Volume 27 Number 52
                      Produced: Tue Jan  6  5:18:04 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anesthetic Cream During a Bris
         [Rose Landowne]
Anesthetic cream for bris
         [Ozzie Orbach]
Chumra and Kula in Practice
         [Binyomin Segal]
Complete Hallel on Chanukah
         [Alfred Silberman]
Disposible Brit Mila Knife (2)
         [Steve Gindi, Moshe Goldberg]
Erasing the word G-d
         [Tzvi Roszler]
         [Steve White]
Orim or Orot
         [Michael Pitkowsky]
Rabbi Karo a Rishon? Further Questions
         [Russell Hendel]
Washing tzistzis
         [Norman Bander]
Yom Tov Sheini shel Galuyot
         [Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 23:39:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Anesthetic Cream During a Bris

>From: Ozzie Orbach <OOrbach560@...>
>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?

Rabbi Tendler had a letter in today's NY Times recommending a topical
Rose Landowne


From: Ozzie Orbach <OOrbach560@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 11:09:20 EST
Subject: Anesthetic cream for bris

Rabbi Moshe Tendler wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times
published on January 3, 1998(pA10) concerning this issue. I would like
to quote from his letter:

  "Re "Doctors Advocate Pain Relief for Circumcision"(Science 
Times, Dec 30):

Circumcisions performed by mohel, Jews authorized to perform the
procedure called bris, take about one minute, thus minimizing pain.  The
standard surgical procudure last more than 10 minutes.
     It is a biblical prohibition to cause anyone unnecessary pain.
Although the study in question recommends a series of injections into
the shaft of the penis, the pain from these injections may be equivalent
to the pain of circumcision.  A much safer and effective topical
analgesic, applied one hour before the procedure, exists.  Thirty
percent lidocaine in an acid mantle base is effective and should be used
even during ritual circumcision.
  Signed Rabbi Moshe Tendler Dec 31, 1997.

   Rabbi Tendler is refering to an article published in the New England
Journal of Medicine a few months ago which compared an analgesic cream
to placebo in terms of pain relief. The babies who received the
analgesic cream cried less on average. So while the cream may not be 100
effective in all babies, it can provide relief for many .  One person in
the New York Times article is quoted as stating that the foreskin is
generally anesthetic(pain free) and therefore there is no need for an
anesthetic. I would respectfully disagree with this statement.

            Ozzie Orbach


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 20:27:49 -0600
Subject: Chumra and Kula in Practice

Ben Waxman has an interesting tangent to our cruelty to animals discussion:
*A tangent: Compare his language regarding chalev yisrael and eating
*veal.  In both cases he says that a baal nephesh shouldn't eat them.
*However, he makes it perfectly clear that chalev akoom is permitted
*let'chatchila, while eating veal is to be discouraged.  How many people
*today are careful about which milk they drink, and how many are careful
*about eating free range veal only?

i believe that there is an important distinction between these two halachot.

in the case of chalav yisroel, rav moshe is changing the halachik status
quo with a leniency, in the case of veal he is changing it with a

before rav moshe's tshuva, one was obligated based on a rabbinic decree
to drink only milk supervised by a jew. rav moshe creates a leniency
where we can essentialy give milk supervised by the government the
status of supervised by a jew. a leniency.

in regard to veal though, the status quo was the reverse. though
certainly one was responsible not to raise veal of this sort, there is -
according to rav moshe no previous halachik obligation not to eat veal
raised in this manner. rav moshe is suggesting - a stringency.

i think based on this logic it makes quite good sense to say i will not
rely on the leniency rav moshe suggested, and i will also not require
myself to follow his stringency. in fact in a certain sense, it is
specifically those who rely on rav moshe as their "rabbi" to permit
regular milk that have a greater obligation to consider his stringencies
re veal.

just a thought.



From: <alsilberman@...> (Alfred Silberman)
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 08:14:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Complete Hallel on Chanukah

In MJ V27n46  Mayer Danziger <danziger@...> wrote:
> One of the reasons we do not recite the entire hallel during the latter
> part of Pesach is due to the drowning of the Egyptians during the
> splitting of the sea on the seventh day of Pesach. God says "my creatures
> are lying dead and you (the Jews) are singing praise?".  When the
> Hasmoneans re-took the Temple on Chanukah, there obviously were many
> Assyrians killed. Why then, on Chanukah do we recite whole Hallel and not
> show the same concern for the dead Assyrians?

I have seen replies by Yussie Englander and Isaac Zlochower in MJ V27n50
and Jeff Fischer in MJ V27n51. I would only like to add sources to some
of their comments.

Re: the quotation mentioned - God says "my creatures are lying dead and
you (the Jews) are singing praise?". This statement as quoted appears
nowhere in Shas. The statement that does appear in Megillah 10b refers
to the angels only, as Mr Englander states, and evidenced by the fact
that Moshe and the Jews did say "Shirah al ha-yam" (the song Az
Yashir). The statement about why no hallel is said past the first day of
Pesach is mentioned by Yitzchok Zlochower (except that he uses the term
- not completing hallel) and comes from Meseches Erachin 10a and has to
do with each day's uniqueness in sacrifices. BTW - the half hallel that
we say today is a strange creature and is fully discussed by Tosfos in
Berachos 14a.

There is a Maharsha in Berachos 9b who comments on the statement of the
Gemara that King David sang praises when he saw the destruction of
evildoers. He says, " From here one can see a difficulty with what some
Achronim wrote in the name of a Midrash that we do not say Hallel on the
last day of Pesach because of G-d's statement .... since we see here
that King David did not say Hallel until he saw the destruction of
evil. Also the Gemara in Erachin gives a different reason ...".


From: Steve Gindi <steve@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 10:05:05 +0200
Subject: Re: Disposible Brit Mila Knife

From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Subject: Disposible Brit Mila Knife
> viruses, such as AIDS or hepatitis.  The justification for cold
> sterilization is that hot sterilization may dull the knife and takes too
> much time.

I, personally, always sterilize all used my utensils in boiling
water. My brother who is an MD told me what to do and my wife who is a
dental assistant does this for me similar to how she handles the dental

Dulling the knife is no excuse as a Mohel should be able to sharpen
them. For me this was not an issue as I learned knife sharpening in a
shechita course a couple of years earlier.

Steve Gindi - http://www.milknhoney.co.il
PO Box 291 - Jerusalem, Israel

From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 15:58:23 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Disposible Brit Mila Knife

Bob Werman wrote in v27n49 about the use of a disposable knife for a brit.
The following article appeared recently in Shabbat-B'Shabbato (published
by Zomet Institute). For more details, the original reference can be
consulted, in Techumin.

Moshe Goldberg

Shabbat-B'Shabbato - Parshat Lech Lecha
        No 673: 8 Cheshvan 5758 (8 November 1998)

TORAH AND MEDICINE: Disposable Knives for Circumcision

by Rabbi Uri Dasberg

Those of our readers with a long enough memory will remember the small white 
container in clinics and hospitals which were used to sterilize needles and 
other medical instruments. Such sterilizers have been made obsolete by use 
of disposable instruments, both in local clinics and in operating rooms. It 
has been suggested that the knife used for a Brit Mila should also be 
disposable. The blade would of course still be made from metal, but it would 
be held in a plastic holder, and each circumcision could be performed with a 
new knife. 

It goes without saying that there can be no compromise of the efficiency or 
the stability of the knife. There is also no intention of casting aspersions 
on the old style of double-edged blade which has been used traditionally. 
However, there is no doubt that the use of a disposable knife will lead to 
better hygiene, since it does away with the need for sterilization. Are 
there also halachic advantages to using such a disposable knife?

It turns out that there are. According to "A Comparison of the Customs in 
Babylon and in Eretz Yisrael," the custom of Babylon is to use a "ta'ar" 
[razor], while it is customary in Eretz Yisrael to use a "sakin" [knife]. It 
is not clear exactly what these words mean. However, it is possible that 
placing a modern disposable razor blade in a plastic holder may satisfy both 
of the above customs. In addition, it is customary for the Mohel to transfer 
ownership of the knife to the father, who then appoints the Mohel to perform 
the ritual with his own knife. While there is no doubt that the typical 
Mohel knows to make such a transfer, it is simpler if the father actually 
buys his own disposable knife. 

Another custom which is easier to observe with a disposable knife is that of 
placing the blade of the Mila under the child's pillow the night before the 
ceremony. This custom is described in the "Likutei Maharich." This would be 
difficult if there is only one knife which must be used for several 
circumcisions in a single day, but use of a disposable knife can solve this 

Another halachic advantage is related to the laws of "muktze" [not handling 
weekday objects] on Shabbat. Since a knife set aside for Mila is expensive, 
it has the status of being muktze. Thus, there may be halachic problems in 
transferring the knife between the Mohel and the father and in putting the 
knife away after the end of the ceremony (when it is permitted to remove it 
only because it might be dangerous to young children). A disposable knife is 
not muktze and solves these problems.

Reference: "Techumin," volume 11, page 295


From: Tzvi Roszler <TzviR@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 02:27:27 EST
Subject: Erasing the word G-d

R. Dovid Tzvi Hoffman in his sefer "melamed lehoil chlek alef" simon 113
pemits the burning of a letter that has the word B"H even if it is
written in Loshon Hakodesh [Hebrew - Mod.]. His reasoning is that our
writing does not have the "DIN" [Law/Status -Mod.] of "KSAV" of
writing. Any comments? Perhaps this may have been the reasoning of the
Rav for permiting the erasure of the word G-D.

Tzvi <Roszler@...>


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 19:02:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Kaddish

In #8, our distinguished moderator writes:

> I believe that the generally accepted opinion among the poskim is that
>  only the kaddish following Alenu is considered a part of the Tefilah
>  (Prayer) itself, and should be said in the absence of a mourner.
>  Avi Feldblum

I believe that this is correct with respect to the version of Kaddish we
call "Kaddish Yatom" ("Mourner's Kaddish").  However, I believe that the
version of Kaddish we call "Kaddish d'Rabbanan" ("Scholars' Kaddish") is
connected to the learning that precedes it, and is to be recited whether
or not a mourner is present.

Steven White


From: Michael Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Sat,  3 Jan 98 23:22:35 PST
Subject: Orim or Orot

Regarding _orim_ and _orot_, according to Ben-Yehudah's dictionary they
might both be valid since he brings two forms of the word for light.
The first is _or_, pl. _orim_, and the second is _orah_, pl. _orot_.  An
example of the second form, _orah_ is Psalms 139:12, but see the verse
before where the form _or_ is used.

Name: Michael Pitkowsky
E-mail: <pitab@...>


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 1998 13:03:58 -0500
Subject: Rabbi Karo a Rishon? Further Questions

I believe that Rabbi Karo "received" "Smichah" from a "group of Rabbis"
so that according to some opinions he had "Mosaic Smicah".

I have two questions

* What exactly did he receive and by whom

* Could his received Smichah contribute to his being considered
a Rishon (This would supplement Mechy's question)

Russell Jay Hendel Phd ASA Rhendel @ Mcs Drexel edu


From: Norman Bander <Nbander@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 1998 13:26:17 EST
Subject: Washing tzistzis

This may be an inappropriate question for this forum but I don't know
where else to ask: what's the best way to clean tzitzis?  How can you
wash them w/o their becoming unknotted or overly tangled?  Are there any
halachic considerationsd I need to know?


From: Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 11:28:05 -0800
Subject: Yom Tov Sheini shel Galuyot

A friend of mine just returned from a Sabbatical in the States and
indicated that it is very common for Israelis to go to work and do
Melachah even befarhesyah, in public, on Yom Tov Sheni shel Galuyot -
contrary to the Psak of the Shakh (who forbids melakhah even "behadrei
Hadarim", in private) and the Taz (who only permits melakhah in private)
- see "Shmirat Shabbat Kehilkhata" and "Yom Tov Sheini".  I had always
assumed that it was based on "an oral Tradition of Amaratzut", but he
indicated that local US rabbi intimated from the Bimah that Israelis
could do Melakha. Is any one aware of any clear referenced pesakim by
reliable sources to that effect?


End of Volume 27 Issue 52