Volume 27 Number 41
                      Produced: Thu Dec 25 21:44:53 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Book recommendation
         [Daniel Levine]
Gerut Lchumra
         [Tzvi Harris]
Honey -- Again
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Kashrut of Honey (3)
         [Josh Backon, David Charlap, Hillel E. Markowitz]
Name of Hashem in Local Language
         [Perry Zamek]
Prayer Direction in Shiloh
         [Yisrael Medad]
Tachanun and honey
         [Steven M Oppenheimer]
Variations in Kaddish
         [Yehoshua Berkowitz]
Writing "God"
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky]
Writing God's name
         [Bob Kurtzman]


From: <daniel@...> (Daniel Levine)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 17:19:44 -0800
Subject: Book recommendation

My 4 year old son is trying to figure out rules and reasons for what
he's not permitted to do on Shabbat.  The more I try to explain it, the
worse it gets.  I'd really like to find a book similar to Rabbi Baruch
Chait's 39 Avot Melachas, but geared for younger kids.  (Like on the
level of the Artscroll's Moshe's Adventures in Brachaland.)

I'm at a loss to explain why magnetic letters are like writing, or why
he can have tea but not oatmeal.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.  If anyone on the list knows
Rabbi Chait, please tell him that the book is wonderful, and that
there's a whole untapped audience of pre-school kids who could use a
simplified version.

Louise Miller 
La Jolla, CA
(Daniel and Jonathan Levine's mommy)


From: Tzvi Harris <ltharris@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 13:29:04 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Gerut Lchumra

Seth Mayer asked about gerut lchumra:

        Tevila and gerut by Jews who converted is generally referred to
as kabalat chaverut.  The Rama Y"D 268:12 writes that there is no Torah
requirement for a mumar to tovel, but midrabanan (Rabbinical law) a
mumar should tovel, and accept "chaverut" before a bet din of 3.  The
Gr"a brings a source for this from Avot DRabi Natan.
 Minchat Yitzchak 4:100 however quotes the Radbaz who differentiates
between the person who decided to become a mumar and (anusim) forced
converts who returned to Judaism at first opportunity.  According to
this, and other sources the Minchat Yitzchak brings, children of
converts and anusim are not required to undergo kabalat chaverut, being
that they never decided to become Christians, (or act like Christians).
(The other source he quotes for this is Rashba"sh #89).
 Interestingly though, at the end of his tshuva Rav Weiss zt"l (author
of the Minchat Yitzchak) writes that the woman in question, (who was
brought up until age 5 as a Christian in order to save her during the
Holocaust, and was informed of this as an adult), should have in mind
that her tevila is also to cleanse her neshama from Christianity, the
next time she goes to mikveh.

Tzvi Harris


From: Yeshaya Halevi <CHIHAL@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 16:57:12 EST
Subject: Honey -- Again

Shalom, All:
	Janice Rosen writes: <<As a sidebar to the (pro)creation
argument, I have a comment regarding Yeshaya Halevi's theory about the
kashrut of honey:>>
	I (Halevi) had said <<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.>>
	Janice replied, <<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.>>
	Yow!  Major time out.  With all due respect to the mega-powerful
date syrup conglomerate, I am compelled to counter.
	Firstly, I must totally disagree with the claim that bee honey
was unknown in Biblical times.  From all the schoarly and popular info
I've seen elsewhere, bee honey was almost universally known since
_very_ancient times.
	Secondly, check out D'vareem (Deuteronomy) 32:13, where it
mentions honey in craggy rocks.  You don't find date trees growing in
rock crags, but you do find beehives. Also, the commentary by Rabbi
Hertz in the Soncino Humash speaks about honey culture in ancient
	Thirdly, remember the episode of Sheemshon (Samson) and the
honey in Shofteem (Judges) 14:5-10.  In the short time he was gone, bees
had made a home in the carcass of the lion he killed and produced honey,
which our hero then ate.  So obviously, even in the time of the Tanach,
Jews knew about and ate bee honey.
	Don't like my brand of scholarship?  Then consider something I
just found in the Encyclopedia of Judaism: <<In Leviticus (11:21-22),
the Bible permits four types of locusts (although these are prohibited
by rabbinic law because of the difficulty of identification). Otherwise,
every sort of insect, arthropod, and worm (as well as all reptiles) is
forbidden. A general rule of the dietary laws is that any product of a
forbidden animal is forbidden (thus the prohibition of the eggs of
forbidden birds and fish and the milk of forbidden mammals); the one
exception is honey, for which the Talmud elicits special proof of
permissibility (Bekh. 7). >>
     Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Tue,  23 Dec 97 11:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Kashrut of Honey

The ARUCH HASHULCHAN (Yoreh Deah Siman 81:12) explains the reason for
permissibility of bee honey as NOTEN TAAM LIFGAM. He does, however,
quote the PRI CHADASH on the custom of *not* eating unstrained honey
because of the possibility of admixture of bee parts in the honey.

Josh Backon

From: David Charlap <david@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 11:01:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Kashrut of Honey

Janice Rosen <janicer@...> writes:
> 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 there is a difference between an animal and that which comes
from the animal.  Some examples include:

- A cow is meat, but it produces milk
- Chickens are meat, but their eggs are pareve

So perhaps, even though bees are not kosher, there is no problem with
the honey (or the wax, for that matter) that they produce.

On a related question, if a cow is injured (and later recovers) such
that it would not be kosher, is its milk still considered kosher?  I
would assume it is, based on the (somewhat roundabout) logic that many
rabbis permit USDA-supervised milk, and the USDA would permit milk from
such an animal.

Gelatine is different.  Gelatine is not produced by an animal.  It is
produced by people from animal parts.  This should place it in a
different category from honey, milk, and eggs and other animal-produced

David Charlap        | The content of this message is not the opinion
<david@...>      | of Visix Software, nor of anyone besides myself
Visix Software, Inc.

From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 15:33:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Kashrut of Honey

On Tue, 23 Dec 1997, Janice Rosen wrote: 
> - 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

See the Encyclopedia Talmudis discussion on "Dvash" which points out
that the chachamim did indeed know of all three types of dvash.

1. Date honey - or fruit syrup
2. Cane syrup (which Encyclopedia Talmudis says is what Yehonasan ate)
3. Bee honey.

The Encyclopedia also quotes the gemora which differentiates bee honey
from milk and explains why milk of a nonkosher animale is not kosher
while bee honey is kosher (milk is like "dam" an excretion of the
animal, honey is fruit syrup processed and modified in the bees
"stomach" but not generated by the bee).

|  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|   <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 18:30:13 +0200
Subject: Name of Hashem in Local Language

Futher to the comments of David Zinberg <zinberg@...> in v27n39:

You mean, "H-shem" isn't a required spelling? ;-) (Yes, I've seen it in

I have also seen "A-mighty" -- I always laugh at that: to say that God
is *not* mighty, with a capital "NOT". (cf. apolitical)

Let's all have an enlightening Chanukah.

Perry Zamek   | A Jew should hold his head high. 
Peretz ben    | "Even in poverty a Hebrew is a prince... 
Avraham       |       Crowned with David's Crown" -- Jabotinsky


From: <isrmedia@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 97 18:31:23 PST
Subject: RE: Prayer Direction in Shiloh

Re 27:38 and Yeshaya Halevi's query about prayer direction in Shiloh -
 a) Since the Temple was not yet contructed, south was meanignless I
 b) Succot 51B relates that the custom was to turn from the East ( where
the sun rose and where our forefathers [prior to Avraham] faced [for
pagan worship] where as we face West [where the Shechina is];
 c) As I relate in my recent OU Jewish Action article on Shiloh, the
likely location for the Tabernacle was to the north of the Tel which had
a courtyard 50 cubits wide (25 meters) which fits the measurements of
the Mishkan exactly.  The courtyard ran on a direct east-west axis.
 Yisrael Medad


From: <oppy2@...> (Steven M Oppenheimer)
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 23:52:22 -0500
Subject: Tachanun and honey

Regarding the shaliach tzibbur sitting down for tachanun or standing,
bending over the amud, there are different opinions.  It seems from
Rambam (Hilchot Tefilah 9:5) that even the shaliach tzibbur should sit.
See also Rivash (siman 412).  Aruch HaShulchan (131:5), however, writes
that even though we hold like the mechaber and sit for tachanun, the
shaliach tzibbur should not sit, but should bend to the side while
standing at the amud.   See the sefer, Chayai Moshe, vol. 1, page 427 for
this discussion.

As far as the kashrut question regarding honey (from bees), there are a
number of considerations.  Honey should not be kosher because we learn
Kol hayotzai min hatomai - tomai (all that comes from an unclean animal
is unclean).  In addition, it may be considered "ever min hachai."  The
Rabbis did permit bee honey because they said it is not part of the
essence of their bodies.  It is formed by gathering it from the
vegetation and regurgitating it into the hive so that they would have
something to eat during the rainy season (see T.B. Bechorot 7b, and
Rambam Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 3:3).  See Yoreh De'ah 81:8, where the
mechaber writes that bee honey is permitted even though parts of the bee
may be mixed in with the honey since this is notain ta'am lifgam (the
imparted flavor gives an unpleasant taste).  See Torah La'Da'at, Parshat
Shemot, for a discussion of this topic.

How about writing the name G-d and spelling it out completely?  It was
mentioned in the name of Rav Soloveitchik, z"l that he would purposely
erase the word  after writing it on the blackboard.  In the sefer Nefesh
HaRav ( pp. 160-1), Rav Schachter, shlit"a brings the following:
It was the custom of the Rav's father, Rav Moshe to remove the money from
his pockets before going to the bathroom since the word G-d appears on
the money.  This conforms to the chumra ( strict view) of the geonim who
consider the names used by the gentiles for G-d are to be considered
"shemot" (holy names).  Since it says "in G-d we trust", it would be a
denigration to enter the bathroom with the money.  The Rav, however, did
not accept the chumrah of the geonim.  The Rav would say that people who
write G-d (with a dash) display blatant am'ha'ratzus (ignorance).  In
Responsa Achiezer (vol 3 siman 32) however, it is written that it is
proper to observe the chumrah of the Geonim and write G-d with a dash.

I hope this has been helpful.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.D.S.


From: Yehoshua Berkowitz <RYehoshua@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 17:22:39 EST
Subject: Re: Variations in Kaddish

Due to the untimely passing of my father, Reb Menachem Berkowitz a"h, I
have noticed for the first time that in the kaddish drabanan the Art
Scroll Siddur adds the word tovim between v'chaim and aleinu v'al kol
Israel. The Art Scroll siddur also adds the word berachamav after hu
yaseh shalom.  Can someone suggest why is there a difference in the text
from the regular kaddish and a source for it.  Thanks.  Yehoshua


From: Kenneth H. Ryesky <KHRESQ@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 16:16:50 EST
Subject: Writing "God"

If one were not permitted to write "God" in English (or languages other
than Hebrew), then we'd have an awful problem with people named
G-ttlieb, G-ttfried, Grussg-tt, G-ttesman, or, for that matter,
Th-odore.  Not only writing the name, but pronouncing it as well.

Moreover, the now popular name "Tiffany" is derived from the greek
"theophany", the manifestation of God.  Must the name be written

Like the Kohen Gadol's wife, if such is so, then there is no end to it all.

Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.
P.O. Box 926
East Northport, NY  11731


From: Bob Kurtzman <kurtzman@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 06:17:21 +0200
Subject: Writing God's name

I was studying at Yeshiva University from 1946 to 1956. I recall hearing
the story about Harav Soloveitchik (z"l) intentionally writing GOD on
the board while teaching a class and then just as deliberately and
intentionally erasing it. If my memory is correct this happened at
YU. It is possible that he did the same thing at Maimonides High School
in Brookline, Mass. There is an end of the two stories. In Ed Ehrlich's
version Harav Soloveitchik "wished to show the students by his own
examplethat this was not a halakhically a problem".

In the story I heard while erasing the word GOD Harav said "That is not
GOD's name."

Bob Kurtzman  


End of Volume 27 Issue 41