Volume 27 Number 05
                      Produced: Thu Sep 25 10:46:13 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bracha on brandy made from 100% wine
         [Joel Kurtz]
Daf Yomi CDs
         [Frederic H Rosenblatt]
Glass top stoves
         [Jack Hollander]
History and Historiography
         [Saul Newman]
Mourner's Kaddish on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
         [Immanuel Burton]
Mussar and Maskillim - Huh?
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Our Parents Are Closer To Sinai?
         [Russell Hendel]
Platonic Relationships
         [Marnin Goldberg]
Remarrying Jewishly
         [Joseph Kaplan]
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Tzitzis on Tisha B'Av
         [Akiva Miller]
U'vah L'tzion on Tish'a B'av
         [Jonathan Katz]


From: <jkurtz@...> (Joel Kurtz)
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 12:35:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bracha on brandy made from 100% wine

A friend of mine has received different opinions from authoritative sources
on the correct bracha to be made over brandy made entirely from wine.  He is
(understandably) most anxious to resolve this problem.

Could readers please advise whether they would make (a) shehakol or (b)
borei pri hagafen, and why.


Joel Kurtz


From: Frederic H Rosenblatt <Frederic.H.Rosenblatt@...>
Date: 11 Aug 1997 09:03:53 -0700
Subject: Daf Yomi CDs

Does anyone know of a source for Daf Yomi on audio CD?  I can get 
cassetes, but they're much more cumbersome to deal with over the whole
cycle, and it occurred to me that a complete set of CDs would be 
much more manageable.


From: Jack Hollander <JackHollander@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 15:55:18 -0400
Subject: Glass top stoves

Shmarya Richler writes:------
<<about  Glass top stoves
 is there a problem with spillovers rendering the stove top milchig or

This has been a vexing question as chumras and technology appeared to
advance together. Here I render the results of much discussion I have
had with concerned friends without refering to any psak.
        1.  Stoves are basically treif.  They usually can't be "Kashered
" without causing major visual as well as material damage to the stove.
The same holds for Ceramic as well as any other new technology devices
such as magnetic induction stoves but not regular or Microwave ovens.
Ceramic tops are glass which has added compounds to allow it to
withstand heat and sudden changes in temperature.  To some extent, the
glass might be compared to Pyrex, but those who disagree have a valid
arguement.  How one views Ceramic tops or other tops does not change the
fact that they are treif, and that food that comes into contact with a
hot stove top has to be discarded.
        2.  I believe when we "Kasher" a stove top for pessach, what we
are really doing is obliterating the possibility of any fragment of
"chometz". This is not what I understand "Kashering" to be in its true
sense.  If we really could kasher a stove then we wouldn't have to go
through all the trouble of covering the top with layers of foil.
        3.  There is a psychological problem here of putting preciously
protected pots and pans which have 'Milk', 'Meat', and ' Pareve'
designations onto a treif stove top.  I have personnally observed
instances where different sides of the stove were labelled for meat or
milk.  This practice didn't necessarily correspond to the level of
observance of the cook.  I have observed others place a removeable grid
between the stove grid and the pot, using different grids for milk and
meat pots, thereby not allowing the pot to actually touch the treif
stove. I don't know if these practices have any halachic basis.
        I can't answer halachally about any of the above but
practically, a ceramic top with a "platta" over it has the same halachic
and safety problems as a regular stove and perhaps should be avoided for
reasons of Pikuach Nefesh, especially since purpose made devices for
Shabbat and Yom-Tov are readily available .

        I am very curious to know what really happens in halachally
correct homes and eagerly await responses on this forum.

Ketiva Ve chatima Tova,
Jack Hollander,  Jerusalem.


From: Saul Newman <Saul.Z.Newman@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 11:08:29 -0700
Subject: Re: History and Historiography

  I thank Bob Kosvsky and Idelle Rudman for their thoughts on frum
history and historiography. I concur that there is nothing to be gained
by knowing demaining info about a gadol( though I would imagine some
young talmid would be inspired to know that the Rosh Yeshiva used to
throw a good fastball)
  I think I'm more concerned about the issues of deleting issues or
facts that might then be used for halachic decisions.e.g. what actually
happened in the last days of Volozhyn are relevant if one is then going
to forbid bringing secular knowledge into the Yeshiva based on those
  Also,if it's true that a sefer's new edition deleted issues about yom
haatzmaut and halacha that appeared in the early edition, I would think
that's not allowed without permission of the original author-if indeed
that's true(i haven't seen either edition).
  It is said in the secular world that history is written by the winning
side. Maybe we see the samething here.


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 09:35:00 +0100
Subject: Mourner's Kaddish on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

As far as I understand, there are two reasons why a mourner says Kaddish
during the period of mourning.  Firstly, saying Kaddish (and leading the
service) is a sign of mourning, and secondly the recital of Kaddish
provides some sort of menuchah [rest] to the soul of the departed while
it is Gehinom.

Bearing these two reasons in mind, why does a mourner still say Kaddish
on Shabbos and Yom Tov?  If one accepts the first reason, then he should
not say Kaddish as there are no public signs of mourning on Shabbos or
on Yom Tov, as witnessed by the fact that he does not lead the service on
those days.  The second reason also does not apply on Shabbos or Yom Tov
as souls are released from Gehinom for those days, and so no menuchah is

Can anyone shed any light on this?

Immanuel Burton - <iburton@...>


From: Yosef Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 09:28:40 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Mussar and Maskillim - Huh?

On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, Mail Jewish included the following paragraph:

> Alana has raised an important point. There is a need to acknowledge that
> the opposition to the Conservative and Reform Movement is not because
> they are hypocrites or nasty people. In fact, a major impetus for the
> musar movement was because the maskilim (forerunners of Reform and
> Conservative) often were very loveable, sincere people as are many
> present day Reform and Conservative Jews. The Gra went so far as to
> single out this factor (i.e., that they were good hearted) as to why the
> maskilim were so dangerous.

I have read extensively (and written) on the Mussar movement - and would
love to see it resuscitated. To the best of my knowledge, its founding
had nothing to do with the fight against Haskala (although, indeed, Reb
Yisroel Salanter zt"l was often a darling of the Maskillim) but was inner
generated, to prompt intensive Avoda on character development alongside
Torah greatness.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
c/o Shani Bechhofer


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 20:02:37 -0400
Subject: Our Parents Are Closer To Sinai?

Chana Luntz writes >>..I think we have lost something quite precious.
>>Because part of what it once meant to be a Jew was that one accepted
the yoke of Torah as transmitted by one's parents AND IT WAS UNDERSTOOD

This is not the first time I have heard this but I know of no legitimate
primary source that supports this. To take a simple example a well known
Midrash on Deut 29:9---"You are ALL standing before G-d.."--says that
all Jews were at Sinai (including us '20 centuriites').

I have always believed that the correct approach to halacha is to 
seek out its distinctions and details. It is easy for anyone to look
up the laws of honoring ones parents: Yes there is much we must do
* Feed them
* By clothing for them
* Stand before them
* speak respectfully to them
* endure their insults on us if they so chose
* Acknowledge their spiritual and physical debt to us

But someone please tell me where it says that we must be the same as
them?  Or that they were closer to Sinai? According to the Rambam for
example there is no controversy in Traditions handed down...it doesn't
matter if I heard something from my father grandfather or Moses himself.

And all Father-Son pairs differed in the Bible--Abraham was known for
his charity, Isaac for his sacrifice, Yaakov for his having to outsmart
his environment and father in law who continually double crossed him.
It is well known that Korach's children were totally different that
their father. The only father-son pairs that were similar were possibly
people like David and Solomon--but that is because they were of Royal
blood (and it is the nature of establishment people to externally be the

At any rate I believe that halachah simply requires us to respect our
parents.  Every son is suppose to be different that his father and only
follows him possibly in monetary/vocational matters (inheritance etc.).
In fact there are several places in civil law where people have the
right to refuse waivers in matters of property division since giving the
gift creates a sense of indebtedness. Isn't this in effect saying that
people have a RIGHT to their autonomy? Doesn't this then apply to our
relations with our parents?

I believe some clarification of this touchy issue in a rational manner
would be welcome

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


From: Marnin Goldberg <special@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 09:45:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Platonic Relationships

After Rabbi Orlofsky's shiur (given in english) at Sharfmans in February
of 96 he did discus the issue of platonic relationships with the guys in
Or Dovid who taped it originally. Being in Or Dovid at the time, I do
not remember any of the guys taping this shiur. What are your
impressions about the tape? FYI - Other tapes of Rabbi Orlofsky are


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 20:43:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Remarrying Jewishly

Susan Chambre asks about attitudes towards remarrying Jewishly without
having received a secular divorce.  There was a recent divorce case in New
York, where the wife tried to get the court to prohibit a bet din to give
her husband a heter me'ah rabbanim. She said that this would enable him to
remarry Jewishly without a secular divorce which would hurt her legal
position. The judge refused to enjoin the bet din because of First
Amendment concerns, but added that if the man remarries Jewishly he would
be committing the crime of bigamy and any rabbi who concecrated such a
marriage would be aiding and abetting such criminal activity. This hasn't
been tested yet in higher courts, but the language of the judge (who I
think may be frum) was pretty strong.
Joseph C. Kaplan


From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 10:07:17 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Sermons

In "Idle Thoughts are the Devil's Playmate", Rabbi David Riceman asks
why Shabbos morning sermons are not to be considered Darkei Ha'Emori. I
believe the Tzitiz Eliezer has a teshuva in which he discusses the
permissibility of sermons between Hachnosas Sefer Torah and Chatzi
Kaddish before Mussaf based on the assumption that such is improper as
it makes the sermon part of the service, unacceptable on similar,
although not precisely the same grounds, as Rabbi Riceman implies
(although, from memory, I believe in the end he does permit said

When I was very young, the Rabbi in the Young Israel of West Hempstead,
where I grew up, was Rabbi Harold Kanotopsky z"l, a close talmid of Rav
Soloveitchik z"l, and I distinctly remember that his derashos were after
Mussaf before Ein Ke'Elokeinu (although, as I was in fourth grade when
he left, i may be wrong!) - perhaps his reason for doin so was in this
vein, so as not to be considered incorporating a "homily" in the

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 09:29:06 -0500
Subject: Tzitzis on Tisha B'Av

In the directions for the morning service on Tisha B'Av, the Artscroll
"Kinos" says *not* to kiss the tzitzis, neither at Baruch Se'amar, nor
during the Sh'ma. Anyone have any idea why this should be so? (And while
we're on the subject, why is it that on other days we *do* kiss the
tzitzis at Baruch She'amar?)

Akiva Miller


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 12:41:20 EDT
Subject: U'vah L'tzion on Tish'a B'av

A question struck me last night during ma'ariv of Tish'a B'av: if we are
not supposed to study Torah on this day (except for eicah and halachos
related to the fast), how can we recite the prayer "u'vah l'tzion",
which is mainly a compilation of various Torah verses?

In fact, I remember learning that the purpose of this prayer is so that
there will be a minyan learning Torah so that the kaddish afterwards may
be recited. This strengthens the question even further.

On this note, on what level is the prohibition of learning Torah on Tish'a
B'av? Perhaps it is merely a recommendation? (It is hard for me to imagine
that one is strictly forbidden from learning Torah on any day!)

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


End of Volume 27 Issue 5