Volume 27 Number 47
                      Produced: Thu Jan  1  8:55:36 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anesthetic Cream During a Bris
         [Ozzie Orbach]
Book about Shabbat for a child
         [Louise Miller]
Grecian Formula
         [Norman Guzick]
Information Sheets given out at Weddings
         [Rachel Mechanic]
Mazal Tov
         [Hillel E. Markowitz]
Megilos on Parchment
         [Hyman L. Schaffer]
Morid Ha-G?shem
         [A.M. Goldstein]
Morid Hageshem
         [Mordecai Lipschitz]
New web site on Jews in the FSU
         [Jason Silberberg]
Pidyon Shvvuim and the Criminal Justice System
         [Saul Newman]
         [Zvi Goldberg]
Synagogue on top of the town
         [Shlomo Godick]
Tea and Oatmeal on Shabbat
         [Chaim Mateh]
Wigs etc.
         [Menashe Elyashiv]


From: Ozzie Orbach <OOrbach560@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 21:05:10 EST
Subject: Anesthetic Cream During a Bris

Does anyone out there know of any halachic objection to puting on an
anesthetic cream on the foreskin of a baby in order to prevent pain
during a bris?
                                               Ozzie Orbach


From: <daniel@...> (Louise Miller)
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 20:59:44 -0800
Subject: Book about Shabbat for a child

  I received some very nice suggestions about books for my son.  But I
am also receiving a flood of e-mail discussing whether or not magnetic
letters, Scrabble, oatmeal and tea are permissable on Shabbat.
  While I appreciate that everyone took the time to write, the examples
I gave were merely examples, and not the gist of the discussion.

  It was suggested to me that I try Rabbi Greenwald's books in the
series "Illustrations of Jewish Law."  I also received a letter
suggesting that I try Rabbi Chait's book with a lot of explanation and

  Thanks again!
  Louise Miller
  La Jolla, CA


From: Norman Guzick <NGUZICK@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 23:13:12 EST
Subject: Re:  Grecian Formula

Although this has little, if any,relationship to questions of Jewish law
I thought it important to respectfully correct two mistakes in Steve
White's posting on Grecian Formula.
 He said:
  "Specifically with respect to Grecian Formula, I don't think it's a
dye at all; as I recall, it removes the white coloring from the white
hair, leaving the remaining natural color from hair that hasn't turned
white.  If that's correct, the halachic question would be different from

Grecian Formula IS a dye, based on lead. When the lead chemical is
absorbed into the hair shaft it oxidizes to produce microscopic
particles of metallic lead imparting a dark color to the hair shaft. In
addition it does not "remove white coloring from the white hair". Hair
protein in and of itself is white.  An albino who produces no pigment (
such as melanin) in his skin or hair has white (thus, colorless)
hair. Normal, young, individuals produce pigment that impart color,
black, brown, yellow, red--whatever-- to the hair. As the individual
ages the pigment production diminishes and hairs are produced lacking
color thus appearing "white."
 So Grecian Formula is indeed a dye, albeit a different one than the
dyes used on women's hair, which are based on non-metallic materials.
 Norman Guzick, M.D. (dermatologist)


From: Rachel Mechanic <happyduck@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 20:48:36 -0800
Subject: Information Sheets given out at Weddings

I am getting married in a few months and remember a posting about a year
back discussing the information sheets given out at weddings.  Does
anyone have a good one that is not to long.  I posted one but have since
lost it.  I can't recall what issue or volume it was in and as such am
having trouble finding it in the archives.  Any help would be greatly
appreciated.  Thank you,
Rachel Mechanic


From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 00:41:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mazal Tov

Mazal Tov to my son Binyamin Markowitz (<benjym@...>) and his Kallah,
Chavi Greengart of Silver Spring, MD.  May they come the the chupah
besha'ah tova and be zoche to build a bayis ne'eman beYisrael.

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


From: Hyman L. Schaffer <HLSesq@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 23:07:39 EST
Subject: Megilos on Parchment

In defense of the custom of my friends at the Young Israel of Stamford,
I would make the following observation: As to making a bracha on
megillos of klaf, the Ramo actually says that "the people's custom is
not to make a bracha." It is the Taz who says that one who makes such a
bracha is a mvorach l'vatolo. However, Mishna Brura 490:9:19 cites Magen
Avraham as agreeing with those poskim who require a bracha on all
megilos except Koheles, and cites the Gra as opining that a bracha
should be made even on Koheles. MB concludes that one therefore should
not prevent someone from making a bracha on megilos written on
parchment. If one looks at the Taz it appears that the Taz is claiming
that because megilos other than Esther are generally not written on
parchment, one who makes a bracha on them (i.e., those printed in the
chumash) is making a bracha lvatala. This interpretation appears to be
borne out by Ateres Zkainim, who says that one should not make a bracha
on Shir Hashirim unless written on parchment, as well as by Magen
Avraham, who quotes the responsum of Ramo on the issue. Ramo brings down
those who permit the bracha and himself concludes that a bracha is
appropriate only on Eicha, and that those who permit a bracha on any
megila do so only if it is written on parchment. Magen Avraham, by
contrast, cites those who endorse a bracha on all megilos except for
Koheles (because it was almost suppressed by Chazal), and concludes that
such is the preferred view.  I believe that Magen Avraham's reference to
making a bracha on "all of them" refers to all megilos written on
parchment (except Koheles).


From: A.M. Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 16:03:01 +0200
Subject: Morid Ha-G?shem

The difference between "geshem" (with a segol) and gashem (with a kametz)
depends on whether you or your nusach considers the word to be in the midst
of a list of attributes, with a theoretical comma after it, or at the end of
a sentence, and with a theoretical period after it.  In the latter case,
it's gashem (with the kammetz), a noun form at the end of a sentence that
appears in the Torah, if I'm not mistaken, and has nothing to do with
maskilim emendations.  Nusach Ashkenaz accepts the latter, and nusach
Sephard the former (with the double segol).  That's what I learned. 

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, FOCUS -  University of Haifa
Tel.:972-4-8240104	Fax: 972-4-8342104


From: Mordecai Lipschitz <mordyl@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 1997 16:18:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Morid Hageshem

[The pronunciation of] morid hageshem with two segol's would appear to
me that this is said as an attribute of hashem, similar to the next
attribute, where we all say "...... b'chesed" two segol's and no
komatz. Hageshem is not the end of a posuk, or et'nachta where a komatz
is substituted.


From: Jason Silberberg <jsilb@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 11:26:31 -0500
Subject: New web site on Jews in the FSU

Dear Friends,

I would like to attract your attention to a website that we at UCSJ are
launching, http://www.fsumonitor.com.  This site
will present news and analysis of issues affecting Jews in Russia and the
former Soviet Union (FSU), including antisemitism, emigration, and human
rights.  Much of the information presented on the page comes from our
contacts throughout the FSU and is not available anywhere else.  It also
features a bulletin board where we can discuss these important issues in
an open forum.  Furthermore, you can link to our Yad L'Yad assistance
program page or sign onto one of our action alerts; currently, we are
trying to help the Jews of Tbilisi Georgia get their synagogue back for
the first time since the 1920s.

I look forward to exchanging ideas with all of you in the near-future.  

Shalom v'Shanah Tovah,

Jason B. Silberberg


From: Saul Newman <Saul.Z.Newman@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 09:38:16 -0800
Subject: Pidyon Shvvuim and the Criminal Justice System

What are the parameters today of the mitzva of pidyon shevuyim
(redeeming the ransomed)?  In the time of pirates/evil governments
Jews were held as a good source of ransom, and Jews the world over
redeemed their brethren.  How does the mitzva apply today in the case of
people who may have committed fraud, for example, and face prison if
the money isn't replaced?  My assumption is that aiding Jewish criminals
may fall under the general chesed commandment, but that they are not
considered ransomed, since their own breaking the law put them in their
situation?  Does anyone know of cases where the rabbinic authorities
recommended not helping (e.g. so as not to burden their community with
the debts of their law breakers).  Thank you for your help.


From: <zg@...> (Zvi Goldberg)
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 00:08:48 -0500
Subject: Shmuel\Shaul

	Someone (I believe Mr. Saal) asked several issues ago why Shmuel
HaNavi was named by his mother Chana "Shmuel" and not "Shaul" because
she in fact said "for I have asked (Shaul=shaila=request) him of
	R' Dovid Kimchi, the Radak, says in the name Shmuel there is
contained "shaul miKail" - requested from G-d.
	R' Moshe Sofer, the Chasam Sofer, in his Tshuvos (Responsa)
explains that actually Chana should have named her son Shaul. However,
Shaul was the name of an Edomite king (Breishis 36:37-38). Shaul was
also one of the names of Zimri ben Salu (the Nasi of the tribe of Shimon
whom Pinchas killed), according to the Gemara (Sanhedrin 82a). In line
with "the name of the wicked shall rot", Chana did not wish to name her
son Shaul. Why she added a "mem" has already been explained.
	(I have been unable to locate exactly where this tshuva is -- I
heard this on a shiur on Sefer Shmuel Aleph. Any help will be greatly
	I assume the obvious question now is why did Shaul Hamelech's
parents name him Shaul, but I don't have any answers.


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 17:16:09 -0800
Subject: Synagogue on top of the town

><millerr@...> (Reuven Miller) wrote:
>We learned in todays daf-yomi (shabbat 11) that a shul has to be built
>higher than any other dwelling in town. This is brought down as a
>halacha in shulchan aruch (I don't have the exact citation in front of
>me- but it is cited unequivically as a halacha in orech chayim).  What
>is the heter today to build shuls that are not at the highest point of
>the town or even the neighborhood or the street?

Rav Chezi Mishkovski in his daf yomi shiur in Bnei Brak related to this
question indirectly.  He said that Rav Aryeh Leib Shteinman (one of the
gedolei torah living in Bnei Brak - many regard him as the successor to
Rav Shach shlit"a now that Rav Shach has retired from most public
activities) directed the founders of Elad Mazor (a new haredi community
near Petach Tikva) to build the main shul on the highest point in town.
The Rav implied that the failure to this in Kiryat Sefer (a failure
which is to be rectified in the near future) could be a contributing
factor to the problems with lack of achdus in that town.  (It was also
pointed out in the shiur that the Ponevezh Yeshiva and the Vishnitz
synagogue complex occupy the two highest points in the town of Bnei

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 23:03:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Tea and Oatmeal on Shabbat

Regarding what Louise Miller (Daniel Levine's mommy) wrote:

<< or why he can have tea but not oatmeal.>>

This too would appear to be permitted IF we're talking about the instant
oatmeal that is made by adding hot water to the oatmeal powder.  If the
hot water is put in the bowl first (making it a kli sheni - secondary
utensil) and then the oatmeal is added to the water, it's permitted.
OTOH, if it's the type of oatmeal that needs cooking, then of course
it's not permitted.  Also, it's not so simple that tea is permitted, IF
we're talking about tea leaves, which is kalei habishul (very easily
cooked) and many poskim hold that even in a kli shlishi (and rivi'i?)
it's not allowed.  Instant tea is permitted if the water is put in the
glass first and the instant tea is added to the water.

Kol Tuv,


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 10:53:36 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Wigs etc.

 R. O. Yosef's answer about a wig is not for men! He wrote about women
wearing them in bediavad cases like a widow looking for a shidduch etc.
He is otherwise flat againist the wig.
 Meggilot - the GRA's source for a bracha is Meschet Sofrim. Altho
Kohelet is not in the text, the Gra adds it. The problem is that MS has
many minhagim that are not done. In the same place that the beracha for
reading Megillot there is a beracha for reading Ketuvim. This should
explain why most Askenazim do not say a bracha. Sefaradim do not read
the 3 meggilot on Yom Tov.
 Hageshem - That is how Sefaradim say it because it is not the end or
even the middle of a sentence.
 Hagefen - That is how most Sefaradim say.
 Kaddish - If the Shaliah Sibbur changes who gets the Kaddish Titkabal?
Our LOR says either one because the Kaddish doesn't "belong" to the
SHaliah Sibbur but to the Sibbur. So either one could say it. However,
if the 2nd one says it then the 1st one shold make 3 steps back when he
finishes the Hazara.


End of Volume 27 Issue 47