Volume 29 Number 29
                 Produced: Sun Aug  1  7:02:19 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

'Yud' as "jay"
         [Louis H. Feldman]
A Heter to say "Hashem" in English Blessings
         [Ascent of Safed]
Advisability of Using Elokim in translations
         [Russell Hendel]
Business Meetings in non-Kosher Restaurants (2)
         [Snyder Haim, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Kennedy Curse
         [Richard Alexander]
Nida and "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen" (2)
         [Zvi Weiss, Richard Wolpoe]
Unknown Kashrut Symbol (2)
         [Janice Gelb, David Charlap]


From: Louis H. Feldman <lfeldman@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 05:59:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: 'Yud' as "jay" 

Dear Moshe Nugiel,
An addendum: Transliterations of Hebrew are due to the Church Fathers
notably Jerome, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  This means via
Latin in the West.  Yud in Hebrew is transliterated by iota in Greek and 
I or J in Latin.  I and J are regarded in Latin as the same letter, I
being used as a vowel and j as a consonant.  The letter yud is the tenth 
letter in the alphabet, corresponding to the tenth letter in the Greek
alphabet (iota) and the tenth letter in the Latin alphabet.  The letter
y in the Latin alphabet corresponds to the Greek upsilon (u).
All good wishes.
Louis Feldman

On 20 Jul 1999, Moshe Feldman wrote:

> In Latin, the letter J was pronounced like a Y.  (Source: my father,
> Dr. Louis H. Feldman, Professor of Classics at YU.)  
> <Snip>
> As an aside, the Latin transliterations are fairly accurate and have
> been used by scholars to prove how certain words were pronounced 2000
> years ago.  For example, Gaza is the transliteration of Aza because
> the Ayin, as pronounced correctly (e.g., by Yemenites has a gutteral
> sound).
> Kol tuv,
> Moshe


From: Ascent of Safed <seminars@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 20:10:52 +0300
Subject: re: A Heter to say "Hashem" in English Blessings

Russell Hendel(v29n19) wrote:

>Tilles Yerachmiel (v28n101) is of the opinion that if one is saying
>a blessing in English that one should not say 'Blessed are You, Hashem'
>but should rather say 'Blessed are You, God'.

>My own opinion is that "everyone knows" that HASHEM means God and therefore
>it is permissable to use the term. The logical idea behind this is that
>the term HASHEM has acquired an English meaning. ... HASHEM means GOD
>because that is how everyone uses it.

Uh, oh. Artscroll will have fits when they read this. Now they will have to
reprint their siddur again, because their stated reason for "HASHEM" is that
it doesn't have the holiness of a (translation of a) official holy name, and
all the associated problems of desecration thereof. May we now not discard
pieces of paper that have Boruch HASHEM on them? How about B"H? Perhaps
their response (defense?) would be: the term may have acquired a meaning,
but has it acquired kedusha (sanctity)? 

Yrachmiel Tilles
http://www.ascent.org.il (worth checking out)


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 19:17:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Advisability of Using Elokim in translations

There have been alot of discussions on names of God (Thus Scott (v29n01)
asked about SHLOMO in Song of Songs and KING in Megilath ester which was
answered by Joseph (v29n05). Similarly we have Etan's question from a
bell lab computer person on whether it is preferable to change Gods name
in computer translations (v28n96 and Harvey's response v29n03).

A relevant source for all these questions is a minor tractate called the
tractate of SOFRIM. (It can be found in many Gmarrahs after the tractate
on Idolatry or Horayoth). This tractace lists many laws about writing
Sefer Torahs and related customs. This tractate is also cited by many
Rishonim. As an example Joseph Geretz's (correct) explanation of
Shavuoth 35b--that Shlomo MEANS God according to the Pshat in Song of
Songs while KING means Achashvayrosh in Ester--is more or less mentioned
in Sofrim.

Returning to the question from the computer programmer: The tractate of
Sofrim is clear that the word denoting God should sometimes be
translated in a secular fashion.  Thus Exodus 22:27 should be translated
as "Don't curse a Judge (Elohim) and don't curse a King".

It would therefore be a mistake to translate this as ELOKIM. The proper
translation is ELOHIM and this word is not sacred (and may be
erased!!!).  The Tractate Sofrim (or the Rambam, or the Shulchan Aruch)
has a complete list of such secular usages of God

However the idea of translating the tetragrammaton as HASHEM appears to
be a nice idea.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
Moderator Rashi Is Simple


From: Snyder Haim <HaimSn@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 16:00:21 +0200
Subject: Re: Business Meetings in non-Kosher Restaurants

In Vol 29 #22, Daniel Israel posed the following question
> In June, I was faced with the same situation--here in Israel.  My
> neighborhood rav told me that I could participate, but to wear a hat
> that would not identify me as dati (religious). (I.E., no kippa; I don't
> wear a black hat.) There was to be a "kosher table," with food brought
> in from elsewhere, and so long as I knew that this food was indeed
> kosher (in its own container and with plastic ware), there was no
> problem eating it, he said.

I'm confused.  If there is a "kosher table" where the food is really
halachically okay, then why shouldn't the people sitting at it be
identifiable as dati?  Since the "kosher table" is probably not
identifiable as such to the casual observer, wearing a kippa (or any
other sign of being observant) would give the unwanted impression that
the place was kosher, despite its lack of a certificate.

This is a problem of "michshol lifnei iveir".

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 23:52:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Business Meetings in non-Kosher Restaurants

> I'm confused.  If there is a "kosher table" where the food is really
> halachically okay, then why shouldn't the people sitting at it be
> identifiable as dati?

Since people looking at the table from outside would not necessarily be
able to identify the food as kosher, then there is still a matter of
mar'is ayin.  One must not only be correct, one must appear to be acting
correctly.  Consider the story of the Syrian general who dropped a coin
near an avodas zara.  One would be forbidden to pick up the coin since
it would appear to be a case of bowing to the avodas zara.

Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore" | Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
 Jews are the fish, Torah is our water | Zovchai Adam, agalim yishakun


From: Richard Alexander <JAlexan186@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 10:03:09 EDT
Subject: Re: Kennedy Curse

In reference to the "Kennedy curse", just a brief point of information.
The story cited by Yisrael Medad in about Joe Kennedy and the
S.S. St. Louis is almost surely apocryphal.

The passengers on this ship were not "refugees".  All, or almost all,
were German Jews who had visas for Cuba.  When the Cubans refused to
allow them ashore, and the U.S. refused them entry, the ship went back
to Europe.  However, contrary to Mr. Medad's story, they were NOT "all
sent to concentration camps, where almost all were murdered."  Rather,
while the ship was returning to Europe, there was a desparate diplomatic
effort to settle these people in other European countries.  Most were
resettled in France, Belgium, and Holland (I think).  Of course,
following the outbreak of war and the conquest of these countries a year
later, most of the St. Louis Jews were in peril again.  Records show,
however, that about 1/3 of the Jews on that ship survived the war, many
even coming to the U.S. afterward.

As for Joe Kennedy's involvement in the St. Louis episode, I doubt it
was that important.  By that time (July 1939), Roosevelt had lost
confidence in Joe and was preparing to recall him as U.S. ambassador to
Britain.  Unfortunately, there were many other anti-Semites in the
U.S. State Department, who had far more influence than old Joe.

To me, the "curse" sounds like a post-facto "bubbemeisse" invented to
"explain" the various tragedies that have occurred in the Kennedy

Richard Alexander


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 12:57:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Nida and "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen"

> >>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.

A problem with this approach is that -- orignially -- people worried
about tum'ah and tahara for OTHER reasons besides marital ones.  People
who brought Sacrifices, ate Ma'aser Sheni, were members of a Kohein's
household ALL had very good reason(s) to become Tahor as wuickly as
possible.  In that context, I am not sure that teh "shame" of having to
ask a shaila would outweigh the MANY "difficulties" that being tameh
would engender...

> >>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...

Again, this only makes sense if this chumra was accepted AFTER people
were no longer worries about Tum'ah and Tahrah in other contexts.  Is that
the case?  I thought that in r. Zeira's time, they may still have had
ashes of the Parah Aduma (it seems that they *did* use this for a while
after the churban...)


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 12:58:42 -0400
Subject: Nida and "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen"

Rich Wolpoe
>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...

>>From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>

>I don't disagree with the above at all. It may very possibly be the
>reasons behind the gezeira (although I'd like to see a source for the
>speculation).  One question on R. Richard's reason #2---
>does that mean that if for some reason a women's cycle prevents
>pregnancy because of the "7 days", can we find heter for her, basic on
>the fact that the gezeira is defeating its own purpose?  David

Here's how I see it (in a general way).

Bnos Yisroel came up with the idea

Chazal ratified it, based upon some reasons possibly including some
"hidden agenda" or perrhaps other esoteric reasons.

And remember, halachos are often done lo plug, IOW standardized to meet
the needs of the vast majority, and not so felixible to tailro it to

So WHAT prompted Bnos Yisroel?  Possbily reaons #1.  What prompted
Chazal to agree to this new chumro? Possbily reason #2.

Why weren't these reasons publicized?  Perhaps, because it might set up
exceptions such as R. DI Cohen's.

What am I publicizing it NOW?  Because after about 50 generations, I
think the halacho has the power of aaccpeted practice (minhog avosienu
beyodeinu) and I am no longer afraid that it will be tampered with willy
nilly.  And I wish to "apologize" to show skeptics that what appears to
be arbitrary has a very solid ratoinale,

I have already been chastised by one friend for "letting the cat out of
the bag".  I think he has a point.  Chazal didn't, why should I.  As I
say above, I think they couldn't lest it become abused.  Today, with the
halacho solidly entrenehed by the poskim, I mean to add little on the
practical side, rahter this is now strictly a matter for Machshovo - an
academic excersize to attempt to make the MOST sense out of a "done
deal".  To take the halocho and she the best possible light upon it.  I
think this was an underlying theme of books like Dr. Norman Lamm's Hedge
of Roses and Aryeh Kaplan's Waters of Eden.  In that spirit, I am adding
2 more cents to make more sense <pun>

Rich Wolpoe


From: Janice Gelb <janice.gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 13:31:59 -0700
Subject: Re: Unknown Kashrut Symbol

Tirzah Houminer <tirzah@...> wrote:
> The kashrut symbol is one that is new to us, it is made of a large
> K and right next to it, on its right is a large D, the K is in bold print,
> the D in regular print, and the left hand stroke of the K is rounded out to
> form a half moon (can you understand what I am describing?) above the
> symbol in small letters appears the legend rev 60498.
> we, especially the kids, would appreciate the  help,

The hechsher you describe is from Kosher Overseers Associates of America
in Beverly Hills, CA. For contact information for them, and for
information on other kashrut symbols, I recommend looking at the web
pages from a market called Trader Joe's.  They provide addresses and
contact names for most kashrut symbols.

The ones for the West Coast of the U.S. are at:


The ones for the East Coast are at:


[Yes, the typo in "symbols" in the East Coast URL is part of the

Janice Gelb               | The only connection Sun has with      
<janice.gelb@...>   | this message is the return address. 

From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 03:41:11 +0000
Subject: Re: Unknown Kashrut Symbol

This is the "half-moon-K".  (The "D" part means the product is dairy).

According to Kashrus magazine, it belongs to:

	Kosher Overseers Association of America, Inc.
	Box 1321
	Beverly Hills, CA 90213

	(213) 870-0001
	Fax: (213) Kosher-1

	Rabbi Dr, Harold Sharfman, Rabbinic Administrator
	Rabbi Eli Frankel, Kashrus Coordinator

	Publication: Global Guide To Kosher Foods & Restaurants

They certify products sold nationwide.

As for their reliability, CYLOR.  I don't know, and it's beyond the charter of
this list.

-- David


End of Volume 29 Issue 29