Volume 28 Number 60
                 Produced: Tue Mar  2 19:24:10 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bathing on Shabbat
         [Rose Landowne]
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]
Bowing during Kiddusha
         [Yisrael Medad]
Chatam Sofer & Kol Isha
         [Israel Rubin]
Custom of Zeh El Zeh
         [Yisrael Medad]
Girls in the Men's Section (2)
         [Louise Miller, Stuart Wise]
Jewish Week coverage of Edah conference
         [Jonathan J. Baker]
Kashering Plastic (2)
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer, Warren Burstein]
Kol Isha
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Kol Isha in mixed singing
         [Ezriel Krumbein]
Mechitza Question
         [Jonathan E. Schiff]
Swimming on Shabbat
         [Zev Sero]
         [Judah Diament]
Whose Enemy
         [Snyder Haim]
Whose Enemy?
         [Eliezer Finkelman]
Women Giving Drashot
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 08:44:58 EST
Subject: Re: Bathing on Shabbat

Isn't there a takanah, made when people were spending too much time in
the public bath-houses on shabbat, and then heating the water as it got
cold, that one cannot immerse one's whole body in water on shabbat,
except for the performance of a mitzva?  (Though the question could be
asked about Yom tov).
Rose Landowne


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 08:58:38 +0200
Subject: Re: Be-Ahava

Rav Nahshoni has a lengthy discussion of this in his Classic sefer on
Parshat haShavuah (which I understand has been translated into English).


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 23:43:11 +0200
Subject: Bowing during Kiddusha

In answer to the question of bowing during kiddusha, the quoted source
is the Bais Yosef, Siman 125 , the section starting v'nohagim which
quotes a pasuk in Yesha'Yahu 6 - The Seraphim say "Kadosh, kadosh,
kadosh..."  The next pasuk says "and the posts of the door moved" .  If
stones moved how much more so should we when that is heard.


From: Israel Rubin <Israel_Rubin@...>
Subject: Re: Chatam Sofer & Kol Isha

David Brodsky writes (Issue # 50) "....that the Chatam Sofer 
sanctioned mixed male and female choir because of the principle that 
"Two Voices are not heard"....given the stature of the Chatam Sofer, 
what is the current practical acceptance of his ruling in this 

I do not claim to know every ruling of the Chasam Sofer, but I would 
be quite surprised if it turned out that he indeed ruled in this 
manner.  This ruling is widely known in the Torah world as "the heter 
(lenient ruling) of the Seridei Aish", referring to Rabbi Yechiel 
Yaacov Weinberg ZTL. Rabbi Weinberg was a distinguished 20th century 
Torah scholar, but not of the stature of the Chasam Sofer, and his 
ruling not accepted in most of the Torah community, although there are 
many who rely on it.  

Rabbi Weinberg himself, in his responsa on the subject (Seridei Aish 
Vol. II Responsa # 8) makes no mention of the Chasam Sofer having even 
discussed this subject.  He does say, however, that he heard that this 
ruling was given by Rabbi S.R. Hirsch, and Rabbi Ezriel Hildesheimer.

He also makes clear that he would not ordinarily rule to permit a 
mixed choir on the basis of this heter, but is sanctioning it in 
Germany due to conditions prevailing in that country (i.e. the 
prevailing assimilationist movement, and the difficulty in inspiring 
the youth).  So in any event, those who would rely on this ruling 
should consult their LOR to make sure it is applicable in their 
particular circumstance.  


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 99 12:59:51 PST
Subject: Custom of Zeh El Zeh

And another response I elicited from a fellow Shilonian:

I know that it is mentionned in "Sefer Hahekhalot" which is a book written
in Israel approximatively 1300 years ago (Gaonim period but not in Bavel).
I am not sure but I think that a reference to the passuk before Keriat yam
suf is given there: "Velo karav ze leze..." and the Midrashs explains that
it is an allusion to the angels who stop to speak until the end of the
By the way, following the Halakha, only the Shaliakh Tsibur must says this
and not the congregation.
Another remark. In the same place of the sefer hahekhalot the
ashkenazi minhag of "Jumping a little bit" when saying Kadosh kadosh
kadosh is mentionned there. As it is well know, the sources of Ashkenaz is
from Israel, while the sources of Sepharad prayers came from Bavel (For
example the first written sidur is the Sidur of Barcelone written for the 
Barcelone communauty by the Gaonim in Bavel at the 10th century; the
first ashkenaz sidur is the famous "Makhzor vitry written by some
talmidim of Rashi at the city of Vitry, France in the middle of the 12th 
Most of the Gaonim did not know ( or recognize) the Sefer hahekhalot.
However "Vekara ze el ze" is written in the Barcelona's Sidur.
(Prof) Ely Merzbach

Yisrael Medad
E-mail: isrmedia


From: Louise Miller <daniel@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 23:16:31 -0800
Subject: Girls in the Men's Section

  Let's end this discussion before it gets any worse.  Someone asked a
simple question about kids in shul sitting with a parent of the opposite
gender, and it's turning into a nasty diatribe about those awful

  Being both religious AND a feminist, I am personally quite
offended. That I am willing to obey the halacha makes me no less a
feminist.  I'm sorry if it makes it too hard to bash me since I don't
fit the incorrect stereotype. I'm openly Shomer Shabbat, and have a
husband and kids, and no one has tried to take my NOW membership card
away yet.

Louise Miller

From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 99 10:43:48 -0000
Subject: Re: Girls in the Men's Section

I've rsponded before on this issue.  I assure you my daughters ( 8 and 6) 
have no problem sitting in the women's section -- they just don't want to 
be there by themselves.  Perhaps you're focusing too much on the feminist 
issue. When girls see that women sit on one side of the mechitzah, I 
would imagine they would prefer to sit with their mothers, sisters, and 
friends.  I think even a young child can understand that since she is 
young, she needs to sit near an adult, in the present case, her father.  
A young child may be too young to accept sitting next to an adult who is 
not a parent or loved one.  I don't know where you live or the type of 
shul you daven in, but perhaps you reside in community where there is 
more of a feminist concern.

In Brooklyn,  in the shuls I daven in at least, I haven't experienced a 
rush of women or girls rushing to breach the mechitzah in the name of 


From: Jonathan J. Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 11:12:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Jewish Week coverage of Edah conference

I would point out that Mr. Greenberg has another factual problem in his
sidebar: "Rabbi Berman introduced a new version of the Grace after
Meals, one which allows women to lead the prayer".  What's new about
that?  Women's zimmun has been on the books for centuries, and I know a
number of people who practice it.  Rabbi Berman just printed the
feminized text, so that women who want to do birkat hazimun
(introductory blessing) don't have to fumble for the correct genders for
the words.


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 10:39:30 +0200
Subject: Kashering Plastic

To the best of my understanding, plastic was not kashered in the US as a
rule, out of deference to the view of Rav Moshe Feinstein zatsal who
considered synthetic materials as klei Heres. Most other poskim
(included Israeli poskim) disagree and maintain that klei heres is a
Hiddush (novel, exceptional) in that it can't be kashered. Hence,
synthetic (plastics, teflon etc.) can be kashered.

From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 17:36:18
Subject: Re: Kashering Plastic

>David Brodsky wrote concerning plastic and kashering. My friend from
>yeshiva, after finishing a bottle of soda that he wished to use as a
>water bottle would kasher it. I asked him why, and he replied that it's
>a Yeki minhag.

It seems odd to me that one would kasher a bottle that contained a
kosher substance (since the friend drank the soda, he presumably was
convinced of its kashrut).  Perhaps the action performed on the bottle
was tevilah, and the minhag is to tovel plastic? (not that I've ever
heard of such a minhag)


From: Yeshaya Halevi <CHIHAL@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 10:40:17 EST
Subject: Re: Kol Isha

Shalom, All:
         David Brotsky writes that he saw an item which <<mentioned that
some people extend kol isha to hearing a woman's non singing voice-
which would seem to ban any conversations with women other than your
wife or children.>> He then asked, <<is this view followed anymore? If
so, what are the practical applications - for example, are there any
ways to make phone calls, unless you are certain the person who will
answer is a man?>>
         I find it difficult to reconcile this with numerous instances
in the Tanakh where women clearly spoke to men who were not their
immediate family or any family at all.  Instances that readily come to
mind are Ruth, Shmuel's mother Hanna, Shlomo judging the women who each
claimed a baby etc.
   Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)


From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 20:00:41 -0800
Subject: Kol Isha in mixed singing

There is a discussion of this topic in HaIsha VeHaMitzvos vol2 HaTzneah

He quotes there from the Sridei Aish (vol 2 #8) about mixed singing of
Shabbos Zemiros.  The Sridei Aish seems only to allow allow it in case
of kiruv where there is a strong need.  The Sridei Aish does quote Rabbi
Hildesheimer and Rabbis Hirsch as following a lenient view.

On a seasonal note he also quotes the Kol Bo siman 45 that women may not
read the megilah for men due to Kol Isha.

Kol Tov


From: Jonathan E. Schiff <Jschiff139@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 12:50:14 EST
Subject: Re: Mechitza Question

I have a question about this [was a response to a previous thread, but
was really a new item, so I decoupled it. Mod] as it caused quite a
controversy in my schul several years ago.  The reason it became
controversial was because of a Rabbi, an academic, who insisted that the
Mechetza (I am approximating the phonetic spelling here) was not
required (I was surprised to discover that this was purely a minhag and,
although realized this has the force of law, not specifically a
requirement of any code).

Eventually, in combination with other factors, this led to the ultimate
dissolution of the congregation.

What I am wondering is how central (if that is an intelligible question) is
the Mechitza to Orthodox practice and, more importantly, why?  

[That a mechitza is required is pretty clear. What I think would be
valuable as a response to this posting is:
A) Listing of early sources for Mechitza
B) Indications of the Talmudic sources for the halacha

Jonathan E. Schiff


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 18:16:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Swimming on Shabbat

Eliot Shimoff <shimoff@...> wrote:
>And what is it about having a rim around the edge of the pool that makes
>a person less likely to make a raft or float?

The gezera is against swimming in a yam (sea or lake), where making a
raft is likely, but it applies to any body of water that looks like a
yam.  A pool with a rim doesn't look like a yam, it looks like a keli
(container), so the gezera doesn't apply.


From: Judah Diament <diam7644@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 23:00:48 -0500
Subject: torahweb.org

Hello everyone,

	There's a new excellent Torah web site which just went up -
torahweb.org - which has weekly divrei torah written by the YU Roshei
Yeshiva. Check it out!



From: Snyder Haim <HaimSn@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 08:23:36 +0200
Subject: Re: Whose Enemy

> Is anyone familiar with the source in nusach Ashkenaz for using either
> oyvecha or oyvei amcha in the breacha of lamalshinim?  Is seems that it
> may be borrowed from nusha sefard.

In Ma'aseh Rav, in item 48, the Vilna Gaon says to say oyvecha.  This is
one of the items in the Amida which he specifies as things to be
particular about.  He also says that one should say rishaim and not osey

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

From: Eliezer Finkelman <Finkelmans@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 09:45:24 EST
Subject: Re: Whose Enemy?

>From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
>Is anyone familiar with the source in nusach Ashkenaz for using either
>oyvecha or oyvei amcha in the breacha of lamalshinim?  Is seems that it
>may be borrowed from nusha sefard.

Dear Mail Jewish:
It seem to me that the expression "oyvekha" comes from Shirat Devorah (Judges
5:31). "So may all your enemies be destroyed, O G-d."   And perhaps those of
us who say "oyvei amkha" feel a bit too modest to claim that the enemies of
Israel automatically belong to the category of enemies of G-d.
Eliezer Finkelman


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 07:49:08 +0200
Subject: Women Giving Drashot

I am looking for sources on women giving Drashot (Torah-based
lectures/talks) to the Synagogue say on a Friday night, from behind the
Mechitza.  Any modern real-life examples?  Recent decisions by Rabbis in
addition to any from the past?

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 28 Issue 60