Volume 27 Number 37
                      Produced: Tue Dec 23  0:49:31 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artifacts from Victims Remains
         [Ed Ehrlich]
Bar Mitzvah of Special Needs Child
         [Tirzah Houminer]
Concepts of creation on Shabbat
         [Henry Valier]
Dying men's hair
         [Sherman Marcus]
Faith in Hashem - Refuah Shelemah
         [Daniel Israel]
Kashrut of Honey
         [Janice Rosen]
Library for the Blind in Israel Chanukah Web Site
Mazal Tov - Shmuel Yitzchak Goldish
         [Mike Gerver]
Prophet's name
         [Sam Saal]
Public Prayer
         [David Riceman]
Sforno vrs. Siporno
         [Shlomo Godick]
         [R Yehoshua]
Writing God's Name
         [Ed Ehrlich]


From: <eehrlich@...> (Ed Ehrlich)
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 11:44:31 +0200
Subject: Artifacts from Victims Remains

Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...> wrote:
>S. C. Rutherford requested information regarding artifacts of 
>victims' remains: R' Ben-Zion Meir Chai Uziel z"l (former Sepharadic 
>Chief Rabbi of Israel) has a teshuva (responsum) regarding the need 
>to bury soap made from victims remains...

Although the reports of the Nazis making soap from the Holocaust
victims' remains are widely believed, they are not true.

Someone here in Israel once claimed that he was going to auction off
bars of soaps that were made by the Nazis from Jewish flesh during the
Holocaust.  There was an enormous public outcry for a few days, until
finally a reputable authority from Yad Vashem explained that the Nazis
did not make soap out of Jewish flesh.  This was a rumor that was spread
at the time of the Holocaust.  Apparently there were bars of soap that
had the letter "J" stamped on them because that was the initial of the
company producing the soap.  Many Holocaust survivors mistakenly
believed that this soap was created from Jewish flesh.

It is very important to be as accurate as possible when discussing the
Holocaust, particularly when there are Holocaust deniers who are willing
to use any minor inaccuracy as an excuse to deny the entire Holocaust.

The various teshuvot on this topic might refer to other Jewish remains
from the Holocaust that have not yet been buried.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>


From: Tirzah Houminer <tirzah@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 12:11:25 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Bar Mitzvah of Special Needs Child

	Shalom, the following problem has come up in several
circumstances - what are the "chovot" and "zechuyot" of a boy with
special needs in terms of his Bar Mitzvah. The question is related
specifically to the ramifications of his being "special" in terms of
what the kehilla , more specifically at times, the rav of the kehilla,
will let him do, or will expect him to do.

   The question has arisen both from teachers of 12 year old boys,
parents of prebar mitzva boys, the rav of a specific yishuv, etc.  Some
sample questions - (and in each case the relevance might be similar, or
identical????? if the boy is visually impaired, hearing impaired,
motorically impaired, retarded, etc...) can, must, is it possible, that
this boy "count" as one of ten for a minyan, can he get an aliya and
make the brachot, can he read the parsha, haftorah, maftir, can he be a
chazzan for any tefilla, can he be motzee the kehilla, or even one
person (male, female, child) of a mitzvah (kiddush, chanukah
candles. etc).

I would appreciate hearing of experiences people have had in this area,
whether as a baalhabayit, baalat habayit who was involved, or a rav who
gave a psak,

Tirzah Houminer
Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion, 90433 ISRAEL


From: Henry Valier <henryv@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 01:56:58 +0000
Subject: Concepts of creation on Shabbat

IMHO a few people seem to be missing the point, when phrasing the
general rule of the 39 forbidden works.  Man stops from *creative* work,
because it shows his mastery over the world. *Not* : Man refrains from
mastery over the world.  (This is of course a general rule, not a
halachik definition, I would be interested to know who first pointed it
out).  After all G-d put man on this world to rule over it, only he
wantes us to remember at least once a week, that in fact he is the one
in charge.

The 2nd pointed I wanted to suggest. While of course recognising that in
the end, procreation is up to G-d. Having marital relations with ones
partner should also be a spiritual aspect of the relationship. This
aspect is seriouse and significant, as Chazal tell us that a couple's
thoughts at this time can have a significant effect on the child that is

On shabbat, when one is automaticaly given a neshama yetera (extra
spirit) and a heightened sense of holiness, (and without going into male
and female aspects of the shabbat/Shechina/Beni Yisrael) it becomes all
the more appropriate to have marital relations with ones partner.

Interestingly enough, on Yom kippur, when one might have thought it
appropriate to engage in procreation - considering the heightend
spirituality of the day, one is stricktly forbidden to do so.  Apart
from being inappropriate behaviour for a day of awe and judgment, this
also fits in with the idea that on Yom Kippur we are not given a neshama
yetera, even if yom kippur falls on shabbat. Thus any spiritual sense is
due entirely to our own preparations and efforts. This being the case,
we can not rely on our (maintaining) a proper spiritual standard.

P.S. The word "Honey" in the verse "..land of milk and honey.." refers
to date honey. in other places the torah specifies Dvash Devorim (Bee's

/---Henry Valier.-------------------------------\  /-----\-------------\
|       <henryv@...>           |       (_(\---/ 
|       Bevis Marks Synagogue,                  |_         /---\    
|       tel:(171) 626 1274 fax:(171) 283 8825   | \--------\---/


From: Sherman Marcus <shermanm@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 22:12:28 +0200
Subject: Dying men's hair

	Could anyone direct me to modern discussions about whether men
are permitted to dye their hair?  A cursory glance at a Kitzur Shulchan
Aruch indicates that it is prohibited under the category of "A man
should not wear a woman's garment". The Yoreh Deah lists several actions
that are prohibited for the same reason, but at least for one of them --
removing hair from different parts of the body -- there is an opinion
that it would be permitted in a place where it is customary for men to
do so.  Since nowadays it appears quite common for men to color their
hair -- or at least so the advertisements for Grecian Formula xx would
have us believe -- is there any posek who permits it? If not, would it
be permitted to wear a toupee?

	To avoid any misconceptions, I have no intention of fooling
around with my white hair.

	Chag Urim Sameach.


From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 21:44:31 -0700
Subject: Re: Faith in Hashem - Refuah Shelemah

Regarding my post "Faith in Hashem - Refuah Shelemah": I am deeply
saddened to report that our Gabbai was niftar on Friday.  Recalling his
intense desire to be at shul every Shabbos, our Rav, in his hespid, said
"God brought Murray home for Shabbos."  It has been inspiring to watch
how Murray's faith touched so many in this community.  May the memory of
Moshe ben Shmuel Yitzchak HaLevi be for a blessing.

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona		
Tucson, AZ			


From: Janice Rosen <janicer@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 11:30:12 +0000
Subject: Re: Kashrut of Honey

As a sidebar to the (pro)creation argument, I have a comment regarding
Yeshaya Halevi's theory about the kashrut of honey:

> Maybe the answer to procreation on Shabbat is similar to the
> heter (dispensation) for eating honey.  After all, honey should be trayf
> (not kosher) because it comes from an insect.  However, since Israel is
> described in the Torah as "Eretz zavat halav u'dvash (a land flowing
> with milk and honey)" the rabbis concluded that honey is an exception.

- This seems suspect to me since, according to the Jewish Publication
Society commentary on the Chumash, honey was unknown in Biblical times,
and what is referred to in this pasuk is a form of date syrup used by
the early nomadic tribes of the region.  Perhaps honey is permissible
because it is sufficiently removed from its origins, such as gelatine in
relation to bones, according to some rabbis.  Or perhaps the early
rabbis were unaware of the process by which honey is created (this was
probably back in the days when maggots were thought to generate
spontaneously.)  Are there any groups who refuse to eat honey?

- Janice Rosen, Montreal


From: <webscape@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 12:30:36 +0200
Subject: Library for the Blind in Israel Chanukah Web Site

Chag Sameach,

During this period before the chag, Israeli children go from house to
house selling chanukah candles, the proceeds going to support institutes
of the blind.  The Central Library for the Blind is introducing this
tradition to the jewish internet community.

You are invited to visit the special Chanukah link of the Library for
the Blind in Israel web site at www.webtown.co.il/chanukah The site
features an interactive chanukiah and an on-line form to contribute to
the library, allowing each contributor to "light a candle" for the


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 10:07:49 -0500
Subject: Mazal Tov - Shmuel Yitzchak Goldish

Long time readers of mail-jewish will no doubt recall the wonderfully 
funny and heartwarming postings of Sam Goldish zt"l. (See, for example,
my personal all-time favorite posting by anyone, "Divine Providence in 
the Workplace," in v10n94.)  I just got back from the bris of his grandson
Shmuel Yitzchak Goldish, who was named after him. The father of the baby,
Dan Goldish, was very emotional in remarks he made during the meal,
recalling how his father had accomplished the difficult task of raising
an Orthodox family in Oklahoma. If you want to send a mazel tov to Dan,
his address is <goldish@...>

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Sam Saal <saal@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 13:48:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Prophet's name

I've been taking one of the many courses available over the web and one
from the World Zionist Organization raised an interesting point. Because
it has to do with my namesake, I thought I'd ask it here.

When Shmuel's mother gives bith to Shmuel she names him Shmuel because "I
asked the Lord for him." Shmuel aleph 1: 19-20. But wouldn't the more
natural translation (contraction?) have been to call the baby "Shaul"
rather than Shmuel? Wouldn't Shmuel be from Shama HaShem (G-d listened)?

Why this wording/question/name/outcome?

Sam Saal      <saal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Pea haAtone
(<saal@...> also works)


From: David Riceman <dr@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 09:43:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Public Prayer

  I recently moved, and so have not been able to investigate a Hagahoth
Maimonioth I recently encountered.  He cited his teacher, R. Meir of
Rottenburg, as attributing benefit to praying with the members of one's
local community, even in the absence of (a) a quorum and (b) a
synagogue.  He did not explain the Maharam's reasoning.
  Any suggestions?
  I have one myself, but I'm sufficiently unconvinced by it that I'd
like to hear alternatives.

David Riceman


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 19:06:16 -0800
Subject: Sforno vrs. Siporno

Yitzchak Kasdan wrote: <<
Does anyone know which pronunciation of the name of the commentary on
Chumash is correct -- Sforno or Siporno?  Also, what is the source for
each pronunciation? >>

I remember hearing from a Jew of Italian origin and minhag that the
latter pronunciation is correct.  The name comes from the name of a town
in Italy (which, I understand, exists to this day).

My guess is that the former pronunciation is simply a corruption by Jews
unaware of the correct pronunciation reading unvowelled texts.

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick
Rechasim, Israel


From: R Yehoshua <RYehoshua@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 20:18:21 EST
Subject: Re: Tachnun

Recently I was davenning as a shliach tzibbur on a weekday and it came
to tachnun I left the bimah to sit down to put my head on my bent arm.
Someone later approached me and told me that a Rav once told him that it
better to say tachnun at the bimah while bending over rather than leave
the bimah empty.  Has anyone heard of this stringency?  Is there a
source for it?


From: <eehrlich@...> (Ed Ehrlich)
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 12:26:33 +0200
Subject: Writing God's Name

I just came upon the following story by Judith Wegner:

>I learned recently from a colleague that the late revered scholar Rav
>Soloveitchik (z"l) of Boston once walked into a senior class at the
>Maimonides High School in Brookline, Mass., and deliberately and
>intentionally wrote GOD on the board while teaching the class, and then
>just as deliberately and intentionally erased it, because he wished to
>show the students by his own example that this was not halakhically a
>problem. While I do not have this story at first hand, I do not doubt
>its accuracy for a moment, since I have read responsa from other
>learned authorities to the same effect.

Can anyone verify this story?
Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>


End of Volume 27 Issue 37