Volume 30 Number 58
                 Produced: Fri Dec 31 10:50:41 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Are we losing the essence of Shabbos?
         [Aviva Fee]
Ask the Rabbi
Chalav Yisrael
         [Meir Shinnar]
Eli`ezer vs. El`azar
         [Gershon Dubin]
Giving Non-jewish wine as a gift
         [David Zilberberg]
Kissing one's Tzitzis while reciting last paragraph of Sh'ma
         [Boruch Merzel]
Maoz Zur
         [Eliezer Diamond]
Mayim Achronim
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Sadgurer Chasidim
         [Carl Singer]
What to do on x-mas
         [Carl Singer]
Women and Mayim Achronim
         [Akiva Miller]
Women not washing for Mayim Acharonim
         [Yael Aldrich]
Women not washing for Mayim Acharonim and German Jews
         [Michael Poppers]


From: Aviva Fee <aviva613@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 10:01:46 PST
Subject: Are we losing the essence of Shabbos?

Are we losing the essence of Shabbos?

I have found that while Shabbos is meant to be a day of rest and ease,
it has, at least for myself and people that I have talked to, turned
somewhat into a day of busyness and stress.

Think of it this way:

Come Friday night, there are any number of shalom zachors or shiurim to

Shabbos morning, the innumerable number of bar mitzvahs and kiddushim to

Also, many family's have a principle to "always" have guests.  This means 
that there is much more food that needs to be prepared, people served, etc.

Shabbos afternoon: Taking the children to friends, bnos, pirchei and then 
picking them up.

Motzie shabbos: Cleaning up, malave malke functions, etc.

What this adds up to is a day with a lot of activity and not a lot of
time for introspection.  While it is true that no one has to go to a
kiddush or simcha, the reality is that many people will be upset if a
friend does not grace the event with their presence.

Given all of that, what will it take to get back the essence of Shabbos?


From: <Danmim@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:17:17 EST
Subject: Re: Ask the Rabbi

does kolel eretz hemda have a web site or another how to contact them 


From: Meir Shinnar <Chidekel@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:51:35 EST
Subject: Chalav Yisrael

I have heard from someone close to the Rav Feinstein's family the
 1) Rav Moshe held that government inspection of milk meant that the
milk had the halachic status of chalav yisrael (i. e., this is not a
heter for halav stam, the milk is halav yisrael)(see Igrot moshe yoreh
Deah 4:5 where he states explicitly that regular milk in the United
States is "halav yisrael ledina")
 2) Members of rav Moshe's family held by this, and some drank (and
drink) "halav stam".  (I put quotes around halav stam, because according
to rav moshe it is halav yisrael)
 3) Rav Moshe himself only drank real "halav yisrael."
 4) On a number of occasions, rav moshe paskened that halav that a
yisrael observed the milking is required, even though his own logic
would suggest otherwise.  Why he deviated in these cases was not always
clear to my source, although it seemed that in some cases issues of
education were paramount.
 5) In all of these cases, he does not say he requires "halav yisrael",
but rather halav that a yisrael observed the milking, because regular
milk is "halav yisrael".
 6) It is therefore just wrong to say that Rav Moshe in general banned
regular milk, except under duress, as has been suggested by some

Meir Shinnar


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 16:34:07 -0500
Subject: Eli`ezer vs. El`azar

 From: A.J.Gilboa <
<<One speculation that I have heard is that, in Yiddish, both names are
abbreviated to Leizer and so the distinct spelling and pronunciation of
the two names is lost.>>

	No deal.  Leizer is a nickname for Eliezer. The corresponding
nickname for Elazar is Lozor/Luzor, depending on where you come from.



From: David Zilberberg <ZilbeDa@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 15:44:13 -0500
Subject: Giving Non-jewish wine as a gift

I recieved an expensive bottle of non-jewish wine as a christmas gift
from a client.  Is there a problem with giving the bottle to a gentile
as a gift?  I'm more interested in the the possible issur of gaining
hana'a from the wine, rather than the giving a christmas gift aspect.

David Zilberberg


From: Boruch Merzel <BoJoM@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:00:22 EST
Subject: Re: Kissing one's Tzitzis while reciting last paragraph of Sh'ma

 <<Yosef Gilboa wrote:

 "One practice that has not been mentioned yet is to kiss the tsitsit only
 at "v-haya lachem l-tsitsit". The other three occurrences of the word
 "tsitsit" are in the middle of a phrase, where stopping to kiss the
 tsitsit would interfere with the proper continuity of the recitation of
 the parasha. "V-haya lachem l-tsitsit", on the other hand, is a complete
 phrase, as is clearly shown by the t`amim (munah zarqa sgol), therefore
 it is appropriate to pause briefly to kiss the tsitsit." >>

Yosef Gilboa's suggested practice is strongly preferred by the Ba'al
"Torah T'mima" (in his sefer Boruch She-omar) and mentioned,too, in the
Siddur "Tzlusah D'Avraham" as the preferred method. (for the reason that
Yosef Gilboa offers) I have personally followed this practice for years.

Yisrael Medad is mistaken in believing that the "Major Poskem" prefer
that one kiss the Tzitzis after each mention.  In fact the poskem all
frowned on the custom of kissing the Tzitis when it first appeared,
(some rather strongly) as "Y'hirus" ( ostentatious behavior, wanting to
appear truly zealous ) But people being people and eager to demonstrate
their "frumkeit" , and no one wanting to appear less zealous than his
neighbor, the custom took hold, until now we have people discussing it
as though it were absolute halacha.

The words in our siddurim are not mere nonsense syllables, but have
meaning that must not be distorted if one is to daven properly. 

 Boruch Merzel


From: Eliezer Diamond <eldiamond@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 14:44:57 +0000
Subject: Re: Maoz Zur

	Israel Medad misunderstood me; hence his statement that my
posting was "roundabout." There was nothing roundabout in my posting; it
simply reflects the intentional ambiguity of the poet that has eluded
Medad. I translated "matbeah" as slaughter, which accomodates both the
sense of sacrifice and that of mass killing. The slaughter of the evil
among the nations is being equated with bringin an offering before
God. In any case, I did not suggest, nor do I agree with, the
translation "Altar" for "matbeah."
	Regarding the authorship of Maoz Zur: the poem's acrostic spells
out Mordekhai. Which one? I don't know.

Eliezer Diamond  


From: Eitan Fiorino <fiorino_anthony@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:53:35 -0500
Subject: Mayim Achronim

> As I understand it, the fundamental reason that we wash mayim achronim
> is halachic.  That is, to wash to remove shmutz (particularly the
> caustic "salt of Sodom") from our fingers before benching.

As many of the posts on this issue have referred to this as the reason
for washing mayim achronim, it is worth mentioning that there is another
reason given for doing so, which is that one is required to wash one
hands prior to tefila (this has nothing to do with the particular sakana
arising from Sodomite salt on one's hands).  There are some practical
consequences - for instance, if one washes because of salt, then there
is no reason to be quiet between washing and bentshing; in contrast, if
one washes in preparation for bentshing, then there would be a reason to
avoid a hefseik (such as talking).  Also, if one washes because of salt,
then one is obligated to wash even after bentshing if one was not able
to do so before.

Certainly, according to this second reason, the idea that women might be
exempt from mayim achronim owing to more careful eating habits would not

-Eitan Fiorino


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 08:08:14 EST
Subject: Sadgurer Chasidim

Does anyone have any information on the Sadgurer Chasidim -- I
understand that there may be a small community in Jerusalem (shule?

Carl Singer


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 22:24:10 EST
Subject: Re: What to do on x-mas

Not halachic in nature, but I found a practical (and symbolic) thing to
do was to go to work.  I found it a quiet day (re: interruptions, etc.)
to get work done and also, although x-mas is a official government
holiday, I don't want to do anything to acknowlege it.  Clearly when
x-mas falls on Shabbos, this isn't doable, but then it's Shabbos kodesh
with nothing added or taken away.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the shules I've been associated
with (and I used to do the community calendar in Edison / Highland Park)
make any adjustments for minyanim even though most people may have the
day off.  That in contrast to other secular holidas such as July 4th,
when a "Sunday schedule" is usually maintained.

Carl Singer


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:46:55 -0500
Subject: re: Women and Mayim Achronim

In MJ 30:52, several people have written that the main/only reason for
Mayim Acharonim is to insure that the hands are clean for benching, and
that women are exempt because their hands are presumably clean anyways.

The above is difficult for me to understand. It makes more sense (to me)
to say that there are many other reasons behind Mayim Acharonim. My
evidence for these "other reasons" is that there are many halachos which
seem to have nothing to do with simple cleanliness.

For example, we are told not to talk between M.A. and benching, and that
even Shir Hamaalos should be said *prior* to the M.A.; according to that
women *should* wash M.A. even if they washed their hands earlier, so
that there will be no interruption. Another example: M.A. should be from
a cup, not merely from a faucet; according to this, the washing which
women do in the course of the meal is invalid to begin with, even if we
ignore the talking aspect.

Steven Oppenheimer wrote <<< The Shevet HaLevi says that since in our
time the main reasons for washing mayim acharonim are kabalistic, we do
not require women to be stringent in this area and they do not wash mayim
acharonim.  This idea is echoed by Rabbi Yisrael David Harfeness, shlit"a
in VaYivarech David. >>>

I do not see how being "kabalistic" is relevant, unless those kabalistic
reasons differentiate between men and women. The opposite makes more
sense to me: According to these sources, M.A. is based on kabalah,
rather than on any practical "cleanliness" idea, and therefore it
applies to men and women equally.

Either it is an obligation for both sexes, or it is an obligation for
neither. I don't see any other explanation.

Akiva Miller


From: Yael Aldrich <aldrich613@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 20:03:24 EST
Subject: Re: Women not washing for Mayim Acharonim

>From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>

Joseph presents his example of Rebbitzin Feinstein saying women do not
have to wash mayim achronim.  I too cannot give any halachic reason why
women do not wash mayim achronim.  However, my rav (Rabbi Mordechai
Tendler) insisted that I wash mayim achronim (quite forcefully) when we
spent a Shabbos by him and his family.  I don't normally, but place it
front of women so they can do it if they need to.

Yael Aldrich


From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 12:16:41 -0500
Subject: Re: Women not washing for Mayim Acharonim and German Jews

In M-J 30#52, RSmith replied (presumably, re the earlier post by
> I've heard the same reason given why German Jews don't wash mayim
acharonim - Chas V'Shalom (Heaven forbid) that a proper German would eat
with his fingers! <

You got that right! :-) although I have to add this: chas v'cholilo that
a proper Yekke should *not* use his hands to get every last piece of
meat off the chicken bone.  In all seriousness, (a) there are plenty of
Yekkes who do wash MA; and (b) those who don't may be following the
point brought by SOppenheimer: "The Shevet HaLevi says that since in our
time the main reasons for washing mayim acharonim are kabalistic..."
(and see the M-J, and other, archives re related issues such as the
saying of "b'rich sh'mai" before the Torah is taken out of the aron, the
saying of "hin'ni muchan" before a pre-Mitzva blessing, etc.).

All the best from a certified Yekke,
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ


End of Volume 30 Issue 58