Volume 30 Number 75
                 Produced: Fri Jan  7  6:18:27 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Easing into Shabbos
         [Carl Singer]
Giving Non-Kosher wine as a Gift to a Non-Jew (2)
         [Wendy Baker, Eli Turkel]
Kavana During Sh'ma
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kibbud Av V'Em
Lenth of Torah
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
Oral vs Quiet Prayer
         [Yisrael Medad]
Toilet Paper on Shabbos
Torah MiSinai
         [Joseph Geretz]
Torah Misinai
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Who counts for a minyan?
         [Janet Rosenbaum]


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 18:50:57 EST
Subject: Re: Easing into Shabbos

Granted that I never got past Psych 101 -- I was too busy with quantum
mechanics -- but having experienced pre-Shabbos in many households as a
guest, and in my own (as a child and a parent) there's something to be
said about easing into Shabbos.  With the possible exception of when she
was confined to a hospital bed in labor, my wife follows her mother's
and grandmothers'.... tradition of having the Shabbos Table set Thursday
night, before retiring.

I can "preach" from the lofty perch of someone who normally works from
home on Friday as does my wife -- but even in the good old days, Shabbos
prep was usually completed (but for certain foods that need to be cooked
fresh) by before lights out on Thursday.

Nonetheless, Fridays tend to be hectic especially during the winter
(short day) months and moreso when company is expected.  As mentioned in
an earlier posting, children being given assignments (and husbands, and
"guests", too) not only distributes some of the work, but also has value
as chinuch.

Although I'm not a politically correct, sensitive 90's kind of guy (or a
00's, either) I find I'm uncomfortable in those homes where Wife does
all the work (cooking, cleaning, bathing the kids) and Husband just
makes sure that his tie is straight.  In many homes that I've visted,
the Husband takes on specific chores each Friday (putting up the kettle,
taking out the garbage, cooking, etc., -- and maybe I've learned from
these positive examples.)  Same goes for children of both genders.

Since it's Tuesday, the above note is pretty easy to write.  Come Friday
afternoon, I dare say, I'll have better things to do :)

Carl Singer


From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 18:17:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Giving Non-Kosher wine as a Gift to a Non-Jew

I deal in food reclamatiion at my shul.  We have various kinds of drives
during the year and give, as a result, to many orgaizations both Jewish
and non-Jewish.  When we are giving to non-Jews, as at our Chametz
Drive, we give people the opportunity to donate any foods they might
have of "questionable kashrut".  Of course, it must be non-perishable,
and in an unopened container, etc.  This food goes to feed hungry
people.  Wine would be a particlar problem, as we don't donate it or any
other alchohol drinks for obvious reasons.  We have had to go so far as
to separate our Purim Drive to the Sunday before Purim, so people don't
confuse it with Shalach Manot for the poor and include tiny bottles of
wine.  The Jewish homeless who are the recipients of the Purim drive
often have dependancy or mental problems so alcohol would present a real

If you have an unwanted bottle of wine, give it to a friend, an
acquaintance, a co-worker, but not to a food drive or other type of food

Wendy Baker 

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 100 11:09:16 +0200 ("IST)
Subject: Giving Non-Kosher wine as a Gift to a Non-Jew

> >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

I don't think stam yeenam is prohibited in benefit.
Since I assume the wine was not offered to avodah zara it should be ok.

Eli Turkel


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 00:16:45 +0200
Subject: Kavana During Sh'ma

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> wrote:

"For several years, I used to kiss my tzitzis during the Sh'ma, but I
could never understand the words...
I don't kiss the tzitzis during the Sh'ma anymore. I think it's a bigger
mitzva to get the words right."

For the benefit of those who wish to read the Sh'ma as it should be,
I have several copies of the "Kri'at Sh'ma B'dikudeka uv'diyukeha"
written by Rav Chaim Sonnenfeld, Rav Neveh Avivim, Ramat Aviv
which was printed up in a schule bulletin which prints out the Sh'ma
in all its exactitude, emphases, trop, nikud, et al.  It's amazing and
for those who can't kiss tzitzit for fear of missing out on a pronunciation,
this is the next best thing.  Just one page long.
As I don't have a scanner, maybe someone can volunteer to put it up.

[If someone scans it in, I will put it up on the mail-jewish
website. Mod.]


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 19:47:04 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Kibbud Av V'Em

Rise Goldstein writes about the affect of abuse on the obligations of
kibbud av v'em
  * observant over vehement parental objections, such estrangements MAY BE
  * unavoidable.  Among the more obvious examples that comes to my mind is
  * emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, where an offspring would be
  * placing her-/himself literally into a situation of sakkanat nefashot
  * (mortal danger), or at minimum a serious threat to physical or emotional
  * health, by maintaining contact with abusive parents or siblings.  I am
  * I am not aware that there is ANY obligation on the part of the offspring
  * to expose her-/himself to such danger.  As such, trying to force a
  * reconciliation based on "kibbud av va'eim" (honoring parents) or "shelom
  * bayit" (family peace) is not defensible, and offspring should be
  * supported in their need to maintain their own personal safety and
  * physical as well as emotional health.

I think all of us agree that physical danger would certainly excuse a
child from contact with parents. And though I have assumed (and been
supported by many other rabbis in this) that emotional health would also
fall into this category it is a little hard to get a clear set of
guidelines and sources.

What sources in Jewish law do we have that really suggest that emotional
health takes precedence over kibud av v'em? And if we use analogy from
physical harm, aren't we talking about VERY extreme emotional abuse? 

Thoughts anyone?



From: Robert Schoenfeld <roberts@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 20:33:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Lenth of Torah

According to Professor Lawrence Schiffman Of NYU in his book "From Text
to Tradition" that there were atleast 4 variants of Torah 2000 yrs ago
Samaritan, LXX, Masoretic, and a fourth which may be from the Saducee
and used by the sect which collected the Scrolls by the dead sea. The
Samaritan seems to be a northern Palestinian one Our Masoretic
Palenstinian, and the LXX Helenic Egyptian (see his book for furthur

				73 de Bob
+            e-mail:<roberts@...>                   _____              +
+            HomePage:http://www.liii.com/~roberts     \   /              +


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 07:18:01 +0200
Subject: Oral vs Quiet Prayer

 Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes <sthoenna@...> wrote in response to two of
my points and provided answers.
 I am sorry if my style was misleading.  
 I was trying to be rhetorical by pointing out several other issues that
would interfere, supposedly, with a simplistic view of "interruption".
(As my followup, I was/am aware of the answers).
 I was thereby trying to point out that the original viewpoint of the
person who first brought it up was not in line with most, if not all,
other points taken.
 Yisrael Medad


From: <CHIHAL@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 18:40:52 EST
Subject: Re: Toilet Paper on Shabbos

     In mail-jewish #60, Carl Singer wrote << I forget whose home I was
at, but during one of my "road Shabboses" when I was on Army duty and
spending Shabbos with a host family -- with the hustle-bustle of Shabbos
preparation, they gave one of their younger children the job of tearing
toilet paper for Shabbos. >>
        I am **not** making up the following:
       A friend of mine (now niftar, z'l) once told me that his
grandfather said that in the shtetls of Europe they would devote
Christmas Day to tearing as much paper as they could, for toilet paper.
(Since I'm sure this was pre-Charmin days, maybe they used newspapers or
the European equivalent of the Sears Catalogue.)
      I know of the animosity between many Jews and many Christians.  I
also know that if they used a newspaper or something like that, our
ancestors would have a problem with tearing it on Shabbat out of concern
they were "erasing."  Has anybody else heard this "Christmas custom", or
was my friend's zaideh telling a bubbemaiseh?
       Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)

[The above custom was just referenced about a week or two ago on the
thread "what do Jews do on Xmas. So there is independent
corrolation. Mod.]


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 20:08:35 -0500
Subject: Torah MiSinai

Russel Hendel wrote:
> Gilad Gevaryahu's posting (v30n48) suggesting that our current Torah
> is NOT perfectly identical with the one that Moses gave us seems to
> have gone unchallenged.
> I think there is something to talk about here and would encourage
> dialogue.

I'm glad Russel brought this up. This thead was kicked off originally in MJ
Vol 30, Number 34, with the following statement from Joshua Jacobson:

> On the other hand, some modern Biblical
> scholars speculate that a paragraph ending with an unfinished sentence
> indicates the excision of several words by the hand of an early
> editor. The missing words do appear in the Septuagint.  In this ancient
> Greek translation the verse reads. "And while Israel dwelt in that land,
> Reuben went and lay with Balla the concubine of his father Jacob, and
> Israel heard of it,{ and it appeared evil in his sight.}" The italicized
> words [Italics do not transfer well over the general email systems,
> although there are more today which do maintain font formating, many
> still do not, so I have replaced the italics with {}'s. Mod.] are the
> phrase that is missing in the Masoretic text.

I originally I wondered, whether such a position was valid for inclusion
on our Halachic forum. I addressed this privately to our moderator who
addressed this concern in a following bulletin, but I really didn't
understand his position.

My problem with the original statement, is that, according to my
understanding at least, it defies the RaMBam's 8'th article of faith:

RaMBaM's 8th:
I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah which is now in our hands
is that which was given to Moshe Rabbeinu, peace be upon him.

So what puzzles me is, how can there be any 'dialogue' regarding this
subject, without one side of the dialogue violating RaMBam's 8th? And
if, indeed one side of the dialogue violates RaMBaM's 8th, then how is
this a dialogue which is suitable for Mail Jewish?

On the other hand, if you feel that the RaMBaM's 8th leaves sufficient
lattitude for some sort of dialogue, I'd like to understand what exactly
are the parameters of RaMBaM's 8th and how much room there is for

[Two quick points. First, and likely not relevent for this particular
case, but not all reshonim agree with the Rambam's articles of faith. So
from a theoretical point of view, something that disagrees with the
Rambam's articles of faith is not automatically out of bounds (although
I will usually spend a significant amount of time deciding on whether to
let it through or to comment on it at the spot, as I sometimes do). The
more relevent discussion here would be what is the Rambam talking about
in his 8th article of faith. I have not reviewed it in detail in a few
years (I would not base myself on either the Yigdal or the listing at
the end of davening, but where the Rambam discusses them in detail). My
memory is that it part of the authority of Torah and Mitzvot theme, and
the Rambam was definitely not saying that every letter in our text is
exactly the same as Moshe's text. As I remember it, the Rambam was very
interested in trying to verify the Masoraitic text, and thus knew well
about textual variations. His article of faith is that from a meaning /
mitzvot perspective nothing was added or removed from the Torah by the
neveiim or later sages. If someone who has dealt with this topic more
recently I would appreciate hearing from them. Mod.]


Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.

From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 11:47:13 +0200 (IST)
Subject: RE: Torah Misinai

> From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
> 2)"We are not expert in FULL and DEFICIENT" ...
> Thus we have a grammatical rule here. All the
> Talmud means when it says we are not expert is that we don't fully know
> how to apply this rule in all cases..there is no doubt about the
> spellings in the Torah (see http://www.shamash.org/v1-1-28.htm for
> further details).

I don't understand this. The Talmud (Kidushin 30a) asks why it is
impossible to settle a question of which letter is at the middle of one
of the volumes of the Torah by counting the letters in a Torah scroll,
and replies with this statement.  That is, there may be some uncertainty
in the NUMBER OF LETTERS, and therefore an actual count cannot decide
the issue. Interpreting the answer as referring to a grammatical rule
simply does not answer the question that was posed in the Talmud.

Moshe Goldberg - <mgold@...>


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 19:26:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Who counts for a minyan?

Yoel Finkelman <finkel@...> writes:
> One of the people there suggested that we should
> not do so, because non-frum people do not count for a minyan.  He
> explained that if they don't believe in God, what good is their prayer
> anyway?  

I haven't heard a psak on this, but it seems inevitable that if there
isn't one already, there will be one to invalidate non-frum Jews on the
grounds that there is some probability that they are not halachically

As a back of the envelope calculation, supposing that:
	* half of all intermarriages raise their kids as Jewish
		(I think it may actually be much lower.)
	* intermarriage occurs equally often for Jewish men and women 
	* half of all marriages are intermarriages 
	* intermarriages have the same number of kids as non-intermarriages 
over 10% of non-frum kids who are raised Jewish are actually not, not 
including cases where the mother converted non-halachically.  

An interesting (though depressing) question is for what percentage of
"non-Jewish Jews" one could no longer ask a non-frum Jew to join a minyan.  



End of Volume 30 Issue 75