subject: Are Hummingbirds Kosher ?

A hummingbird has built a nest in our front yard (inside our porch
light!!) and is already sitting on its two little eggs. From what I
remember we can perform the mitzvah of Ghan Sippor once the chicks are
born, but only if the bird is Kosher. Is Hummingbird Kosher? can we do
the mitzvah ? Any other information would be greatly appreciated, as
time is running out and the chicks will be born in the next few days.

Mark Farzan


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 16 May 97 13:39:00 UT
Subject: Arnie Lustiger's comments

Thanks, Arnie, for the insightful observations.  I guess one of many
aspects I miss now that you are no longer neighbors is walking up to the
apple tree in front of your home with the appropriate halachas attached
to it so the kids (and maybe the grown-ups might learn.)

Again, delving out of my areas of professional range -- is it because
we've become too sophisticated, too self-confident in our abilities and
knowledge.  We all, or many of us, may recall parents or other older
relatives, or simply neighbors in shule (yes many of them "survivors")
and their deep, yet simplistic faith in G-d.  A G-d they beseeched for
help, conversed with, occasionally got angry with.

And their relationship with their fellow-Jew was different, too.  Much
was on a warm first person level.  I recall myriad incidents.  I once
tried to explain this as a different sort of world -- but (some 30 years
ago) a most knowledgeable professor sitting next to me at the Hillel
house poo-pooed this as the "Schtietleh Theory" -- At the time I was
more interested in Relativistic Physics and Quantum Mechanics and the
associated theories, so I let it go.

Carl Singer


From: Saul Mashbaum <mshalom@...>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 17:11:46 GMT-2
Subject: Caps and Gowns

Although I have no information on the origins of caps and gowns for
graduation, I have a halachic comment on their use.

The gowns provided by rental companies or the school or university may
be contain shaatnez, and must be determined to be shaatnez-free before
being worn.

Since the prospective wearer does not usually have access to the gown
until shortly before he is to wear it, this is a *big problem*.

I believe that Yavneh or Hillel chapters, or Chabad or other outreach
organizations could provide a great service for Jewish graduates if they
could gain access to graduation gowns before ceremonies and arrange to
have them checked for shaatnez. Although the owners of the gowns would
most likely be puzzled by the request, I imagine they can be persuaded
to cooperate. Of course, each garment need be checked one time only, not
before each use.

I would be interested in halachic comments as to the required extent of
such checking. When confronted with a supply of hundreds or thousands of
gowns, if a repesentative sample were checked, and all garments found to
be shaatnez-free, is there a basis for assuming all are non-shaatnez, or
does each and every garment have to be checked?

Can anyone relate to the feasibility of determining non-shaatnez status
of garments at the manufacturing level, as we do with food kashrut? This
is done in Israel with Polgat and perhaps some other manufacturers;
perhaps it can be done in the States as well.

As a final, personal aside, I will note that Israeli army uniforms are
manufactured specifically to be non-shaatnez. I wore my graduation gown
with pride, but I am prouder still of my (considerably less elaborate)
IDF uniform.

Saul Mashbaum

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 May 97 11:28:12 -0700
Subject: Re: Caps and Gowns

I found some information on this on the Web at 
http://www.tamiu.edu/newnew/article6.htm and

Basically, the tradition goes back to the universities of the Middle
Ages, when students and professors as well as various professions and
trades developed distinctive styles of dress.  This used to be worn all
the time, not just at graduations.  The style was originally derived
from the black robes worn by clerics.  I don't know if that presents a
halachic problem, but I rather doubt it.

Robert Israel                            <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics             (604) 822-3629
University of British Columbia            fax 822-6074
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Y4


From: <jjr@...> (Jack Reiner)
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 13:46:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Man lighting Shabbos candles

In mj issue Volume 26 Number 54, <JordanleeW@...> (Jordan Wagner) asks:
>2.  When a man lights but doesn't yet want to be "in Shabbos", has anyone
>heard of communities using particular forms of declaration of intent, or is
>it totally informal everywhere?  

I learned from my LOR that Shabbos is not "incumbent" (can't think of a
better word) on a man until actual sunset.  Thus a man can light Shabbos
candles and then drive to shule without any special intentions.

I also learned from my LOR that Shabbos is "incumbent" on a woman at
candle lighting _unless_ she has the intention of not starting Shabbos
until sunset.  However, we did not learn of any particular from of
declaration of intent (just the informal thing).

I have no text sources for the above, it is possibly just minhag.  :-)

Jack Reiner


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 12:21:08 -0500
Subject: re: Plagiarism

In MJ 26:54, Robert Werman asked for a technical term in Hebrew
corresponding to the concept of "plagiarism". I would suggest "hasagas
gvul", from the mitzvah of the Torah against moving the landmarks which
identify the boundary lines between one person's real estate and

The sages expanded the term "hasagas gvul" to many similar situations,
and I presume that some situations violate this mitzvah on a Torah
level, while others are on a rabbinic level. Anyway, two common examples
are where the intellectual property of one person is republished by
another (copyright infringement), or one person's territory intrudes on
another's (such as where only one person in town engages in a certain
business, and a potential competitor threatens to open shop and take
some of that business).

Not all cases are forbidden. My understanding is that according to both
the secular laws of plagiarism and copyright infringement, and also
according to the halachos of hasagas gvul, important factors to consider
in any specific case include (A) the length of the copied passage (i.e.,
was it a few words or an entire book), (B) whether or not the original
author was credited with original authorship, (C) the reasons for using
the copied passage (was it a book review?), and other factors.

Akiva Miller
(formerly <Keeves@...>, now at KennethGMiller@juno.com)


From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Mon, 19 May 97 16:20:45 EDT
Subject: Tallis for Mincha (was re: Two Questions v26 #54)

>From: <JordanleeW@...> (Jordan Wagner)
>1.  In communities where the sheliach wears a tallis on Friday night and
>Shabbat mincha, do those getting aliyot (or hag'bah) also grab a tallis on
>their way to the bima?

I have been in several shuls where the Sh'liach Tzibur wears a tallis
for Friday night and Shabbat mincha, but in only one shul where those
who have an aliya at Shabbat mincha wear a tallis.  (And in that shul,
the one who does hagba at mincha does not wear a tallis.)  So it would
appear that the customs are unrelated.

...This msg brought to you by NEIL PARKS      Beachwood, Ohio
 mailto:<nparks@...>       http://www.en.com/users/neparks/


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 19:30:39 -0700
Subject: Re: Yom ha-Shoa v'ha-Gvura

Paul Merling wrote:
>         What should be the attitude of religious Jews towards Yom
> Hashoa?  Should we take part in the public observances commemorating the
> Shoa? What should be the Lekach or lesson of these communal events?
>         Is there any kind of private observance of this day? Is there
> some sort of partial Aveilus or mourning and what is it? I have read
> that in the State of Israel there is a 2 minute period of silence. Is
> there also a cessation of public entertainment at least for part of the
> day?

First of all, it should be remembered that the official name of this day
is Yom ha-Shoa v'ha-Gvura (Holocaust and Heroism Day).  The particular
date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto

The official ceremonies and media coverage evince a very strongly
secular-Zionist cultural bias.  Authentic Jewish heroism exhibited in
the Holocaust is ignored, for these people "went like sheep to the
slaughter", whereas the heroism of "kochi v'otzem yadi", as exemplified
in the Warsaw uprising, is glorified.

Traditional Jewish minhagim of saying tehilim and learning mishnaos are
eschewed in favor of the goyishe minhag of standing for a two minute
period of silence.

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate declared Asarah b'Teves to be the official
mourning day (Yom Ha-Kaddish) for Holocaust victims whose exact yom
ha-p'tirah is unknown.  However, this has not been adopted by the
secular establishment, which is interested in maintaining the connection
to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick
Rechasim, Israel


End of Volume 26 Issue 57