Volume 28 Number 44
                 Produced: Sat Feb  6 21:01:55 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ancestors converted?
         [Bill Handley]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Chalav Yisrael
         [Carl M. Sherer]
DNA testing
         [Shalom Krischer]
Faith and Trust
         [Bill Handley]
         [Robert Werman]
Making Kiddush on Friday Night between 6 and 7
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Rabbis of Color
Shir Shel Yom
         [Gershon Klavan]
Yishar koach
         [Ranon Katzoff]


From: Bill Handley <bhandley@...>
Subject: Ancestors converted?

I only recently learned my mother was Jewish. Her name was Pohlner. Her
family came from central Europe. She told us just before she died so I
am currently getting details about her mother's family. (The family know
nothing about them.)

When I sought advice to find out if I am Jewish, I was asked if any of
my mother's family were Christians. Would it make any difference to my
Jewishness if some converted, say my maternal grandmother or

Thanks for any help or advice.

Bill Handley.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 08:54:42 +0200
Subject: Be'Ahava

One of the areas that is worth discussing is the meaning of the word
"Be'Ahava" as the last word of the Birkat Kohanim blessing
("...vetzivanu levarech et amo yisrael be'ahava"). There is certain no
indication in the Torah that the blessing must be given "in love."

One possible interpretation I've heard is that in His love for us,
Hashem instituted the Birkat Kohanim.

Other interpretation might be of interest.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Carl M. Sherer <carl@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 14:24:28 +0200
Subject: Chalav Yisrael

Arie Weiss writes:

> Btw, Kasher L' Mehadrin milk in Israel (since it is chalav Yisrael 
> anyway) is milk which does not contain any milked on Shabbat. 

This may be true of the milk itself (I will bli neder try to check in 
Rav Vitman's booklet - see below) but is not necessarily true of 
other dairy products.

The following is a reprint from a message of mine that was posted 
in Volume 27 Number 39:

The following is my English translation of what is written on Page 8 
of a booklet called "Kashrut HeChalav U'Mutzarov" (Kashrus of Milk 
and its Products), which was published by Rabbi Zev Vitman, the 
Mashgaich of Tnuva, about this time last year.  Tnuva is the largest 
producer of milk and milk products in Israel.  For those interested 
in getting the booklet, it is free, and should be available by faxing 
Rav Vitman at 972-3-562-7505:

"In any event, today, there is no use of non-Jewish milk in Tnuva
products.  Even so, there are a number of products having regular
supervision (not Mehadrin) which may occasionally include non-
Jewish butter (whose Kashrus has been checked and verified by a 
Kashrus certificate which ensures that it is butter which has been 
manufactured from the milk of a tahor animal without any additives, 
and in vessels which are used only for manufacturing this butter.  
This butter is also melted into fat, which in itself constitutes a 
reason to be lenient, see Rambam Maacholos Asuros 3:15-16, and 
in detail in Annex C [to the booklet]); similarly there are other raw 
materials which are added to milk - in products having regular [non-
Mehadrin] Kashrus only - whose source is non-Jewish milk powder 
or liquid cheese powder, such as souring agents, casseinates and 
milk proteins, see Annex C [to the booklet], and regarding the 
Kashrus of the souring agents, see Chapter 4 below).  It should be 
noted that what is under discussion is always raw materials that 
are added to milk which constitutes the main ingredient, and that 
the basic milk is always Chalav Yisrael.  But there are times
when there is a shortage of fresh milk, and then some of the 
products are manufactured using milk powder, and in these cases 
the powder becomes the main ingredient in the product; but in all of 
these instances what is under discussion is Jewish milk powder 
which is manufactured in Israel, and Tnuva does not currently use 
any milk powder that is imported from overseas."

Those who do not use Chalav Stam (milk whose source may be 
non-Jewish) should consult their local posek.

Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<carl@...> or sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya.  Thank you very much.


From: Shalom Krischer <pgmsrk@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 17:34:33 -0500
Subject: DNA testing

In V28N28, Ray Well asks:

> What is the halacha about the reliability of DNA testing, ...

I do not claim to know what the p'sak halacha is, but, from a logical
viewpoint, I would guess that
a) with regard to a woman remarrying (if an "unidentifiable" body was found
   and the DNA matches her missing husband's), Chazal seem to try to be
   lenient to avoid agunah problems (see masechet gitten) (please DON'T
   flame me for current events!!), so (I would guess) here it would be
b) with regard to testing someone's child, Chazal seem to bend over backward
   to avoid mamzer problems, so here I would guess it would not be acceptable.

Shalom Krischer (Usual disclaimers apply)


From: Bill Handley <bhandley@...>
Subject: Faith and Trust

This is my first post to Mail Jewish although I have subscribed and reading
the messages for several years.

Here is my question:
What is the difference between faith and trust? Bitachon and emuna?
I have heard several explanatios but they don't satisfy me.

I have been told that where there is knowledge, you can't have faith.
Does that mean Adam didn't have faith in G-d because he knew G-d?  Is it
possible to have faith but not trust or trust without faith?

In English, the implication seems to be that trust goes with
trustworthyness and faith is more confidence in someone's ability or
character. Is it the same in Hebrew? In Englsh we could say, I know that
person so I have faith in them. The same goes for trust. Doesn't G-d
remind us of what he has done for us in the past to encourage us to have
faith in him?  In the Olam Haba, will we have faith in G-d?

Can you say I have faith in my spouse, or doctor, in the biblical sense.
Then we have faith because we know them. In this case, the better we
know Hashem, the stronger our faith. One Rabbi says that faith is belief
without empirical knowledge. That would mean that those who know HaShem
the least are able to exercise faith and those who know him the best
have no place for faith.  Another told me, we can only have faith in
G-d, we don't have faith in people.

Can somebody please help?

Bill Handley (mother's name Pohlner)


From: Robert Werman <rwerman@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 12:49:33 +0200
Subject: Forgiveness

I wonder if you have ever dealt with the concept of forgiveness in
Jewish thought.  There appears to be a new layer of thought that seems
utterly Xian to me, saying, for instance, that King David [Kings I 2]
really loved Yoav, etc. and meant for Shelomo, by punishing him, to save
him from punishment in the olam haBo.

Forgiveness, both seliha and mehila, are God-like attributes and we are
commanded -- within reason -- to practice these qualities.  We find it
appearing in tefilla, for example in the introduction to the keriyat
shema before going to sleep.  My impression is that this is relatively
recent in origin; am I wrong?

More typical is the prayer before kol nidre on layl yom ha-kippurim,
zache, where we are enjoined to forgive all whom we would not defeat in
a din torah [where mehila includes cancellation of debts].

We are enjoined to ask for forgiveness on yom ha- kippurim from those we
think we have harmed; if they refuse we ask up to three refusals, after
which our debt is cancelled [not money].  We are asked to forgive those
who ask us, a form that seems original to me.


__Bob Werman
Jerusalem		<rwerman@...>


From: Rachel Rosencrantz <rachelr@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 12:19:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Making Kiddush on Friday Night between 6 and 7

>From: Stuart M. Wise <swise@...>
>Although I was raised frum and have always lived frum, I must admit I
>felt ignorant about something the status of which I am not
>sure. Recently we had a Shabbos guest who requested that we make Kiddush
>before 6 p.m.  (or after 7p.m.).  He explained that according to the
>Zohar (and later I heard, according to the Magen Avraham), that 6-7 hour
>is when the mazel of Madim (Mars) is sholet, and that one should also
>make kiddush only on red wine if one does make kiddush during that hour
>(apparently lubavitch do this customarily).

Actually, (being Lubavitch myself) I had always heard that it is
particularly _because_ the wine we (customarily) use for Kiddush on
Friday night is red, like blood, that we avoid making kiddish between

>Until this incident I never heard of this custom, but as I retold the
>story, others have said either they follow this practice or try to.  I
>don't understand why we, who are not supposed to follow the mazalim or
>feel we're controlleed by mazel, would follow such a custom, and what is
>the connection between Mars and making kiddush?  And what happens if one
>does make Kiddush during that hour -- and doesn't use the right kind of

Although we are not ruled by the stars we are still affected by the
general attributes of the hours.  Because the planet Mars is associated
with war and the wine is blood colored we don't make kiddush then so as
not to draw down the attributes (characteristics?) associated with war.

Each month is also associated with a Mazal and we do learn something out
from that.  Certain months are better/more suited for certain activities
because that's already part of the natural flow of things.  Although
Jews are above teva (nature) we still perform our mitzvot within teva. 

Likewise we don't put tzedaka(charity) into a pushkah(charity box) after
dark because the night is ruled by the attributed of
Gevurah(severity/judgement), and we don't want to draw down Gevurah.
We'd rather draw down Chessed (kindness/mercy), which rules the day.

If you do make kiddush from 6-7 I would guess that it may change the
characteristics of the week or Shabbat.  What we draw down on Shabbat
affects the week and affects all those around us. (Some comment on this
can be found in Zohar (Volume III, p88a) although there are many less
esoteric places where this information can be found.)

However, as far as I can tell (from a brief look at vol 3 of Shemirat
Shabbat (a compendium of Shabbat Laws)) it isn't an aveira (sin).  It's
just better not to.

Unfortunately I cannot find the reference to Kiddush in the place I
expected to find it in the Zohar (around the above referernce).  I will
see if I can get the reference because it probably is more explicit
about the effects.

For those of you who would point out that the hours of the day are
usually 1/12 of the daylight hours for day time hours and 1/12 of night
time for night-time hours, (my husband and I wondered about this), the
hours used to determine which the planets rule when are the 60 minute
hours, not daylight/dark hours.



From: <Finkelmans@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 21:35:36 EST
Subject: Rabbis of Color

Dear Friends:
 Dr. Gary Tobin, of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research is
planning a series on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Jewish
Community.  He would like to invite the participation of Black, Latino,
Asian and other Rabbis of color in this conference.  If you know people
who fit this description, please send Dr. Tobin contact information at
his e-mail address, <GATobin@...>
 Thank you.


From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 13:52:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Shir Shel Yom

Why has the minhag developed (within at least minhag Ashkenaz) to add a
special shir shel yom for Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah, yet not for any other
chagim?  Logically, if one were to add a special shir, it would be for the
"major" chagim.
The only idea that I've come up with is that there is no controversy over
the selection of the specific mizmorim to their respective days by Rosh
Chodesh and Chanukah.  (In contrast to the shir schedule of the GR"A).
The question therefore is what happened to Purim?  

Gershon Klavan


From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 06:17:02 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Yishar koach

On the matter of the origins of the expression "yishar kochacha," and
the sepahradi equivalent "chazak...," Hebrew readers may find a great
wealth of information in Yaacov S. Spiegel, "Saying 'Hazak!' and 'Yishar
Koah!'", _Bar-Ilan. Annual of Bar-Ilan University. Studies in Judaica
and the Humanities_ 26/27 (1995)343-370 (Hebrew).

Ranon Katzoff                       
Dean, Faculty of the Humanities, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel
Telephone: Home: +972-3-922-5861    
Email: <katzoff@...>


End of Volume 28 Issue 44