Volume 29 Number 10
                 Produced: Sun Jul 18 11:11:34 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Answering police questions on shabbat
         [Isaac A Zlochower]
Blood in wine
         [Zev Sero]
         [Joel Rich]
Chumros re: Nidda
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Dagesh in yud
         [Alexander Heppenheimer]
HaShem in Megillas Esther
         [I. Harvey Poch]
Honoring One's Parents and Violation of Derabbanan / Stringency
         [Bill Bernstein]
Music during the three weeks
         [Rachi Messing]
Restaurant Serving Meat during Nine Days
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Shabbat Chazon and Tisha b'Av
         [Daniel Werlin]
Source for Three Weeks
         [Jonathan Katz]
Talmudic medical recipes (was: Urine and Medicine)
         [Heppenheimer, Alexander]


From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 00:41:39 -0400
Subject: Answering police questions on shabbat

I would like to apologize to the residents of West Rogers Park in
Chicago for inadvertantly spreading the inaccurate newspaper account of
the racially motivated shooting incidents in that neighborhood.  I had
read the initial account of the incidents in the Chicago Tribune on the
internet.  That account claimed that some Orthodox Jews were unwilling
to provide information to the Police until after shabbat.  When prompted
by a question raised in this forum on the propiety of such an attitude,
I felt impelled to weigh in with a strong criticism of such misguided
piety.  However, readers of this forum from the neighborhood in question
have argued that such withholding of possibly vital information to the
police did not occur.  Furthermore, leading Rabbis in Chicago publically
ruled that apprehension of murders supercedes shabat laws.  The Tribune
subsequently issued a retraction which I had not seen on the internet.

I am very pleased that the Jews of West Rogers Park are not guilty of
foolish piety, and that the reaction against such a charge was immediate
and uniform.

Yitzchok Zlochower


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 14:12:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Blood in wine

There's a teshuva from the Tzemach Tzedek (of Lubavitch), to someone who
went to supervise the production of sugar for Pesach, and discovered to
his horror that blood was used in the refining process!  The Tzemach
Tzedek ruled that since all the blood is filtered out, and anything left
is unintentional and therefore subject to bitul, there is no problem.

Nowadays blood is not used in sugar refining, but bone charcoal is, and
presumably the same ruling applies - otherwise people had better stop
using sugar!  Similar considerations apply to clear apple juice: the
agent that is used to precipitate the solid matter out of the juice is
often treif, but it's all filtered out.  It seems to me, therefore, that
the same ought to apply to wine, and - aside from the risk of BSE -
there should be no problem with the use of blood powder, so long as it's
filtered out at the end.

Zev Sero                              Harmless Historical Nut


From: Joel Rich <Joelirich@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 10:52:07 EDT
Subject: Choices

Solomon Rosenbaum asked:
<<Where is our bechirah (freedom of choice) when we are born Jewish?>>

I heard the following explanation in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein.
Everyone is born with the ability and need to choose between the right
path and the many wrong ones.  Those born into a religious Jewish home
also have to choose to make their everyday religious observances
meaningful.  How many of us see ourselves or others praying and
practicing through rote without any meaning?  It is not uncommon to see
boys learning in Yeshiva due to family pressure who are not gaining any
spiritual sustenance from their studies.  You can be forced to do
anything but you cannot be forced to be a spiritual person.  That is the
ultimate choice.  To make your daily observances meaningful and to grow
close to Hashem.

Rabbi N' Alpert TZ"L pointed out that the bracha we make is "who did not
make me a non-jew" rather than "who made me a Jew".  One reason for this
is that Hashem only creates the possibilities but can't truly "make" us
into good Jews - only we can do that through the choices we make.

She-nir'eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,
Joel Rich


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 14:18:42 -0400
Subject: Chumros re: Nidda

>>In fact the halacha recognized the unique role women play in hilchot
niddah, by the fact that much is based on "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen",
that the daughters of Israel took certain stringencies upon themselves,
not simply a regular "gezeirah d'rabban", a rabbinical decree. Whether
we classify niddah as "mitzvah" or "matir" doesn't (IMHO) detract from
the possible hashkafic implications David I. Cohen<<

I have discussed this in detail with some colleagues.  Loosely based
upon these conclusions I would like to postulate the following "hidden
agenda" behind the chumro:

1) W/O this chumro, Bnos Yisroel were subject to frequently having to
consult poskim to determine if their blood were nida or zovo.  The
chumro of waiting the extra days served also as a kullo in that women
could now avoid embarrassing themselves.

2) It seems quite likely that keeping this chumro had the effect of
engineering leil tevilo (I.E. the immersion night) to closely co-incide
with the woman's ovulation...

Rich Wolpoe


From: Alexander Heppenheimer <Alexander.Heppenheimer@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 23:23:13 -0600
Subject: Re: Dagesh in yud

Percy Mett wrote:

>Eliyahu  Shiffman asks:
>>Does anyone know what the function is/was of a dagesh in a yud? And is
>>my name correctly pronounced Eliyahu or Eliahu? (The yud has a dagesh
>>in it.)
>Irrespective of the dogesh in the yud, the name is pronounced eli-yohu
>with a consonantal yud. The yud has a komats vowel.

True, although that doesn't fully answer the question. If the yud didn't
have a dagesh, then the chirik under the previous letter would be a "short"
chirik, similar to the vowel in "bin." The effect of the dagesh, as in most
letters, is to double the consonant, so that the word is pronounced as
though there were two yuds in it: one following the chirik, making it a
"long" chirik (with the sound of the vowel in "bee"), and the other a
consonantal yud with a kamatz. Which means that Mr. Shiffman's name should
actually be pronounced "eilee-yahu," with the accent on the "ya" (if not for
the dagesh in the yud, it would be "eili-yahu," also accented on the "ya"),
though hardly anyone actually says it that way.

(There's a similar situation with the name Daniel, by the way: given its
nikkud, it should properly be pronounced "danee-yeil," with the accent on
the last syllable and the alef silent.)

Kol tuv y'all,


From: I. Harvey Poch <af945@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 00:02:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: HaShem in Megillas Esther

Without repeating the entire argument of Alexander Heppenheimer, it
should be pointed out that the Esther posuk "v'es dosei haMelech aynom
osim" (and they do not act according to the King's laws) is deefinitely
interpreted by some to refer to haShem's laws, not those of
Achashverosh.  That's why the Jews deserved the punishment which Haman
had in store for them.

It's also interesting to note that there are no fewer than five
references to haShem in Esther through Roshei Teivos and Sofei
Teivos. Some good ba'alei koreh says these in a special way.

I. Harvey Poch  (8-)>


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 12:00:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Honoring One's Parents and Violation of Derabbanan / Stringency

"Tod" asks in V29.08 a question about getting ice cream for parents 2
hours after a fleischig meal and a possible problem of lifnei iver.
Rabbi Frand has a tape about this and he makes the distinction between
l.i. midoraysa and "mesayeh leh".  In the former case, the person could
not do the aveira without the person's help, in the latter the aveira is
available otherwise.  Clearly ice cream is pretty widely available so
this cannot be lifnei iver midoraysa.  Secondly, if this were a problem
no Jew should be allowed to have a milchig establishment since
non-observant Jews could come in after a meat meal and eat.  Third, 6
hours is not a universal minhag.  Finally, not only is there a mitzva of
kibbud ov involved, but if the person wou;ldn't do it it could estrange
the parents further from Judaism.  Obviously, consult a ROR.


From: Rachi Messing <rachim@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 08:47:44 -0400
Subject: Music during the three weeks

Does anyone know the source for not listening to recorded music during
the three weeks? I've found sources not to play musical instruments
because of simcha - which can probably be extended to listening to live
music, but besides extending it even further to include recorded music
is there any other source? Also, how about during sefiras haomer?

Rachi &  Devorah Messing
2800 Damascus Court  Apt. E
Baltimore, MD    21209


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 12:21:26 -0400
Subject: Restaurant Serving Meat during Nine Days

I was in a Fleishig restaurant yesterday.  I noticed that while I ate my
vegetarian nine-day meal, many were eating meat.

Question: is a glatt kosher restaurant responsible for serving meat to
those who should be halachically refraining from eating meat duringteh
nine days?

I recall that mashgichim (supervisors) did not wish to co-operate with
certifying the "Glatt Yacht" because it had mixed dancing.  Are
Mashgichim responsisble to keep meat off the plates of not-so careful
Jews during the nine days, too?

Rich Wolpoe


From: Daniel Werlin <daniel_werlin@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 99 09:52:51 -0500
Subject: Shabbat Chazon and Tisha b'Av

Two questions regarding Shabbat Chazon and Tisha b'Av:

1.  There seem to be two traditions regarding where the first aliyah of
parshat Devarim ends.  On the one hand, the Koren Tanach and the
ArtScroll chumash end the aliyah with verse 10.  On the other hand,
every other listing of the aliyah which I have (the Hertz chumash,
Siddur Rinat Yisrael, the JPS chumash, my two tikunim--including the new
"Simanim", and others) end the aliyah with verse 11.

>From a practical standpoint, I like the version of the majority--it's
easier to switch trop once (Eicah to regular) than twice (regular to
Eicha and back).  On the other hand, I can appreciate the esthetic which
might not want the aliyah to begin "Eicha..." (although I had though the
general principle was only to prevent text from *ending* on a bad note).

Does anyone know anything about the reason behind the divergence?

2.  My shul has always had the practice of reading Eicha on Tisha b'Av
day following the Torah reading.  I have not been able to find a single
halachic source for this (I was able to find one descriptive source: the
Sefer haToda'a mentions the practice), although many sources indicate
that it is appropriate for individuals (or the congregation as a body)
to read Eicha at some point *after* the service.

Does anyone else have the minhag of reading Eicha following the Torah
reading?  Does anyone know of a source/reason for this practice?



From: Jonathan Katz <jk469@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 11:37:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Source for Three Weeks

What is the status of the Three Weeks (between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av). I
recently tried looking up the laws of the three weeks in the Mishna
Brura and could not find mention of them (although the 9 days and
shavu'a shechal bo (the week in which 9 Av falls) were mentioned).

Is there a source in the M.B. which i was overlooking, or is the idea of
the 3 weeks more recent than this?


From: Heppenheimer, Alexander <Alexander.Heppenheimer@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 23:08:10 -0600
Subject: Re: Talmudic medical recipes (was: Urine and Medicine)

Sheldon Meth wrote:

>I have heard that we do NOT use Talmudic medical recipes or
>lechashos [incantations] today because: (1) we are not precisely
>familiar with the ingredients, the quantities, the preparation, nor the
>administrations; and (2) human physiology has changed sufficiently in
>nearly two millenia so as to make these cures, even if we could prepare
>and administer them properly, ineffective, if not harmful.

If I remember correctly, the Maharil (who lived in the 14th and 15th
centuries) gives another reason: if someone were to try these remedies or
incantations and find that they don't work, he might (rather than
attributing the failure to one of these two reasons) incorrectly conclude
that our Sages were just plain wrong, and that would be likely to make him
deny their authority altogether even in matters of halachah.

>I have also heard that there are two exceptions, one of which I
>forgot, and the other the famous pigeon-on-the-navel cure (for

As Warren Burstein pointed out in 29:6, the pigeon cure (and yes, it is for
hepatitis) doesn't seem to come from the Gemara or any classical source
(although, based on what I've heard, it certainly does seem to work: ask my
brother-in-law about it sometime, and he'll treat you to all the gory

The one exception that I've heard of - and it's probably the same one to
which you're referring - is a remedy for someone who has a bone stuck in his
throat (Shabbos 67a, bottom).

Kol tuv y'all,


End of Volume 29 Issue 10