Volume 30 Number 79
                 Produced: Sun Jan  9 10:57:30 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzvah Information:
         [Joshua Teitelbaum]
Boro Park Eruv
         [Moish Gluck]
Chumrahs & Teaching Children
         [Shlomo Godick]
Collect Phone calls
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Having Tinsel on the Table for Fun
         [Russell Hendel]
Kibud Av V'Em
         [Josh Backon]
Mayim Achronim
         [Joseph Geretz]
Mezonos Rolls
         [Rose Landowne]
Mezonot Rolls - pat ha-ba'a b-kisnin
Praying for the Sick
         [Shalom Carmy]
Shabbas Toilet Paper
         [Tzvi Roszler]
State of Israel Bonds (2)
         [Jordan Hirsch, Gershon Klavan]
Tosefos Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh
         [Rachi Messing]


From: Joshua Teitelbaum <teitelba@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000 16:09:05 +0200
Subject: Re: Bat Mitzvah Information:

In answer to Reuven Werber about Bat Mitzvah among the Orthodox.  There
is a little book (more like a booklet) called "Zeved haBat."  I forget
who wrote it, but it has the haskamah of R. Mordekhai Eliyahu.  This
details several customs involving girls, mostly taken from the Jewish
communities of Italy.  We used one of these at out shul (Kinor David) in
Ra`anana for my daughter.

Dr. Joshua Teitelbaum, Research Fellow               Tel: [972] 3-640-6448
Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and        Fax: [972] 3-641-5802
  African Studies, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978  Israel
E-mail:<teitelba@...>, www.dayan.org


From: Moish Gluck <moish@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 03:03:59 -0500
Subject: Boro Park Eruv

What I don't understand is, if all the Rabonim from the previous
generation were against the eiruv (as I saw on the leaflets), what
changed now. They too were aware that making an eiruv is a Mitzvah yet
they had not gotten together and implemented an eiruv that fit all the
standards of Halacha. I heard that Rav Bick Ztl stated clearly that Boro
Park is a reshus harabim dearaisa (as Reb Moshe Ztl [says] in the
Tshuvis) and no Eiruv can change that.


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 15:53:26 +0200
Subject: Re: Chumrahs & Teaching Children

So far in this discussion on chumrot the emphasis has been on the extra
sacrifice (for good or for bad, according to the viewpoint of the
poster) required in observing them.

But I would like to be dan l'chaf zchus [judge favorably] and think that
the sincere Jew who observes a chumrah is very likely motivated by love
as well.  Just as a doting husband will go out of his way and be lifnim
m'shuras ha-din for his beloved wife (or vice versa), so will a Jew "in
love" with his Creator (cf. Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei Ha-Torah) want to
do more than the letter of the Law requires.  And I think it is this
aspect of chumrot that we should emphasize in our explanations to

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick  


From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 15:18:03 EST
Subject: Collect Phone calls

When I was in yeshiva, we were told not to play the Collect call game in
which we call home collect, having a deal with our parents that they'd
call back after refusing the call.

My question is, What form of genivah is that?  Are you stealing money by
using the phone system in a manner they did not intend?  Or, is it
Genivas daas, pretending that you did intend to make the call for the
operator that helped you?

Would the fact that services like 1-800 Collect do not use a human
operator to process the calls make a difference?  Would there be a
halachik difference if, on occasion, my little brother answered the
phone not understanding the game and accepted the call elimenating the
inevietability of refusal?

  Chaim Shapiro


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 20:26:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Having Tinsel on the Table for Fun

Dani Wassner (v30n46) asks about having 'tinsel' on the table just for

Christmas is an issue of another religion. Whether or not Christianity
is 'idolatry' the attitude of Judaism towards laws on other religions
would extend to Christmas.

The laws are very clear; we don't have ANY relation with other religions
whether it be 'for fun' or without worship.

The clearest statement of this occurs in Rambam, Idolatry, 3:5
	>A person who defecates to the idol Peor IN ORDER TO 
	>DEGRADE and make fun of the idol has nevertheless 
	>violated the Biblical prohibition (since that is the
	>way this idol is worshipped). The person is therefore
	>liable to bring a sin offering.

Russell Hendel; Math; Towson; <RHEndel@...>
Moderator Rashi Is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/


From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Fri,  7 Jan 2000 14:26 +0200
Subject: Re: Kibud Av V'Em

Regarding parents who physically abuse their children to the point of
physical danger,the Nishmat Avraham (Choshen Mishpat 424 #2) brings down
the Sefer Halacha u'Refuah (Chelek Alef p. 336) that the parents have a
"din rodef* and the child must be taken out of their custody.

Josh Backon


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 23:34:05 -0500
Subject: Mayim Achronim

I wrote:
> Actually, it might still work. Since she has washed her hands at the
> beginning of the meal, then, if we posit the fact that a woman eats
> fastidiously, perhaps this original washing is sufficient for the tefilla
> (Birchas HaMazon) which takes place after the meal. (Whereas, men who eat
> like slobs :-) must re-wash their hands in preparation for Birchas
> HaMazon.)

Anthony S Fiorino responded: (See MJ 30-71 for a more complete thread.)
> This logic doesn't work.  If one is washing one's hand's as a
> preparation for tefila, then one should not be mafseik between the
> washing and the tefeila, lest one's hands come in contact with some
> impurity. It is very difficult to claim that the meal would represent a
> hefseik for men (thus they require mayim achronim) but not for women.
> The relative neatness with which each sex eats has nothing to do with
> it.

The logic does work. In your own words, the problem of Hefsaik is not a
problem of duration per se, rather the problem is (and I'm quoting
directly from your own words in the paragraph above) 'lest one's hands
come in contact with some impurity'. So again, if we posit the fact that
women are fastidious in their eating habits, why should we be concerned
that their hands 'might come in contact with some impurity'? In point of
fact, we might not be concerned, and perhaps that is why, even according
to the view which holds that Mayim Acharonim is to prepare one's hands
for Birchas Hamazon, women might still be exempt.

Generally, a hefsek is caused by the removal of one's concentration from
a particular focus. For example, between washing and Homotzi, if one
removes their mind from the bread by either excessive time lapse,
talking about other matters, or reading a Hardy Boy book in complete
silence would constitute a Hefsek. On the other hand, waiting for other
participants (while remaining focused on the meal), or carrying on a
whole conversation in order to locate the salt shaker would not
constitute a hefsek. So again, it is not time lag, per se, but removal
of focus which causes a hefsek.

Now usually, time lapse is deemed to cause a hefsek as far as the purity
of our hands, because generally we are not aware and cautious about
where our hands wander. I grant you that this would apply to women as
well as men, in general circumstances. However, back to our case, if we
posit the fact that women are fastidious eaters, and they are careful to
keep their hands clean during meals, then the duration of the meal
should not trigger a time lapse hefsek, since specifically during this
type of activity women are careful to keep their hands clean.

Now I might be wrong about this, but it is logical :-)

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 10:09:45 EST
Subject: Re: Mezonos Rolls

<<  (Similar issues at smorgasbords, with most caterer's now
offering bread and washing before.)  Clearly, different communities have
different view / standards on this matter.
Carl Singer >>

Apropos of that, what do people do?  Wash for the smorg and then bench
and wash again for the seudat mitzvah, or can it count as participtaing
in a seudat mitzvah if you've washed before the chuppah?
 Rose Landowne


From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000 14:19:31 -0800
Subject: Mezonot Rolls - pat ha-ba'a b-kisnin

The other side of the coin -

Perhaps the sweet raisin-filled hallot that many people use for lehem
mishne are truly "pat ha-ba'a b-kisnin"? Considering the relatively
small amounts of this halla that people normally consume at a Shabbat
meal, is it possible that these loaves do not really qualify for birkat

Yosef Gilboa


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 15:32:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Praying for the Sick

A well-known Protestant thinker informs me that the Christian equivalent
of Mi-she-berakh's for the sick is very much on the increase. He
commented that all vigorous prayer is a good thing, but had the feeling
that nowadays only medical crises engender a real sense of human


From: Tzvi Roszler <TzviR@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 18:28:00 EST
Subject: Shabbas Toilet Paper

The toilet paper was torn on Christmas eve due to being "Nitel"and could
not learn Torah. Yes newspapers were used,there was no equilant to a
Sears catalog.

Tzvi Roszler


From: Jordan Hirsch <TROMBAEDU@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2000 19:38:41 EST
Subject: Re: State of Israel Bonds

<< This is being sent to seek your insights on a problematic situation.
 Presently, one of the "hats" I wear is as the Chairman of the Rabbinic
 Cabinet for State of Israel Bonds.

 We have noticed that unlike in other areas wherein he religious
 community excels, this is not the case with Israel Bonds. Many shuls do
 not have a High HolyDay campaign, and the leadership does not encourage
 Bond purchase, sometimes even discouraging it.

Obviously, one thing that can be done immediately is to get a commitment
from the umbrella organizations to push the purchasing of Israel Bonds
in their synagogues. If Young Israel and the OU would send notice to the
Rabbis of their constituent synagogues that it was considered part of
their communal obligation to do so, then even a minute response would
constitute an improvement.

I remember very clearly the Israel Bond appeal in Rabbi Wein's shul in
Monsey, Bais Torah, when I davened there in the 70's. It was a very big
deal.  I also remember being in KJ, in Manhattan, where the Rabbi(Haskel
Lookstien) made a point of having his pledge announced. If there were
any shirkers there that Shabbos, I am sure they were flushed out of

Jordan Hirsch      

From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 100 11:40:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: State of Israel Bonds

I agree with Rabbi Bulka that these are matters that stand B'rooma Shel
Olam but IMHO there is a second aspect as well.

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in the marketing
campaigns used by State of Israel Bonds.  In the past, the pledge cards
would focus on the need to support the State of Israel and how your
tzedakah would provide benefit to all.  However, recently, the pledge
cards now read like a brochure from your neighborhood financial planner.
The cards now trumpet "These bonds would make a wonderful addition to
your portfolio, and you can't beat these interest rates!"  Of course,
each card now comes with an insert as well to further detail the exact
principle amounts, terms and interest rates of the various offerings.

While the permissability (and perhaps, on Yom Kippur, maybe even
obligation, but that's for a different thread) of making Nedarim for
Tzedakah on Shabbat and Yom Tov is quite explicit in Shas and Poskim
(This is, after all, the source for Yizkor), I am quite concerned that
State of Israel Bonds have moved from an issue of Nodrin Le'tzedaka to
the issue of sechora B'Shabbat.

This change in marketing style may be a reflection of an overall
diminishing emotional connection to Eretz Yisrael (in the complete
Jewish spectrum) or simply a response to the general bull market where
every cent must be given a cost/benefit analysis to see where it will be
more profitable so we're not left behind the Jonses. Should we be
concerned about the possible blurring of the lines between Cheshbonot
Shel Mitzva and, to quote the words of the zemer, "Chafatzecha Asurin,
Ve'gam LaChashov Cheshbonot"?

Gershon Klavan 


From: Rachi Messing <rachim@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2000 19:54:45 -0500
Subject: Tosefos Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh

Situation: It's the middle of the summer and the sun isn't setting until
8:30 and Rosh Chodesh is on Shabbos. You take shabbos in early, let's
say at 6:45, and daven quickly so that you end up eating and finishing
your meal before sunset. You are supposed to say Yaaleh V'yavo during
Maariv, but the question is what to do for Bircas Hamazon?

The only reason you can do it for Maariv is based on the gemorah in
Berachos that says that you can be yotzei your chiyuv of tefilah after
plag hamincha but I don't think it would apply to bircas hamazon. Any
ideas on what the halacha is?

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


End of Volume 30 Issue 79