Volume 29 Number 89
                 Produced: Mon Oct 25  7:26:27 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Etymology of word Pareve (2)
         [Joseph Geretz, Percy Mett]
Ketuba Pricing
         [Asher Goldstein]
         [Josh Jacobson]
P'shat and drash/"Mature love" (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Joseph Geretz]
Prominent? Rabbi
         [Binyomin Segal]
Shehechiyanu on the Sukkah
         [Akiva Miller]
         [Aharon Fischman]
Titles in Calling up to an Aliyah
Tzniut Discussion
         [Moshe Feldman]
Vilna Gaon on Sukkot
         [Alan Brill]
Why No Samech in "al chet"
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Women angels; appropriate reading material
         [Freda B Birnbaum]


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 23:39:22 -0400
Subject: Etymology of word Pareve

David Curwin asked:
> Does anyone know the origin of the word "pareve"?

There was a chamber in the Bais Hamikdash (Holy Temple) called the Bais
HaPareve (the Pareve chamber). This chamber was half in the Ezras
Kohanim and half in the Ezras Yisrael, 'neither here nor there' so to
speak.  Therefore, the term Pareve has come to mean neither meat nor
dairy.  (Sometimes Pareve is also used to mean 'neutral' in other
contexts as well.)

(I heard this theory from my father and it is the best explanation I
have ever heard for the origin of the word Pareve.)

G'mar Tov,
Yossi Geretz

From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 17:41:42 +0100
Subject: Etymology of word Pareve

I don't claim to know the etymology of pareve, but any Yiddish speaker
can tell you that the word is 'parev'. Like all adjectives, parev is
declined to match its noun so, in the singular feminine and in the
plural forms it becomes 'pareve'.

Perets Mett


From: Asher Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 14:20:32 +0200
Subject: Ketuba Pricing

In regard to Isaac A Zlochower's querying the 200 "zuzim" in the
traditional ketuba, here in Israel--as I sure others will point out--a
true Shekel amount is written into the contract and read out at the
ceremony.  All Orthodox.  There are those who try to be silly and enter
an unrealistic figure, but I'm not sure if they ever received the advice
of a lawyer to do that.  Admittedly I don't know whether a civil court
here has ruled on the validity of the ketuba as a binding contract, but
it would seem to be a legal document in every respect.  Are dollar
amounts never written into ketuvot signed in the U.S.?

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, FOCUS
University of Haifa
Tel. 972-4-8240104


From: Josh Jacobson <JRJ4859@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 23:32:12 EDT
Subject: Negi'ah

I am posting this for my son, Benjamin. can anyone asnwer this from a
scholarly point of view, or point to any relevant literature that would
be readable by a non-scholar?

> I am in search of information on the topic of shmirut negi'ah.
> Specifically, when did it first appear on the halachic landscape, what
> the purpose of this gedder is (tum'at nidah, kidushin, or otherwise),
> etc.

-Josh Jacobson


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 18:48:23 -0400
Subject: P'shat and drash/"Mature love"

> From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
> I don't understand this. Do you mean that any 
> description/presentation
> of human love between men and women is lewd? That would leave out an
> awful lot of what is widely considered great literature, including
> poetry, novels and plays. And although the vast majority of movies
> today are forgettable entertainment, some films are inspiring and
> uplifting. Do you distinguish between pornography and art? If you
> object to any presentation of romantic love in any artistic medium
> --although you certainly have a right to your opinion -- I would 
> guess that a lot of secularly educated "frum" Jews would disagree.

That may well be.  However, the correct approach is not to use secular
education or some "wide description" of great literature as the
benchmark.  Look within Judaism: do you find any kind of depiction of
human love outside a halachic/aggadic framework i.e. for inspiration or
uplifting as you put it?  I submit objections to this, coming from a
secular source, are essentially not germane to the discussion of
Judaism's stand on this.


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 08:20:42 -0400
Subject: P'shat and drash/"Mature love"

I wrote:
>Mature love is never lewd. However the *publicization* of (so-called
>mature) love (e.g. movies, love songs, etc.) is always lewd.

Gitelle Rapoport  responded:
> I don't understand this. Do you mean that any description/presentation
> of human love between men and women is lewd? That would leave out an
> awful lot of what is widely considered great literature, including
> poetry, novels and plays.

First of all, I said *publicization* not *description/presentation*. (I
recall discussing the topic in depth with my Chavrusa who prepared me
for marriage and I would not consider his descriptions or presentations
lewd.)  To your second question - Yes, that would leave out an awful lot
of what is widely considered great literature. Halacha is not concerned
with 'great literature'.

> Do you distinguish between pornography and art?

Halacha descibes the parameters of Tznius. Secular definitions of 'art'
vs 'pornography' are of no import.

> If you object to any presentation of romantic love in any artistic
> medium --although you certainly have a right to your opinion -- I
> would guess that a lot of secularly educated "frum" Jews would
> disagree.

I cannot uncritically accept your wholesale [description] of secularly
educated frum Jews in this regard. I'll accept this however, as a statement
of your own philosophy. Perhaps this influence of secular education is what
the Netziv had in mind when he closed down Volozhin rather than allow
secular influences to encroach into the curriculum.

G'mar Tov,
Yossi Geretz


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 14:18:51 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Prominent? Rabbi

 Paul Shaviv wrote:
  * (A few months ago, one of N America's most prominent rabbonim, 
  * lecturing on the get/agunah problem, opened his analysis by saying that 
  * there really wasn't such a problem "because most women or their families 
  * can find the money".)

While I recognize the kindness inherent in Paul's protecting the
anonymity of this Rabbi, I cannot agree. First, from a perspective of
scholarship, this kind of accusation must have attribution. Further, and
perhaps more importantly, at least part of being "prominent" is having
the respect of the Jewish leadership around the world. I would certainly
not want to call upon this rabbi and support his being "prominent".

kol tuv


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 08:34:11 EDT
Subject: Shehechiyanu on the Sukkah

As I understand it, the bracha of Shehechiyanu on the first night of
Sukkos covers three distinct things:

1) The holiday itself
2) Eating in the Sukkah for the first time this year
3) Distinct from #2, Shehechiyanu also relates to the building of the
Sukkah, and could technically be said upon completion on the building,
*prior* to Sukkos

My question is this: If a person is a guest at someone else's sukkah on
the first night, or for any other reason (such as illness) does not say
Shehechiyanu in the sukkah he/she built, what happens to that aspect? Is
there any authority who suggests that one should decline invitations, so
that he will be able to say this Shehechiyanu in one's own sukkah?

Akiva Miller


From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 06:21:42 -0400
Subject: RE: Shidduchim

Chaim Shapiro wrote:
>   But, what can be done?  Halachaiklally as I understand it, I can not
>comment on an individuals problems unless I have seen them myself!

My understanding of the requirement to relay information with regards to
shidduchim is that you must give over _any_ information that you have.
Perhaps someone has a halachick source that has a clearer direction of
what to do?



From: <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 23:53:23 EDT
Subject: Titles in Calling up to an Aliyah

In the message below, Aviva Fee wrote:
 I have found that in many shuls, the gabbai (sexton) will call up the
 person for an aliyah with a title, such as HaBochur, Reb, HaRav, etc.  I
 was recently at a minyan where a unmarried man who was over 40 was
 called up as HaBochur so and so.  He was not pleased that he was being
 called up with such a title.
 I ask one gabai and he said that people must be called up with titles.
 Is there indeed such a halacha or inyan to be called up with a title?
 Thanks!! >>

 Firstly, I would like to commend the writer for the sensitivity to the
matter and for bringing it up for public discussion.
 I am not aware of a halacha to call up people with titles-and indeed
have seen people called up sans titles-except presumably for a Rabbi. On
the other hand, using titles in this matter,as in other things, can add
a nice touch of dignity to the proceedings (It would seem somewhat
inconsistent though, for people to insist on titles here, if they do not
use them similarly in everyday life, preferring instead, the 60's style
of using first names with almost everyone (something I oppose).
 A few words now about different possible titles that can be used-
 Moreinu-used for Rabbi of Shul/teacher-leader (some of these
titles,e.g.  Moreinu and Chaver, in the past were strictly limited to
those with certain specific qualifications. For more on this, see Yaffa
Eliach's excellent 'There Once Was A World-A 900 Year Chronicle Of The
Shtetl Of Eishyshok' (Little Brown 1998),pages 78-80 and footnotes
 haRav-should be used only for Rabbis.
 'Reb'-this seems to be used in many places for just about all married
males, who are not in the category of Rav. What exactly 'Reb' means is
not entirely clear. I suspect that the hassidic movement may have
influenced the dropping/dissolution of the clearly/rigidly defined old
title structure, in favor of a more amorphous one, in which most people
are called Reb-perhaps similar to how, in some places, many males are
called 'Rabbi' even if they are not really Rabbis.
 haChaver (our colleague)-this title, which I believe is used in some
German-Jewish congregations, seems to be a fine solution for a title for
non-Rabbi married men.  As stated above though, granting of this title
to one and all might not properly be (or have been) fully automatic.
 for never-married men-
 habachur (bachur literally meaning chosen one-not necessarily a
youngster, though it has taken on that connotation)-normally used for
youngsters from bar-mitzvah to 20's or so.
 haChasan (literally 'the groom'-used for an engaged male and other
times for an older 'eligible' male, even if not 'engaged'-perhaps as a
reminder/encouragement for him to become one and/or reminder for the
Congregation to help turn him into one).
 Anyway-perhaps there is room for improvement re how to call up older
single men for aliyas-perhaps they can be called with Reb, haChaver,
Rabbi (if appropriate) or haChasan. Is it too harsh to say that calling
a 40+ single man to the Torah as 'habochur' (and also perhaps referring
to such a person in conversation as 'an alter bochur') may be a possible
violation of embarrassing someone in public? Is it not enough that he
sits through davening without a tallis (in many cases), sticking out
like a 'sore thumb' (a minhag that can be and has been questioned-and
perhaps should be reexamined)? Must his single state be 'rubbed in' more
through being called 'bochur'?



From: Moshe Feldman <MFeldman@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 17:54:46 -0400
Subject: RE: Tzniut Discussion 

Seth Kadish wrote:
> Recently there has been much discussion of issues like mixed 
> dancing and kol isha, in our time as compared to previous generations.
> Anyone interested in the topic should take a look at the following:
> 1)  Yoske Ahituv's article in issue 4 of "Deot" (published by 
> Ne'amanei Torah va-Avoda) on humrot regarding tzniut, and their roots 
> in the ideology of the "Mercaz Harav" segment of religious Zionism.

This article may be found (in Hebrew; need Hebrew fonts) at

I also recommend an article (in Hebrew) by Rabbi Yehuda Henkin discussing
the mixing of men and women in Modern-Orthodox society at

Kol tuv,


From: Alan Brill <abrill@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 11:54:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vilna Gaon on Sukkot

The source of Elie Wiesel's quote of the Vilna Gaon on Sukkot is his
commentary on Mishlei 7:14, Philip edition page 95.  The original
statement of the Gra was not in reference to Sukkot but to the hagiggah
sacrifice which was eaten by the offerers.  The yezer hara comes not
through sins but through mizvot, "therefore the yezer hara does not come
except through eating and joy (simhah)."  On the Sabbath we can exempt
ourselves from eating with even a small fish, but the hagigah requires
actual eating and joy. Through this the yezer hara will seduce us.

The Gaon was a strong dualist between the evils of this world and the
light of Torah.  Any form of "worship through corporeality" or serving
God through the physical is fraught with danger.

Also on Yonah 4:5 he has a comment specifically on Sukkot Sukkot teaches
us not to follow this world, but to sit in the shade of Torah.

In his Hemdat Genuzah, he links sukkot with external pleasure (simhah) in
contrast to internal pleasure (sasson).


From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 16:49:20 +0200
Subject: Why No Samech in "al chet"

Does anyone know why in the alphabetical vidui, the letter samech is
replaced with the letter shin/sin?

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 10:43:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Women angels; appropriate reading material

Ira Robinson asked about women-as-angels.
I saw a post on another list which raised a similar question, from the
woman's point of view.

Ira noted that
> I was reading the Kizzur Shulhan Arukh dealing with Kol Nidrei Night
> and came across the following (chapter 132, halakha 4):
> There are those who stand on their feet throughout all the Arvit
> service and all the day...the reason for the standing is to be like
> the angels (ke-dugmat ha mal'akhim) and therefore women should not
> stand.

It happened that we received in the mail from a yeshiva, along with a
request for funds, a "free sample" consisting of a small booklet with
selected items from the Metsuda Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.  The booklet
included, among other useful information, the above-quoted item and also
an item detailing in more explicit language than I am interested in
reading, never mind repeating, what a man should do if he had a wet

This information may be interesting and important in its place.  What I
find difficult to understand is why, in a publication obviously aimed at
baalei teshuva (a linear translation), this material which is incredibly
off-putting, in the first instance to women and in the second instance
to practically anybody brought up in the secular world today, had to be
the material chosen to include in a sample selection.  I suppose I
should write the yeshiva a letter.  Does anyone here have any insight
into the thought process that goes on here?

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


End of Volume 29 Issue 89