Volume 28 Number 11
                      Produced: Wed Nov  4  7:56:41 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bowing in Karate
         [Ed Ehrlich]
Bowing in martial arts
         [David Charlap]
         [Mordechai Torczyner]
Chinese Auctions
         [Yossie Abramson]
         [Aryeh A. Frimer]
Making 3 shidduchim
         [E. Springer]
Meaning of words and Pronunciation
         [h zabari]
Missionary Activity
         [Sarah Miller]
Seek analysis of chalav yisrael machlochet
         [Frank Silbermann]
Service Dogs
         [Jacob Mayteles]
Singing Magen Avos
         [Hyman L. Schaffer]
Sredei Aish
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Vitamins (2)
         [Tszvi Klugerman, Norman Bander]


From: Ed Ehrlich <Eehrlich@...>
Subject: Bowing in Karate

Thierry Dana-Picard <dana@...> wrote:

>Seth Kadish asked: 
>"Does anyone know anything about the issue of bowing for observant Jews
>who participate in a karate dojo?  The bowing consists of both knees on
>the floor and falling forward with hands and face on the ground.  They
>also say something in Japanese (I have no idea what)."
>In a Japanese book, the author says that he was surprise to hear that
>this bowing can embarass somebody on a religious basis. He says this
>bowing has no religious meaning, and in Japan everybody bows to
>everybody. It's polite.

The type of bow that is normally used in Japan, for instance at business
meetings, consists of a slight bending at the waist with the hands held
to the side.  (Exactly how deep the bend goes depends on the relative
status of the people involved, but non-Japanese are not expected to
follow these subtleties.)

I knew quite a few shomeir-Mitzvot Jews while I was working in Japan,
and none of them ever mentioned having any problem dealing with bowing.
In fact, if for those who object to shaking hands with members of the
opposite sex it's very convenient.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:39:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Bowing in martial arts

Just to add another data point:

In a Tae Kwon Do class I took years ago (where the instructor was
Jewish), he would have us do a quick bow (hands at side, legs straight)
to the mat whenever entering or leaving it.  He said the reason was to
show respect for that which will break your fall.

I have no idea whether halacha would allow this kind of bow.  We did
not, bow to the flag or to any photographs.

-- David


From: <Pawshas@...> (Mordechai Torczyner)
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 09:53:18 EST
Subject: Chazak

The Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 139: "Kasav Baal haManhig") and the Rama
(Orach Chaim 139:11) trace the custom of saying "Chazak veEmatz" at the
completion of a section of Torah reading to Yehoshua's "Chazak

Mordechai Torczyner
HaMakor! http://www.aishdas.org/hamakor Mareh Mekomos Reference Library
WEBSHAS! http://www.aishdas.org/webshas Indexing the Talmud, Daf by Daf


From: <yossie@...> (Yossie Abramson)
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 15:51:47 -0500
Subject: Chinese Auctions

Being that November is just starting, here in Brooklyn it's Chinese
Auction Season! I have a question regarding the Chinese Auctions. Just a
brief summary:
	There is a problem of Ribis (interest) when you offer something
for a pre-publication price. The rational behind this is that the money
is not a purchase, it's actually a loan to produce the object. Therefore
when the customer receives the product, he is receiving something of
greater value than what he "lent."
    Now, the Chinese Auctions have packages, where you purchase $250
worth of coupons for $200. This, to me can be answered that it's simply
a way to get people to buy the tickets, and it would be considered a
discount. But sometimes they offer a special rate if you buy the tickets
in advance. Is the money considered a loan to secure the hall or the
food etc.. Or since the money goes to Tzedakah we allow them?

Yossie Abramson


From: Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 1998 17:02:45 -0800
Subject: GelCaps

Nearly all the Kashrut agencies have a policy of not permiting asprin or
vitamins that come in GelCaps. It is my understanding that they
distinguish between these and Gelatin Capsules because the latter are
inedible. Does someone have specific info on GelCaps?


From: <RabbiI@...> (E. Springer)
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 13:14:33 EST
Subject: Making 3 shidduchim

Someone once mentioned a Chazalto me that when someone successfully
arranges three shidduchim he is guaranteed a "chelek in Olam Haba".
Does anyone know a source for this?
E. Springer


From: h zabari <zbozoz@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 09:05:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Meaning of words and Pronunciation

Uzal according to the translation of Sa'adia Gaon is modern day Sana'a,
Yemen. (According to Harav Yosef Kafih it is possible that some of the
translations of names in Sa'adia's perush may be attributed to later
individuals who wanted to identify these biblical places). Many of the
places mentioned in this Parasha are identified as cities in Yemen in
his Tafsir (translation or Targum).  Incidentally, the biblical name
Yoktan mentioned in this parasha is traditionally held to be (by both
Jews and non-Jews alike) as the father of the Yemeni people (whether
this tradition is due to Jewish influence is unclear).

An interesting side bar: The name Sana'a is a more modern day Himiaric
or possibly Etheopian name meaning fortress. Uzal being the original

It should be mentioned that in Yemenite Jewish tradition the custom (or
shall I say Shita) is to go back over any mispronounced word not only
those that may change meaning. The belief here is that any
mispronunciation changes the meaning of a word (a word mispronounced is
incorrect no matter how you look at it) and not in the way that Rabbi
Samson Raphael Hirsch spoke of. According to Rabbi Hirsch all of these
words (names) would have to be Hebrew. While they are all probably
Semetic in nature one cannot assume that all roots between Semetic
languages would have the exact same meanings? What would Rabbi Hirsch
say about Yegar Sahaduta? - clearly of Aramaic origin? To give an
example of the dangers of interpreting roots in other languages in
accordance with Hebrew roots one may look at the work Gila in Hebrew and
Gila (Gil'e) in Arabic. The Hebrew root signifying happiness (rejoicing)
and the Arabic Dung!?

Allowing one's self to believe that not all words in the Torah are
Hebrew words is not contrary to Halacha and many Rabbinic scholars over
the years have made this assumption (possibly the greatest of them

Rabbi Bahia Ibn Paquda in his book Hovot HaLevavot or more accurately
translated as Torat Hovot Halevavot, categorizes different levels of
Torah scholarship. If my recollection serves me correctly the lowest
level of scholarship is - true and most literal understanding of the
words in the 24 books of the Tanach. (This style can be equated with the
style of interpretation of Yonah Ibn Janah not to mention many other
medieval scholars (eg. Ben Asher and Ben Naftali)). Only after
understanding things at this level can one progress to the next level of
understanding according to him.

At the risk of sounding accusatory, perhaps it may be difficult to
accept certain rabbinic interpretations (Perushim) if the Rabbi who
has/had spoken them is/was unfamiliar with the Hebrew language? 

One of the unfortunate misgivings that modern Hebrew has presented us
with is mispronunciation. While the Sheva Na'a is more prevalent in
Hebrew language according to Masoratic pronunciation, it has become
almost non-existent in modern Hebrew which has replaced everything in a
slang sort of way with the Sheva Nah except for those words that cannot
suffer any other pronunciation. This may be evidenced by an earlier
thread where a word was written Tzonchem (regardless of the reading
error involved). This word when written in that fashion should be
pronounced Tzon-e-chem. The Sheva is Na'a. (This is accepted by all
communities so please don't retort we are from such and such a community
and we have never pronounced things this way. If that is the case then
that pronunciation has always been wrong!) People need to become more
aware of Tenu'ot Gedolot and Tenu'ot ketanot in hebrew pronunciation
that help to qualify the Na'a and Nah, regardless of modern Hebrew's

I would like to posit a different question. Many a time mistakes are
made in the reading of the Torah. Often in many communities there is no
one on hand to (really) qualify the error as one that would change the
meaning of a word. In addition a debate may ensue which would be time
consuming. If that is the case the Torah reading would be stalled and
certainly distract the Kehila from further understanding. Would it not
behoove the Kehila (regardless of custom) to correct each and every
error to the proper pronunciation? The intent of the custom of not
stopping the reader for words that do not change meaning is to prevent a
potential unneeded Hefsek (according to the people that hold in this
way). Since every time a mistake is made a hefsek is made in the reading
anyway, why not allow a hefsek for correction of the word?

VeHashem Yatzil Otanu Mishigionot.

Shabbat Shalom to all,


From: Sarah Miller <adc@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 19:54:11 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Missionary Activity

A recent issue of the Hebrew language weekly 'Makor Rishon' had an
article on missionary activity in Israel. One of the organizations cited
as being involved in such activity was 'Root and Branch'.

Can anyone give us first hand and authoritative information on the current
activities and status of the  'Root and Branch' organization?

Is there any truth in the 'Makor Rishon' article?

Sarah Miller
Rehovot, Israel

[I think that Root and Branch is a Bnei Noach organization targeting
non-Jews, but would welcome clarification from those on the list that
might know. - Mod.]


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 09:03:45 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Seek analysis of chalav yisrael machlochet

My rabbi says emphatically that ordinary O-U Dairy products are kosher,
and that in America it is a chumra to restrict one's dairy products to
those marked "Chalav Yisrael."

In contrast, the local Chabad rabbi insists that avoidance of O-U dairy
products is normative Halacha, and that the Orthodox Union is misusing a
Rv. Moshe Feinstein heter that _merely_ permits a mother to feed her
baby tref milk if kosher milk is unavailable -- and that even when the
heter is _properly_ relied upon, ordinary USDA-inspected milk still
trefs one's dishes.

I'm not asking for a psak din, nor am I interested in tallying votes on
who is right and who is wrong (although quoted responsa of prominent
poskim are useful).  What I _do_ seek is a gamara-style discussion of
the issue.  I want to know how each side in the debate arrived at its
position, and how it counters the other side's objections.

Since advocates of each side are well-meaning and intelligent, I suspect
that the disagreement over O-U dairy products stems from some
philosophical disagreement over meta-halacha -- i.e., the nature of the
halachic process itself.  If so, I'd to pinpoint the source of the

Please enlighten me.  Thank you.

Frank Silbermann


From: <Jacob_Mayteles@...> (Jacob Mayteles)
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 13:30:47 -0500
Subject: Service Dogs

There is a teshuva from the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding a blind person
entering a shul with a dog. The letter is to R. Shlomo Kasher (author of
Torah Shleima) and is printed in Shaarei Halacha Uminhag volume I siman


From: <HLSesq@...> (Hyman L. Schaffer)
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 20:50:27 EST
Subject: Re: Singing Magen Avos

Regarding singing Magen Avos, the Minhag HaGRA is not to do so. Thus,
according to Maaseh Rav (116) Magen Avos "Is said by the Shatz alone,
and the congregation listens."


From: Ari Z. Zivotofsky <azz@...>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 1998 12:20:36 -0500
Subject: Sredei Aish

I know that many of the subscribers to this list are interested in R.
Yehiel Yaaakov Weinberg, so I wanted to let people know that I just
published vol. 1 of his collected writings (on Talmud and halakhah). If
you are not near a sefarim store, you can send me a check for $20.
                                Marc Shapiro, Dept. of Theology,
University of Scranton, Scranton, PA. 18510


From: <Klugerman@...> (Tszvi Klugerman)
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 11:29:06 EST
Subject: Vitamins

As regards vitamins I was under the impression that if it was food then
it would need hashgacha since it is being ingested for nutrient value of
one's own volition.

The analogy with shabbat permissibility was interesting and I have
another analogous case. On a minor ta'anit (fast day) if one is
suffering from a headache one can take a 'tylenol' without water since
'tylenol' is not a ma'achal (food). This heter , as far as I know, does
not apply to vitamins, since they are food.

Even if something is bitter tasting , referred to as "notein taam
lifgam" (it contributes an offensive taste), which is considered when
kashering utensils that have lost their kosher status, I do not recall
taste being a criteria for lechatchila consumption, only bedi'avad (post
facto) contamination. Please cite a source where I can expand my outlook
on taam as the deciding factor.


From: <Nbander@...> (Norman Bander)
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 11:57:22 EST
Subject: Vitamins

Natural Food Certifiers certifies organic and kosher foods and vitamins.
The administrator is Rabbi Reuven Flamer (of Chabad-Westchester).  His
number is 888/422-4NFC.  Address: 648 Scarsdale Ave., Suite 136,
Scarsdale, NY 10583.


End of Volume 28 Issue 11