Volume 26 Number 91
                      Produced: Sun Aug  3  0:52:16 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kashrut of vitamins
         [David I. Cohen]
Law Student for Voluntary Work in Jewish/Halachic topics
         [Ira Kasdan]
Literal vs Allegorical Midrash
         [Saul Newman]
Mixed Seating
Mixed Seating at Weddings (4)
         [Joseph Geretz, Shlomo Godick, Michael Lipkin, Allen Carl
Mixed Seating/Dancing
         [Esther Posen]
Notes for reading the Torah
         [Matthew Pearlman]
Odd trops, redux
         [Art Werschulz]
Origin of the word Badekin
         [Jonathan Katz]
Paternity testing
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Platonic Relationships/Rabbi Orlafsky tapes
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Rabbi Orlafsky tapes
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
         [I. Harvey Poch]


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 12:41:48 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Kashrut of vitamins 

I am looking for information concerning the kashrut requirements when it comes 
to vitamins or other health-related nutrient preparations such as anti-
oxidents. Do these pills require supervision? I have been told that there are 
"heterim" because of the fact that these substances are health related. Since 
many believe that they are disease-preventative, does "pikuach nefesh" come 
into play? What if kosher alternatives are not available? What if the kosher 
alternatives are of lesser quality? Are there particular substances that are 
problematic? What about the binders, colorings etc.? 
	thanks in advance for all who take the time to answer.


From: Ira Kasdan <IKASDAN@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 12:06:49 -0400
Subject: Law Student for Voluntary Work in Jewish/Halachic topics

I'm looking for a 1st or 2nd yr. law student to do some voluntary work
dealing with Jewish/Halachic topics and the law. If you have an interest
please e-mail me.

Yitzchak Kasdan


From: Saul Newman <Saul.Z.Newman@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 07:48:03 -0700
Subject: Literal vs Allegorical Midrash

How do we know which Midrash is allegory and which is fact?  If Kafa
aleihem hahar gegigit( G-d's placing Mt Sinai over the Jews heads,lest
they not accept the Torah) is allegory, as is Moses' height of 20 amot,
how do I know which Midrash, which fills in the details of the story,
really happened? Or is the answer just we don't know and it doesn't


From: Anonymous
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 19:07:24 -0400
Subject: Mixed Seating

More than 20 years ago, when I was in R.Soloveitchik (ztl) 's shiur and
was engaged, I asked the Rav whether I should have mixed or separate
seating at my wedding.  The Rav asked what my and my wife's families
wanted.  I said that they wanted mixed seating.  The Rav answered --
"Don't be such a tzaddik" and do what [your] parents desire.  (Which is
what we did.)

I don't know if the Rav would have answered differently were the
question asked by someone else. In any case, I feel strongly that,
although I personally believe [l'anyias daati] that mixed seating --
with a mechizah between the men and women's side of the "dance floor" to
separate the dancing -- is Halachically permissible, people should not
rely on this story for p'sak Halacha; and I respectfuly request that
anyone who repeats the story please mention that caveat.


From: Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 00:34:16 -0400
Subject: Mixed Seating at Weddings

Dear Joseph,
Regarding the Chofetz Chaim's daughter's wedding you wrote...

> "Families sat together, husbands and
> wives and children, brothers and sisters and cousins. It was the normal
> thing to do."  That's how the Chafetz Chaim made his daughter's wedding;
> not a bad model to follow.

Actually this is a beautiful model for a wedding however we are missing one
peice of data. How were those individuals who were *not* family members
seated? Were they seated mixed or separately?

This question may be of great significance today, where our communities are
in general much more widely distributed than they were in the days of the
Chofetz Chaim zt'l, due to the modern forms of transportation. In the
Chofetz Chaim's day, families tended to cluster into close communities as
it was rare to travel far beyond one's village or town. Hence a wedding was
more likely to consist of a large concentration of close families.
Nowadays, because of the way we all move around, in search of parnassa,
Kollel, College, etc. (listed in no particular order :) ) a person's circle
of friends and acquaintances are likely to be non-family members.
Therefore, it is quite possible that our weddings nowadays consist of a
lower concentration of family members and a higher concentration of
strangers than they did in the days of the Chofetz Chaim zt'l.

Now this is all a nice demographic theory, but who says it is correct? Good
question, perhaps it can be researched. Actually, the correctness of this
theory is not as important as the following fact: We cannot automatically
extrapolate from the conduct of Gedolim from years ago. Changes in society,
including the well documented phenomenon of Niskatnu Hadoros, the
degradation in the spiritual level of successive generations, make it
necessary to reevaluate and define new standards of conduct. For this we
must look to Gedolim of *our* generation, who have as much license to set
standards for our generation as did our previous Gedolim z'l in their
respective generations.

Kol Tuv,
Joseph Geretz

From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 14:29:31 -0700
Subject: Re: Mixed Seating at Weddings

David Riceman wrote:

<< I suspect that modern Jewish hypocrisy is a reaction to these lowered
standards.  People are demonstrating, on special occasions, who they
wish to be rather than who they are.  It is undoubtedly useful for those
of us who are not as dedicated as Rabbi Rakeffet to be reminded on
occasion that there is more to life than the nine to five job, the
commute, and the occasional shiur.  If some people use separate seating
at weddings to do that I don't see how we can censure them. >>

I would just add that in my opinion the word hypocrisy in this context
should be placed in quotes.  Discrepancy between personal beliefs and
personal behaviors is not hypocritical when the person is aware of his
failings and sincerely wishes to do better.  Hypocrisy is a function of
dishonesty, not weakness of character.

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick
Rechasim, Israel

From: <Michael_Lipkin@...> (Michael Lipkin)
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 09:47:54 -0400
Subject: Mixed Seating at Weddings

From: Nahum Spirn <spirn@...>

>>Many frum women feel uncomfortable dancing in the presence of men, 
and the argument goes that if men are seated near the women's side of 
the dance floor (as will happen in mixed seating), the men who don't 
get up to dance will watch the women dancing.<<

Just yesterday a friend at work told me she went to a wedding where 
they had two mechitzas to get around this problem.  There was one 
mechitza between the men and women dancers and another mechitza 
between the women dancers and the tables.


From: Allen Carl Gerstl <cm836@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 18:22:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mixed Seating at Weddings

> From: Nahum Spirn <spirn@...>

>         Though I am sympathetic to R. Rakeffet's views on mixed seating
> at weddings, the truth is there *is* a difference between the Shabbos
> table and a wedding - namely, the dancing.  Many frum women feel
> uncomfortable dancing in the presence of men, and the argument goes that
> if men are seated near the women's side of the dance floor (as will
> happen in mixed seating), the men who don't get up to dance will watch
> the women dancing.  Rav Schachter recommends separate seating in our day
> because of the "leibedig" nature of women's dancing which is perhaps
> less tzniusdik than the more "tame" dancing of yesteryear.

When we married last year my wife and I decided upon mixed seating but
we had a Mechitzah arranged that precluded persons at the tables or the
men in their dancing area from easily viewing the women's dancing area.


From: Esther Posen <eposen@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 11:02:02 -0400
Subject: RE: Mixed Seating/Dancing

Saying that some women feel uncomfortable dancing around men makes this
sound like a social rather than halachic issue.  Do only the "orthodox
right wing fanatics" believe that is it against halacha for men to watch
women dancing?

esther posen


From: <matthew.pearlman@...> (Matthew Pearlman)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 9:19:00 +0000
Subject: Notes for reading the Torah

This week's Torah portion (massei) has two very unusual notes which do
not appear elsewhere in the torah - see Numbers 35:5.  They appear in
the portion detailing the land to be given to the Levites.  Does anyone
know what these signify?


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 10:43:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Odd trops, redux


I'm actually learning a lot about these two taamim, although not what
I had really wanted to find out. :-)

A bit of material is appearing on how to sing these (and other
unusual) taamim.  I may as well share how I was taught to do them:

   shalshelet          three pazers
   mercha kefula       two tvirs
   yareach ben yomo    two pazers, followed by a zakef gadol
   karnei farah        two pazers, followed by a zakef katan

There's also a Web site, called "Ellie's Torah Trope Tutor," the URL
being <http://www.mat.net/~ewackerm>.  He includes musical notation
and WAV files (either RealAudio-playable or downloadable) for each
trope, among other things.  Along with tropes for Torah (including a
special section on rare Torah trope), he also has the tropes for
Eicha, for Megillat Esther, and for Yamim Noraim.  

I'm *still* looking for an explanation on *why* such singular taamim
are used on these two particular words, which don't really seem to be
extra-laden with meaning, as far as I can tell.

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 18:30:00 EDT
Subject: Origin of the word Badekin

Is anyone aware of the origin of the word "Badekin"? ("Badekin" is the
ritual at a wedding where the groom lifts the veil of the bride to "check"
that he is in fact marrying the correct person).

I had always thought that the word came from the Hebrew verb root
bet-daled-kuf (meaning "to check") but someone recently told me that the
word in fact comes from the Yiddish/German word "Bedek" meaning a veil
or a covering.

Can anyone clear this up?

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive
Room 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 18:11:07 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Paternity testing

In the last issue of Or Torah (an Israeli Yeshiva Monthly) there is a
Teshuva by Rav Mashash (Rav of Yerushalaim). In short there was a case of
a married man claiming that his 2 year old child was not his, & his wife
did not say that it was not true. The Beit Din held that the child is a
mamzer and a higher Beit Din held the same. Rav Mashash disagreed with
them holding that most of the Gedolim do not hold that the testings are
a proof of fatherhood. Rabbis Uziel, Ahernberg, Voldinberg, Klein,
Auerbach & Yosef. R. Herzog said that they are reliable only for alimony
cases. The bottom line is that the child is O.K. & R. Yosef agreed to this
Shabbat Shalom  


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 07:35:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Platonic Relationships/Rabbi Orlafsky tapes

> Rabbi Orlafsky asked me to respond. He is happy to hear that his words
> are so valued. But he also would appreciate that those who were not at
> the actual shiur - should purchase legitimate copies of his tapes. The
> tapes are an important source of income for him. There are two places at
> present where these tapes can be purchased. Here in Har Nof Jerusalem -
> you can purchase them directly from him (phone 02 - 651 4724). In
> America - the Long Island NCSY sells them (phone 518- 868 0500) 

Quick question.  What language are the tapes in?  (Hebrew, English, ...?)

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 11:51:15 -0700
Subject: Rabbi Orlafsky tapes

 I am trying to locate a copy of the Shiur he gave summer of 1996 in Har
Nof for Refuah Shleima of my sister-in-law Judy Young. She would like a
copy and Rabbi Orlafsy does not have a copy.

				Daniel Eidensohn


From: I. Harvey Poch <af945@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 19:35:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: T N Z B H

I really did not think this was going to open into a "major" discussion,
particularly whether the N stands for Nishmoso or Nafsho.

I am not a Ba'al Dikduk (or diqduq), but I thought that the nefesh is
the "physical" soul, while the neshomo is the "spiritual" soul. Since
the physical person is dead, it seems that the N should be read as
neshomo.  This would also be consistent with the phrase in the "Kel
Molai Rachamim" which says 'veyiTZROR biTZROR hachayim es NISHMOSO'.

By the way, I am new to this list and am learning a lot from it. I have
responded with notes about 'layning' and about 'tekiyas shofar' because
I am a (rather infrequent) ba'al koreh and have been a ba'al tokeyah for
more than thirty years. Professionally, I am a funeral director - hence
my interest in TNZBH, and would be pleased to field questions in any of
these subjects.

I. Harvey Poch  (:-)>


End of Volume 26 Issue 91