Volume 27 Number 56
                      Produced: Thu Apr 30  6:36:15 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Miyim Acharonim -- After waters
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Origin of Naming after others, and Jewish names
         [Avi Rabinowitz ]
Sermon on Shabbat before Musaf
         [Israel Pickholtz]
Some LAMDUS: BUSINESS vs MARRIAGE: Getting along vs Growth
         [Russell Hendel]
         [Rabbi Bulka]
the Internal Logic of Yeridas Hadoros
         [Avi Rabinowitz ]
Umbrellas on Shabbos
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Using Umbrellas on Shabbes
         [Simone Shapiro]
What's it like to Major in Jewish/Religious Studies?
         [Laurence Shatkin]
Who Makes Halacha---Authority vs Breadth Of Knowledge
         [Russell Hendel]


From: <rebbeb@...> (Aryeh Blaut)
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 02:09:58 -0700
Subject: Miyim Acharonim -- After waters

I have been asked the following question:

Are women obligated to do miyim acharonim?
(It would seem by the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brura that they are).

If so, why don't women wash at the table with that little cup that goes
around?  Why is it the practice to go into the kitchen to do it?  (I once
heard that it was modesty -- I'd like to know the source).

Citing sources would be appreciated.


Aryeh Blaut


From: Avi Rabinowitz  <avirab@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 03:38:58 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Origin of Naming after others, and Jewish names

In chumash one generally does not find people named after earlier
relatives or gedolim. So is true in nach. When did this begin and why?
	Also in Talmud mostly. Of course there are R Yitschak etc, and the
Gamliel dynasty etc. However as a rule the names seem to be original.
	Also names are not always Jewish. Avraham is a Judaization of
local Avram perhaps, same for many of the avos and imahot, and the name
Moshe. And the names of tanaim and amoraim etc.
	R. Yishmael is a brave choice - the gemara says he did teshuva,
but who else is called by that name?!
	Yiddish names after animals and other names are often local and
original - and if not are translations or equivalents. Would this practise
be as acceptable in yeshivish circles nowadays?
	The characters in Tanach created the history we live, and set the
patterns for us and are the avot in ma asey avot siman lebanim etc. and so
it makes sense that they originated names rather than copying, whereas we
copy. But was this a conscious decision - by whom, and where was the
break, and is there a halacha  or halacha -like minhag involved? (e.g. Lo
shinu as leshonam in mizrayim, people wearing E European - central Asian
dress today as lo shinu malbusham.)


From: Israel Pickholtz <p2o5rock@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 09:37:49 +0000
Subject: Sermon on Shabbat before Musaf

Welcome back.

Why is it that whenever the rabbi speaks on Shabbat before Musaf, he 
does so before kaddish, while in many shuls on Rosh Hodesh people 
are particular to take off their tefillin AFTER kaddish? (tho in my 
elementary school minyan they did so before kaddish)

Israel Pickholtz


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Subject: Some LAMDUS: BUSINESS vs MARRIAGE: Getting along vs Growth

Just a minor point (stated in Talmudic form) on the discussion of the
couple where one is more religious than the other. We must distinguish
between a BUSINESS relationship and a MARRIAGE relationship.

In A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP: We try and get along with people who may
have totally different life styles and beliefs than us. In a MARRIAGE
RELATIONSHIP (by contrast) we try and grow..that is, we try and
encourage each other to develop our hidden resources that we are
embarrassed to show in less intimate relationships.

As an example: I *WOULD BE* hesitant to e.g. volunteer to do something
that I have not done in the past and am not good at if I am in the
business world So e.g. if I never made a web site I wouldn't volunteer
to do it for the business I would be afraid of failure.

BUT..in a marriage I *WOULD* try and volunteer for those things that I
have not done and my spouse WOULD encourage me. If the school or shule
needed a web site (and I had wanted to learn but didn't think I could
pull thru) then my spouse WOULD encourage me (and I might succeed)

There is also a common denominator between businesses and
marriages...the people involved are usually GOOD people...there is
nothing wrong with my business associates not encouraging me in areas
where I am weak.

So..to get back to the marriage with different observance levels...they
might both be good people..but their marriage COULDN'T be good...they
cannot encourage each other on the the most basic things in life (and
this is what marriage is all about). EVEN if they don't fight their
children will not have adequate role models and will grow up stunted
(without the atmosphere of freedom seen in children of healthy

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Mcs Drexel edu


From: Rabbi Bulka <rbulka@...>
Subject: Tashen

It is time that we re-consider use of hamantasch to describe that great
Jewish delicacy. It is one of the outrages of our heritage that we name
a favourite food after an ugly villain in our history.

What a way to obliterate the memory of Amalek, by mentioning the
embodiment of Amalek almost affectionately when recalling a culinary

Would anyone dare to suggest hitler cookies or antiochus cake? This is a
terrible mistake, and an injustice to Esther and Mordechai, who have no
food named after them.

All this began with an error. The tasch, or pocket, traditionally
contained seeds, or man. In hebrew, the man-tasch is "ha-man-tasch,"
which many people erroneously took to mean hamantasch.

N-O-T-H-I-N-G could be further from the truth.

We have man-taschen, prune-taschen, cherry-taschen, blueberry-taschen,
but no you-know-what taschen!

Ottawa's Kosher Bakery, the Rideau Bakery, only sells taschen, with a
variety of fillings. That is the correct way.

We take the obligation to obliterate the memory of Amalek seriously. To
name a delicacy after Amalek is not the way to fulfill this
obligation. Now is the time to get our bakeries and producers sensitized
to this for next year.

                                        Rabbi Reuven Bulka,   
                                        Congregation Machzikei Hadas,
                                        Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


From: Avi Rabinowitz  <avirab@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 03:28:43 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: the Internal Logic of Yeridas Hadoros

	I sent this to Mail.Jewish a few months ago, and am resending it
since it did not get posted as far as I know. I have a question regarding
the internal logic of the concept of yeridas hadoros:
	If acharon A decided that there was a break in the level of the
masoretic transmitters, with his predecessors being rishonim, and that
their decisions were therefore beyond overuling, what is to prevent
another acharon B from differing with these very decisions of A?
 	If acaron B disputes this distinction, then he could in theory
argue with (frumspeak/yeshivish) someone whom A considers to be a rishon -
and therefore he could argue with the first rishonim about  the
delineation made by them between themselves and their predecessors.... and
so on etc back to Moshe R.
	Is it only a rishon who can mark the delineation point? But then
why accept his decision - can his contemporaries or even those after him
dispute this? What makes the decision by this one person - or a group of
people - indusputeable logically? 
	Of course if people willingly accept the distinction this is not a
problem in practice.
(Note: The Conservative movement of course does not necessarily accept the
concept of yeridas hadoros, and I am not suggesting that their view is
more logical.)
	Does the concept of yeridas hadoros have a halachik status - e.g.
is it like the rules shehatorah nidreshes bahem, or is it e.g. Moshe
misinai etc? or is it just de facto what has happened, or what has been
recognized as happening, or accepted as a being a rule?

	Can a person nowadays legitimately writes something on midrash or
halacha which disagrees with a rishon or before? Of course if someone or
group nowadays argues with a halachik decision which was accepted by all
the rishonim, or a psak by a rishonim court accepted by all subsequent
rishonim, that it is likely that they were a superior court, and their
ruling will stand. 	However does the Orthodox perspective necessitate
dismissing the dissenting view out of hand, or does it stand or fall on
its merit and that of its proponents?
	Is it illegitimate in the Orthodox perspective to argue against
the previous courts or individuals, or is it legitimate to make arguments?
Of course it may be likely that those whom the arguer recognizes as todays
decisors will decide that the halacha is according to the earlier courts,
and since one must accept the halachic authorities of ones day, the arguer
will have to accept the earlier psak as halacha.


From: <richard_wolpoe@...> (Richard Wolpoe)
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 09:56:57 -0400
Subject: Umbrellas on Shabbos

>We learned that the Nodah BeYehuda prohibited the use of an umbrella on 
>Shabbos as an issur Torah and that is the basis for our present day 

>What is the explaination of this?
>Does anyone know how umbrellas were made in the N"B's time and how they 
>differed from our umbrellas.
>Does this difference affect the halacha? Is there any literature on topic?
|  Reuven Miller                        | |  E-mail: <millerr@...> 

I learned in Yeshiva that an ubmrella was an issue of Ohel and would be
ossur on both Shabbos and Yomtov.  A case MIGHT be made if the umbrella
were already opened, but opening an umbrella would (lich'ora) consitute
creating an ohel.

I am not certain that this is the problem that the Noda biyehuda found,
but it is certainly possible that the Roshei Yeshiva were basing their
pesak base upon that teshuvo.

Good to have this list back in action.

Richard Wolpoe


From: Simone Shapiro <sshapiro@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 12:22:54 -0400
Subject: RE: Using Umbrellas on Shabbes

RE: using umbrellas on shabbes, I don't have the source, but I had
learned that opening an umbrella was considered under the melacha of

Sheindel Shapiro


From: Laurence Shatkin <lshatkin@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 10:29:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: What's it like to Major in Jewish/Religious Studies?

For a research study I am conducting, I would appreciate your posting the 
following message on mail-jewish.  Thank you.

What is it really like to be in a Jewish studies or religious studies
major?  Or in some other ethnic studies or humanities major?  What makes
it different (mah nishtanah) from other majors, OTHER THAN the expected
career outcomes?  When students are thinking about choosing or changing
a major, what should they know about the ones they're considering?

Educational Testing Service is conducting a research study of the
characteristics of college majors.  If you have experience with a
two-year, four-year, or certification program -- perhaps as an
instructor, departmental administrator, or academic advisor -- you can
help this study by completing a survey.  Perhaps you can also give the
survey to one or more other people on campus whose expertise would be
relevant -- not necessarily all ethnic or religious studies majors.

You can complete the survey instrument either of two ways:

(1) Complete the on-line version of the survey by following the link at

(2) Go to the same Web page and follow the link to download a copy of
the survey.  Then print it, complete the paper copy, and fax it to me,
Laurence Shatkin, at 609-497-6025, or mail it to me at Mail Stop 18-R,
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541.

You may duplicate this survey instrument and use it to conduct research
on majors for your own purposes.  However, it is copyrighted by ETS, so
first complete the ETS Permissions Request Form -- Research, which is
linked to the Web page referred to above.  I would also appreciate your
sharing your findings with me.

The data-gathering will be concluded by the end of May 1998, and the
results will be compiled in June.  I will present a summary of my
findings at the October 1998 conference of NACADA, and on the ETS
Research Web pages (http://www.ets.org/research).

If you have any questions, please send e-mail to me directly at 
<lshatkin@...>, or phone me at 609-734-5868.

Laurence Shatkin
Development Scientist
Educational Testing Service


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Subject: Who Makes Halacha---Authority vs Breadth Of Knowledge

There has been alot of discussion recently on Rishonim and Achoronim and
there has also been discussion on who can make what halachas and who can
override them

I have nothing against authority...but authority (being a rishon vs an
achoron) is ONLY ONE COMPONENT of making halachah.  BREADTH and DEPTH of
knowledge are a strong component also.

So --as the examples given--if the Vilna Gaon did disagree with Rishonim
We RESPECT HIM because of the Gaon's great BREADTH and DEPTH of

Don't get me wrong...I am not trying to override anyone...but I would
like to see Mail Jewish DISCUSS and GIVE CRITERIA for HOW WE RECOGNIZE
"Breadth and Depth" of knowledge. After giving these criteria we can
BEGIN to discuss when and how an achoron can disagree with a rishon.

As an example of what I mean by "CRITERIA to RECOGNIZE Breadth and DEpth
`" of knowledge consider the following fields (where criteria do exist):

* Doctorates..one must pass oral and written exams and do original research
* Accountants..one must pass a series of exams showing basic knowledge in
dealing with day to day situations
* Actuaries...one must pass a series of exams showing ability of mass recall
as well as the ability to synthesis solutions to new situations
* Computer scientists...I know Novelle has a series of I think 8 courses
showing proficiency in various matters

So how about Halachah? Where does being a Rabbi fall on this list?  True
Rabbinical students must learn alot but DO WE TEST THEM? Do they have
exams similar to accounting exams? To actuarial exams? Do we require
original research on some matter (like Doctorates)?

I am suggesting that maybe we SHOULD have such criteria. At any rate I
strongly urge ALL mj writers to participate in a discussion on HOW WE
RECOGNIZE someone like the GAON as a genius. Independent of your view on
Psak I think this an important issue

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


End of Volume 27 Issue 56