Volume 30 Number 98
                 Produced: Mon Jan 17  7:39:14 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Need Orthodox Rabbi Support
         [Daniel P Faigin]
10 Tevet Trumps Shabbos (2)
         [I. Harvey Poch, Jeff Fischer]
Mayim Achronim
         [Joseph Geretz]
Mi SheBerach
         [Z'ev Scherman]
Motzoei Shabbos
         [Mark Steiner]
Publication of Standards for Hechserim
         [Carl M. Sherer]
State of Israel Bonds
         [Gershon Klavan]
Tearing Toilet Paper for Shabbos
         [Akiva Miller]
Welcoming guests
         [Carl Singer]
When Washing Requires a Utensil
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Daniel P Faigin <faigin@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 07:27:33 -0800
Subject: Administrivia - Need Orthodox Rabbi Support

As maintainer for the soc.culture.jewish FAQ, I often get random
questions about Judaism mailed to me. As moderator of
mail.liberal-judaism, I have a lot of resources when those questions
pertain to the progressive strains of Judaism (Reform,
Conservative). However, I don't have a lot of resources when the
questions pertain to traditional thought and practice; I primarily
depend on one Orthodox Rabbi (who is also active on MLJ). I always feel
guilty about overloading him, and so would like to see if there are some
additional Orthodox rabbis who would like to help me field questions.

If you are willing, please drop me a note at
<faigin@...> (Note: I'll be glad to take helper rabbis from
any movement, so if you are non-Orthodox, a rabbi, and want to help, let
me know also). Please indicate your affiliation in your message.

Thanks again,

W/H: <faigin@...>/faigin@pacificnet.net   http://www.pacificnet.net/~faigin/
Mod., Mail.Liberal-Judaism (.../~faigin/MLJ)       Advisor, s.c.j.Parenting
Maintainer, S.C.J FAQ/RL   (.../~faigin/SCJ)       Daddy to Erin Shoshana
Maintainer, Calif. Highways List (.../~faigin/CA-HWYS)


From: I. Harvey Poch <af945@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 10:34:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10 Tevet Trumps Shabbos

The source is Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 24. Posuk 1 specifies the date; posuk
2 says "es etzem hayom hazeh" - this specific day. Vayikra (Leviticus)
23:28 uses a similar phrase ("be-etzem hayom hazeh") to refer to Yom
Kippur. Talmudic logic then kicks in - since Yom Kippur "trumps"
Shabbos, so would Asarah b'Teves, if it ever fell on Shabbos.

By the way, the only general community fast (to exclude the fast of the
firstborn) which can normally fall on Friday is Asarah b'Teves, and it
is observed on the Friday, for this reason, even though fasting on
Friday is generally not acceptable because it brings on into Shabbos in

And while we're on the subject, the fast of the firstborn is observed on
Friday if the first day of Pesach is on Shabbos. If the first day of
Pesach is on Sunday, however, the fast is advanced to *Thursday* - since
it's being advanced anyway, it might as well fall into the 'no fasting
on Friday (except for Asarah b'Teves>' rule.

I. Harvey Poch  (8-)>

From: Jeff Fischer <NJGabbai@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 20:00:38 EST
Subject: 10 Tevet Trumps Shabbos

Jonathan is correct... If the 10th of Tevet were able to fall on
Shabbos, we would fast on Shabbos, but it can't.  HOWEVER, it can fall
on Friday, even though it is rarely done, but when it does we must fast
into Shabbos until Kiddush.  That is the only time, other than Yom
Kippur and a bad dream that we are allowed to fast on SHabbos.

The reason being that in Navi, not exactly sure which one, it say that
on the 10th of Tevet we fast, while all the other fasts are mentioned by
Tzom HaChamishi, Tzom HaShvii, etc...".

Asara b'Tevet is the only fast where an actual date is mentioned.

Just like with bris milah, we are allowed to do it on Shabbos, because
it mentions a date for bris.



From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 20:08:58 -0500
Subject: Mayim Achronim

Anthony S Fiorino wrote:
> Nevertheless, since the reason for washing before eating wet
> vegetables (to prevent transmission of tumah to the vegetables) is one
> that requires uninterrupted concentration between the washing and the
> eating, as is true for washing before bread, it would seem to me that
> one should not be mafseik between washing and eating the karpas. I've
> never seen such an issue mentioned in a hagadah.

Although it may not be mentioned in the Haggaddah, you are absolutely
correct in this matter. If you'll take a look in Mishne Berura Laws of
Pesach, you'll see that in the discussion of washing before the Karpas,
MB refers the reader back to Hilchos Netillas Yadayim for all of the
relevant particulars. From my own experience, my parents always
admonished us at the Seder not to make a Hefsek between Urchatz
(washing) and Karpas (eating the vegetable). More recently, as a matter
of course, I observe that most people with whom I have attended Sedorim
are careful in this matter as well.

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


From: Z'ev Scherman <zscherman@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 13:47:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Mi SheBerach

You are missing 2 points:  Mi SheBerach allows people to know about an
ill member of the community.  And, especially in context of this
discussion, it also gives the opportunity for the whole congregation to
join in the prayer through  the "Amen".  The Tefillah of a tzibbur is
presumably more efficacious when added to the individual's prayer.
	Z'ev Scherman


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 08:33:22 +0200
Subject: Re: Motzoei Shabbos

Relative to Gershon's question about motzoei shabbos, whether it is used
to mean the entire day of Sunday:

Cf. Tosefta, Shabbat 8:5: "Who is a mekhashef [sorcerer?  One who
says...] Don't start with me [said to the Gabbai collecting tzedaka]
because it's morning and it's rosh hodesh and its motzaei shabbos."

Rashi, Sanhedrin 66a, d"h motzaei shabbos, says "rishon liymei hashovua"
[it's the first day of the week]

Mark Steiner


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 18:56:38 +0200
Subject: Publication of Standards for Hechserim

Daniel Katsman writes:

> I don't know what the situation is everywhere in Israel, but the Rabbanut of
> Tel Aviv publishes a booklet of restaurants under their supervision which
> contains a summary of their standards, for both "regular" kashrut and
> "mehadrin".

Is there an address, phone number or (preferrably but unlikely) URL 
where this is available?

Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<cmsherer@...>  or mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.


From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:47:00 -0500
Subject: Re: State of Israel Bonds

>From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
>This is not a change. Israel Bonds were never charity. They were always
>investments. That is the point, you know. That it is not charity. Investments
>in Israel Bonds were the seed monies for the birth of a nation. The bonds do
>pay interest, and always have, much as do U.S. Savings Bonds.

I think that you have missed the point.  True, Israel Bonds are not
charity, but rather tzedakah.  Providing seed money for the
birth/expansion of a nation would probably fall under the Rambam's
highest category of tzedakah. (This entire discussion about bonds
assumes the existence of a proper heter iska....)

The point, however, is that the marketing campaigns have moved from
emphasizing the benefit to the community (the focus on how much your
investment will help Israel) to the investor's personal benefit ("these
bonds are a very attractive investment and compare quite well to high
quality corporate bonds.")

The entire reason for a public appeal is to provoke an emotional
response which manifests itself with a pledge.  The campaigns in the
past focused on such a response by focusing on the emotional aspect:
your investment will help Israel grow.  Today, however, the campaign
minimizes this emotional aspect and focuses on the hard core financial
data.  Thus I am forced to speculate whether this change is due to an
overall decline in the Jewish emotional commitment towards the State of
Israel or simply a response to the financial environment.

Thus, my question remains: although pledging towards Israel Bonds
remains a neder letzedakah [A pledge to Tzedaka - Mod.], has the
emphasis on the personal benefit to one's financial (and not necessarily
spiritual) portfolio moved the line dangerously close (if not over) to
sechora beshabbat [Business on Shabbat - Mod.]?

Remember: the prohibition of sechora on shabbat was passed as a gezeira
to prevent one from writing on shabbat.  While the likelihood of a
congregant in an Orthodox shul writing on Yom Kippur as a response to an
Israel Bonds appeal is quite remote, what about our brethren in non
Orthodox temples?  Would we have a potential lifnei Iver issue here?

I guess that the bottom line really is: Should we in the Orthodox
community campaign to change the marketing campaign back towards an
Israel focus and away from the personal financial focus?

Gershon Klavan


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 23:14:48 EST
Subject: Tearing Toilet Paper for Shabbos

Tara Cazaubon wrote <<< I was told by a Chabadnik that it is NOT assur to
tear off toilet paper on shabbos, but I keep seeing other people
referencing this practice. What are the Halachic issues and perspective
on this practice? >>>

This subject can be found in the Mishna Berurah 340:41, where he writes
that since one is tearing it for a constructive purpose, it is a Torah
Violation of the melacha of Kore'a (Tearing). He adds that if one tears
it to a specific size, it also constitutes M'chatech (Cutting to a
Specific Size). In the Beur Halacha there ("Ayn Shovrin"), he quotes
many varying opinions and ideas, but the bottom line is that he does
pasken strictly both there and in the MB 312:6. (I suppose it is
possible that some of the points made in that Beur Halacha might be the
source of lenient views. Any Chabadniks have additional info?)

Carl Sherer wrote <<< I once heard from R. Moshe Tendler shlita that if
one finds oneself in a bathroom without any pre-torn toilet paper on
Shabbos, one is allowed to tear it because of kavod habriyos (human
dignity).  Nevertheless, one should attempt to tear the toilet paper with
a shinui (change from how one would normally tear it). AFAIK the issue
involved is tearing on Shabbos, which is a mekalkel (non-constructive
act). Therefore, although there is no Torah prohibition, I believe there
is a Rabbinic one. >>>

This may be Rav Tendler's view, but my understanding of the above-cited
Mishna Berurah is that this is *not* a mekalkel, but rather, the need
for a torn piece of paper is what makes this into a positive,
*constructive* act. The Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa 23:16 *requires* one
to tear it in an unusual way, in order to lower it from a Torah
prohibition to a Rabbinic prohibition, which is then justified by the
dignity reasoning. See the footnotes there for a wealth of additional
sources on this topic.

Akiva Miller


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 18:22:39 EST
Subject: Re: Welcoming guests

<< <Mackerso@...> write: I've never had any issues with wearing
my uniform to shule.  At worst, I've had to endure several war stories
during kiddush ( "I was in the big one, WW II, you know")>>

I have experienced wonderful hospitality in many cities, big and small.
But yes, the smaller towns have warmed my heart (and my tummy) with
wonderful kindnesses: Birmingham Alabama, Harrisburg Pennysylvania, etc.

Carl A. Singer
(Colonel USAR)


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 18:14:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: When Washing Requires a Utensil

Janet Rosenbaum in v30n80 asks about the reason for requiring a cup for
Mayim Acharonim. My opinion is that Mayim acharonim does NOT require a
cup. This was already echoed by Eitan Fiorino in v30n90 I think this is
a good example of what happens when reasons are added to laws to
embellish them.

Let us 1st review the laws of washing hands. The laws are clearly
summarized in Rambam Blessings Chapter 6.  The following salient points
are relevant

--6:3 Mayim Acharonim is because of DANGER (of rubbing your eyes and
abrasing them with salt). This is distinguished from other washings that
are rabbinic institutions to symbolically remind us of the laws of
tahara (purity)

--6:6-Washings due to purity require 4 items--a) Valid water b)
Sufficient volume c) from a vessel d) poured by human force

Clearly we do NOT require "sufficient volume" in Mayim acharonim because
they are not symbolic washings but actual washings to remove abrasive
salt. So too there is no need for a utensil..for the washing is not
symbolic but functional. The proof for this is that ordinary washing
does not require a utensil if eg it is done by placing ones hands in a

I think the Rambam and Gmarrah are clear on the fact that mayim
acharonim is for reasons of DANGER. If there are later authorities (than
the Gmarrah and early rishonim) that bring down other reasons for Mayim
acharonim then we have to be clear that this is not the original reason

Next to Eitan's question about washing for the Karpas. He is 100%
correct (that we shoulnd't wash). However there is a principle on Pesach
to do as many peculiar things as possible so as to arouse curiosity in
the children. In other words we deliberately wash when we are not
required to in order to get the children to ask questions about washing
hands. In fact Eitan's excellent posting shows what a delightful seder
tip this is at it can generate excellent Torah.

Russell Hendel; Math; Towson University
Moderator Rashi Is SImple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/ 


End of Volume 30 Issue 98