Volume 28 Number 22
                      Produced: Thu Nov 12  7:34:43 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [h zabari]
Dogs in Shul
         [Eli Turkel]
Finite and Infinite
         [Binyomin Segal]
Hebrew Software for Limuday-Kodesh
         [Jeff Finger]
         [Snyder Haim]
Krias Hatorah
         [Gershon Dubin]
My apologies for omission of source of Taryag
         [Russell Hendel]
Vitamins and Hecher
         [Yitz Weiss]
Vitamins and kashrut (2)
         [Jack Tomsky, Arlene Mathes-Scharf]
Voting to renew a Rabbi's contract
         [Jeff Safier]
When to delete Sick People from Personal Prayer Lists
         [Russell Hendel]


From: h zabari <zbozoz@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 19:12:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Chazak

From: <Pawshas@...> (Mordechai Torczyner)
>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

This is somewhat accurate however, does not explain the origins of the
custom. More accurately stated, the Shulhan Aruch (and not the Beit
Yosef in the Tur) sites the custom that the individual having the
Aliya must hold the Sefer Torah and the Rama adds the source for this
custom (in this case a Pasuk from Yehoshua). Since writing my ideas in
a previous thread I read an article about the custom of saying Hazak
U'baruch in the book "Minhag Ashkenaz HaKadmon" (Early Ashkenazic
Custom) by Rabbi Yisrael M. Ta-Shema of Hebrew University's Talmud as
well as manuscripts dept. His book as the name states discusses early
origins of Ashkenazic custom. 

One might immediately ask why an article on the custom of saying Hazak
U'Baruch (generally accepted as a non-Ashkenazic custom) would be
written up in such a book? And the answer is in the words of the
Manhig (also known as the HaRav Natan Ben R. Avraham HaYarhi from
Provence). His claim is that the custom of Hazak U'baruch was
practiced in Provence and in France (usually considered Ashkenaz)
after every Aliya yet in Sepharad the custom was only to say it "only
after the Torah"(besium HaTorah Bilvad whatever that means?). The
Manhig sites a Midrash from Breishith Rabbah, which goes as follows:

The pasuk in Yehoshua states: "Lo Yamush Sefer Hatorah Hazeh Mipichah"
(The words of this Torah should not leave you mouths loosely
translated). We do not use the word Zeh (this) only in the case of a
person who holds the article in his hands.

This Midrash does not appear in our Bereshith Rabbah of our time and
perhaps not even in the B"R of 100 years later as per the Raavi'ah. A
similar Midrash also in Bereshith Rabbah seems to appear in the
Bereshith Rabbah that is more familiar in our time. 

Ta-Shema goes on to speak of several other sources that seem to point to
a custom of the person having the Aliya (at that time the person reading
the Torah as well) holding the Sefer Torah whilst reading.  This would
be a fairly burdensome task and would have required much strength. We
can see from here why encouragement was needed to sustain the reader. He
asserts that the Yiyasher Kohachah of today's Ashkenazic communities has
the same connotation and that the custom is derived from the same

I have not done justice to this article but used it only to
demonstrate the origin of these words. Ta-Shema further discusses the
writing of Hazak at the end of poetry and other writings although I am
not quite sure that I agree with his conjecture on these points.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 10:06:15 +0200 ("IST)
Subject: Dogs in Shul

I heard a shiur from Rav Soloveitchik on having dogs in shul.  He felt
that anything you would allow in your living room can be brought to
shul. Since, most people would allow a seeing-eye dog in the house in
can be brought to shul but not a dog that is not necessary for getting

 He told a story that he once got a call from the district attorney
right after yom kipper with a "shaila".
 It seems that in the conservative shul in Boston a blind man entered
with his seeing eye dog. The president refused to let him in and when
the man insisted the president of the shul beat him (a blind man on yom
kippur!!).  The blind man was now pressing charges. A lot depended on
whether the blind man was allowed according to halacha to bring his dog
 Rav Soloveitchik's first reaction was "why ask me when it was a
conservative synagogue". The district attorney answered that both sides
agreed that he was the expert in halacha and were willing to abide by
his psak. Rav Soloveitchik said that in his opinion it was allowed but
that even others that would disagree would not allow violence to prevent
a seeing eye dog from coming in.

Eli Turkel


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 03:29:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Finite and Infinite

Though I agree with the overall tenor of Stan's remarks, I found one issue
that I thought important enough to qualify. Stan says:

  * When we compare ourselves to each other, we find differences.  Men
  * and women are different in some ways.  But when we compare ourselves
  * separately to Hashem, we're all equal, because Hashem is infinite,
  * and we are finite.

We are created " in the image of God" and among other things that means we
are indeed infinite.

In fact, I believe this may be a significant difference between classic
Christian and Jewish thought. When confronted with the gulf between an
infinite God and a finite man, Christianity suggests that God must lower
Himself to allow for a relationship - hence the ONLY way to relate to God
is through the son. However, Judaism suggests that each person can develop
a unique and personal relationship with God Himself, because we are each

On the other hand, I do recognize that there may be a difference between
"netzach" (infinity) and "netzach netzachim" (infinite infinity, or
perhaps aleph squared) and as such even though we are infinite, we are
finite in relation to our creator. But...



From: Jeff Finger <jfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 10:21:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hebrew Software for Limuday-Kodesh

Can anyone point me to some Hebrew Windows 95 software that would be
appropriate for a 10-year chareidi boy in Israel who speaks only Hebrew?
I presume there is children's software in Hebrew for some types of
limuday-kodesh. Pointers to other appropriate places to ask this
question would also be welcome.

Thanks very much,
Jeff Finger


From: Snyder Haim <HaimSn@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 15:00:56 +0200
Subject: Kedusha

> Recent posters wrote:
>  >(I might add that the almost universal practice
>  >among Ashkenazim is for the congregation to say the prelude to kedusha
>  >(n'kadesh, na'aritz'cha) before or with the hazzan even though it is
>  >clear that this is meant to be an invitation (zimun) to the tzibbur
>  In fact the German custom (minhag Frankfurt) is not to say this prelude,
>  but rather to stand silently while the shatz says it.   
> The geonim write that even the paragraphs between the p'sukim are intended
> only for the chazzan, leaving the tzibur to say only the p'sukim.

	See Hayei Adam, Rule 30 paragraph 9 wherein he says that it is
proper to hear N'kadesh, L'umatam and U'v'divrei from the hazan, however,
this is not the present custom.

Haim Snyder
Director, Commercial Intelligence
Tadiran Telecommunications Ltd.
Tel: +972-3-926-2994 - Fax:+972-3-926-2328
URL: http://www.tadirantele.com


From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 23:17:55 -0500
Subject: Krias Hatorah

>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?

	There is the embarrassment factor: correcting someone for every
single error not only slows down the process, but also causes
significant embarrassment to the koreh.  Rav Soloveitchik said in (at
least one of) his shiurim that his grandfather (Rav Chaim Brisker) was
careful to correct every mistake no matter how seemingly trivial because
krias haTorah has to be a re-enactment of kabolas haTorah i.e. with an
unblemished reading.  I would hesitate to adopt that interpretation for
these two reasons (logistics and embarrassment).



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 16:33:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: My apologies for omission of source of Taryag

I recently cited the Rav (mj28-14) as stating that just as people have
Mazal so do talmudic statements. Only once in the talmud is the
statement made that there are 613 mitzvoth and yet we have a whole
literature on this.

The source is the end of the Tractate Makkoth. My thanks to Stan for
pointing out this omission

Russell Jay Hendel;Ph.d ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: <YitzW@...> (Yitz Weiss)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 10:02:35 EST
Subject: Vitamins and Hecher

Rav Shimon Eider was asked directly and said that if the vitamins are
bitter to the taste they require no hechsher.

If I'm not mistaken, some of the issues involved include:
 1) The fact that the vitamins are not *eaten*, they are swallowed whole
2) No bracho is said on the vitamins upon consumption (anything considered
"food" would require a bracho before and after)


From: Jack Tomsky <jtomsky@...>
Date: Sat, 07 Nov 1998 12:06:51 -0800
Subject: Vitamins and kashrut

I have a thyroid condition that requires me to take a thyroid tablet
daily.  I usually take it in the morning on an empty stomach and then
wait one to two hours to eat breakfast.  My specialist is Oriental and
doesn't know the Jewish religion, so asking him is out.

During the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, I was suddenly faced with a
choice once again, whether to take my medication or not.  I can become
rather off balanced, if I don't take it routinely, at my regular time.
Since health is life - I decided to go ahead and take it with water as I
always do.

My husband is on medication that requires him to take it with food in
the morning.  He normally uses orange juice to swallow down his pills.
He can use coffee-milk (cold coffee mixed in his milk like chocolate
milk) instead.  He didn't hesitance a second to go ahead and take his
medication, then continue on his fast for the rest of the day.

But what are the laws in this case?  A lot of us have this problem.

Marilyn Tomsky

[The issue of taking medicine on Yom Kippur is one that is discussed a
fair amount, and the discussions of what the parameters etc are is a
valid topic of discussion here. However, the reduction to practice of
this is specific to each person and case, and that requires the decision
of your Rabbi. In cases where people do not have a local Rabbi to talk
to, I would be glad to arrange for them to speak with competent Orthodox
Rabbi, just drop me a note. Mod.]

From: Arlene Mathes-Scharf <ajms@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 22:44:49 -0500
Subject: Vitamins and kashrut

I have two articles written by Rabbi Dovid Heber of the Star-K on Kashrus
and Medications on http://www.kashrut.com/articles/

Arlene Mathes-Scharf    | 
<ajms@...>        | The Internet's Premier Independent Kashrut
http://www.kashrut.com/ |             Information Source


From: Jeff Safier <jeff@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 11:20:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Voting to renew a Rabbi's contract

What is the halachic opinion on a vote whether to renew a Rabbi's
contract or not.  Is it against halacha to vote against a Rabbi?  And
what about a commitee to evaluate his performance.  Thanks for your time

Jeffrey Safier
Advanced Data Systems Corp.
255 Spring Valley Avenue - Maywood, N.J.  07607
Phone (201) 368-2001 Ext. 142 - Fax (201) 368-8377
e-mail <jeff@...>


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 19:44:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: When to delete Sick People from Personal Prayer Lists

Recall that the major parts of the service are 
  * Shma (Biblical), 
  * Shmoneh Esray (Fixed by the Prophet-Sages of the Great Assembly), and
  * Reading of the Torah (an enactment of Moses)
Other parts of the service also have documented histories--
  * ALAYNU is attributed to Joshua and  
  * HYMN OF THE DAY commemorates the Levite service.

It appears that MiSheBaYRaches are not part of the original service. A
good working hypothesis is that they are fillers between Aliyahs so the
congrgation shouldn't have to sit silently and do nothing
redemptive. Since it is an accepted principle that we do not make the
community unnecessarily wait, it would follow that all MiSheBaYRaches
should be minimal (in other words if the Gabbai can say them inbetween
aliyahs fine...and if not,not)

People who want MiSheBayRachs for sick people should preferably ask for
these people's names to be said in the repetition of the shmoneh esray
on weekdays rather than in MiSheBaYRaches on Shabbath ( a new idea??)

Clearly if you personally know the person you should continue to
mention his name in your prayers as long as (s)he is sick and it would
be improper to stop

If you do not know the person than you can't really be totally emphathic
with him (since you don't know him). Consequently it would appear to me
that after 30 days you can drop his name ("30 days" being a standard
"duration of time" in many halachik areas).

APPLIED THEORY: Since we all know Carl, it is proper to dedicate this
posting to a refuah shlaymah for his son.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu


End of Volume 28 Issue 22