Volume 31 Number 06
                 Produced: Wed Jan 19  6:53:10 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adnei Hasadeh
         [Dov Teichman]
Bowing to Angels
         [Jack Gross]
Cholov Yisroel
         [Joshua Hoffman]
Jewish Database
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Mayim Achronim
         [Kenneth G Miller]
YOm Kippur and Avarayonim
         [Yisrael Dubitsky]


From: Dov Teichman <DTnLA@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 01:52:58 EST
Subject: Adnei Hasadeh

Warren Burstein writes:
<<But what reason is there to think that Adnei Hasadeh are Neanderthals, 
rather than a variety of monkey or ape?>>

After looking up the Mishna in Kilaim 8:5 it would seem that it could be
either or neither.

The Bartenura, based on the Yerushalmi, says it is a creature that is
attached to the ground by an umbilical cord to its navel. This animal
can kill anyone who approaches him and the only way to kill the creature
is by shooting arrows and severing that cord. (Interestingly, he
identifies the Adnei Hasadeh as the creature "Yidoni." The bone of a
Yidoni was used to practice certain types of magic that is prohibited in
the Torah.)

On the other hand, the Tiferes Yisroel (Yachin) identifies the Adnei
Hasadeh as a "Waldmensch" (Forest-Man) or "Orangutan" and he describes
how they can be trained to act and eat like humans and nowadays are
primarily found in the jungles of Africa.

However, the Tiferes Yisroel (Boaz) brings up the explanation given by
the Bartenura, and says not to deny the fact that an animal attached to
the ground can exist, despite the fact that modern science has no record
of such an animal. He says that many creatures' bones are being
discovered deep in the ground like the "Mammoth," and perhaps due to
their great danger they have become extinct. He reasons that the Adnei
Hasadeh may be extinct like the Mammoth.

Thus, it would seem according to the Bartenura to be some sort of
unknown creature. According to Tiferes Yisroel (Yachin) it would seem to
be an ape/monkey/orangutan type animal. And according to the Tiferes
Yisroel (Boaz) it could be an extinct creature, maybe even Neanderthals.

Dov Teichman


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: 18 Jan 00 12:28:52 EST
Subject: Re: Bowing to Angels

> My own humble take on this is that the three bows could -- repeat,
> could -- represent past, present and future.  Since we say God is
> eternal, the three bows acknowledge [G-d] was, [G-d] is, and [G-d]
> will be: yikes, that's exactly what we daven (pray) in Adon Olam every
> a.m.: Vi-hu haya, vi-hu ho've, vi-hu yeeh-yeh etc.  Yeshaya Halevi
> (<Chihal@...>)

Still, only one *HU*, who encompasses and transcends (rather then being
comprised of) those 3.

Since the 3 tenses are our perception, rather than his Reality, I doubt
the discussion of "YOUR left and right vs. HIS" in the gemara would be
relevant under the "3 tenses" interpretation -- but it fits nicely in
RSG's image of tefillah.  I think the terminolgy of Nesinas Shalom is
part of his "hechreach" /textual inference/.


From: Joshua Hoffman <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 09:22:53 EST
Subject: Re: Cholov Yisroel

<< My understanding from reliable sources is that several members of Rav
Moshe's immediate family, who were in a good position to know rav
Moshe's real feelings, themselves drank regular milk, and indeed, bought
regular milk when milk that a Jew watched being milked was available for
equivalent prices.  (Rav Moshe himself only drank halav yisrael). >>

Rabbi Tendler has said that his wife, in her youth, drank non-cholov
Yisroel milk at home- it was on the table.Rov Moshe zt'l told him that
he himself drank only cholov Yisroel because for him it was a neder to
do so,and his family minhag was not to be shoeil on their nedarim.


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 18:09:31 +0200
Subject: Jewish Database

Bill Bernstein writes:

> In a recent Yated I read that Rav Eliyashiv shlita is calling for a
> databse of Jews to stem intermarriages etc at least in Israel.  Does
> anyone have more info on this?  Will this include people in chutz
> la-aretz?  It seems we are moving towards a situation where non-Orthodox
> Jews will be treated like Karaites, basically unable to marry into the
> Orthodox community.  How do list members feel about this?
> [I've sort of been waiting/dreading for this one to come up here. It's
> gone through it's discussion cycle on Avodah already, and I figured it
> was just a matter of time until it comes up here. I haven't been able to
> follow all the discussion there (thier volume is more than 2-3 times
> this list!) but if someone has and wants to summerize for here I would
> appreciate it. Mod.]

I will take a relatively quick shot at it. For those who want to read
the entire debate, you should point your browser to

A few points that have come out (with an attempt to filter out my own

1. Rav Elyashiv has not called for such a database yet; he has merely
raised the possibility that such a database may be a necessity in the
not-too-distant future.

2. Such a database would NOT be meant to exclude non-religious Jews. It
would be meant to exclude those who have had Conservative, Reform and
other questionable conversions and those who are psulei chitun
(forbidden from marrying into the people of Israel) for other reasons
(e.g. mamzeirim - bastards as determined by halacha - and those who are
married to someone else). It's not clear to me whether it is intended to
include people from chutz la'aretz (outside of Israel), but if it does
not, I believe that would not give rise to any presumptions with respect
to people from chutz la'aretz and that they would continue to be able to
demonstrate their Jewishness in the same manner that they do today (see
background in the P.S.).

3. In Israel, there is no civil marriage. Either the institution of
civil marriage or a requirement that the Rabbinate allow questionable
converts and psulei chitun to marry within the system would likely bring
about a call for a registry. IMHO institution of civil marriage in
Israel is almost a certainty - if not now then within the next three

4. Avodah's members were deeply divided on this issue. Some felt that
the registry was unavoidable. Others expressed fear that non- religious
Jews would view it as an act of coercion/ostracism by the
Rabbinate/charedim and would refuse to sign up for it. One person argued
quite strongly that if Rav Elyashiv calls for a registry, we have no
right to question his judgment. Some feared corruption on the part of
those who would administer the registry.

5. One person posted an article from sixty years ago urging that such a
registry be established. Some people read that article and said that if
it was a necessity sixty years ago then al achas kama v'kama (all the
more so) today. Others felt that the fact that the Gdolim of sixty years
ago knew the problems and did not establish a registry should militate
against establishing one today.

6. No one is really clear on how yichus would be established.  There is
a practical problem in that many people's proof was lost in Europe. It
is doubtful that most people could produce any proof going back more
than 50-60 years.

7. Some people argued that we should not be looking for mamzeirus
problems. Others felt that we cannot ignore them where they exist.

I hope I have managed to accurately reflect at least some of the
different ideas that were tossed out in a lengthy discussion without
letting my own biases interfere too much. If I left something out,
hopefully someone else will correct me.

-- Carl M. Sherer

P.S. When someone in Israel wants to marry, they must bring proof of
their Jewishness (which is not a problem if your parents got married in
Israel and are "on file"). If you come from chutz la'aretz (outside of
Israel) you generally must bring your parents' ksuva (wedding contract)
and/or a letter from the Beis Din (Rabbinic court) in your home
community testifying that they know you and that you are
Jewish. Additionally, anyone who wants to marry here has to obtain a
teudat ravakut (certificate that you are single) which you get by having
two people who know you come to the Beis Din in the city where you plan
to get married and testify that they know you and that you are single
and have never been married (or that you have been married and divorced,
and then you must produce evidence of a get - writ of divorce). Someone
who is a convert must bring a certificate from the Beis Din that
converted them.

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: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 00:35:16 EST
Subject: Mayim Achronim

Recent questions about Mayim Acharonim have brought me to review this
subject, and I'm kind of stumped about one aspect of it. I'm hoping
someone can help me out.

There seem to be two main driving forces behind Mayim Acharonim. I'm not
sure which came first or which is more important, but they are (1) the
health danger of allowing Sodom Salt to remain on the fingers, and (2)
the importance of being clean when saying the Birkas Hamazon.

All the rules and details of Mayim Acharonim seem to flow from one or
the other or both of these principles, except one -- avoiding any
interruption between the washing and the benching. This halacha is
stated briefly in the very end of Siman 181 in the Mishna Berurah and
Aruch Hashulchan, and is mentioned in more depth in Siman 179 in the
Mechaber and all the commentaries.

I do not understand why such an interruption is a problem. If the main
reason for Mayim Acharonim is the Sodom Salt, then ideally, we should
wash our hands after each time we use the salt, lest something unhealthy
occur during the meal. If the rabbis chose to be lenient because the
salt is used frequently during the meal, then let it suffice to wash
hands at the end of the meal, when the person expects not to need any
more salt.  If he does happen to use more salt, he can wash again, and
if he does not need any more salt, then that washing is sufficient even
though he keeps eating! What is wrong with talking during dessert?
Perhaps the Birkas Hamazon should follow the *meal* with no
interruption, but that is not the way it is coming across.

And if the main reason is to have clean hands, how does talking dirty
them? There is a mitzvah to wash hands for Shemoneh Esray also, but
there is nothing wrong (as far as I know) with talking after that
washing. Why should Birkas Hamazon be stricter than Shemoneh Esray?
(Yes, it is true that Birkas Hamazon is a Torah law, but that is
relevant only in cases of where it is questionable whether one did the
mitzva. In respect to the concepts of "prayer" and "talking to G-d",
(such as the prohibition of saying it if one needs to use the bathroom)
Birkas Hamazon is like any other blessing, and it is Shemoneh Esray
which is the special case.)

In fact, I found a paradoxical Mishna Berurah which seems to be relevant
to this question. MB 179:2, at the end, says that there is a machlokes
whether one may eat after Mayim Acharonim, but that all agree talking is
forbidden. I was surprised by that, since I would think that eating
would be a bigger interruption than mere talking. But he explains in
Beur Halacha 179:7 that if one ate, he can repair that interruption by
washing again and then benching immediately afterward. But if he merely
talked, his hands are still clean, so washing won't accomplish anything,
and he is left with an unfixable interuption between the Mayim Acharonim
and the Birkas Hamazon. ... I don't get it! Why is it unfixable? Is
anything really broken that needs to be fixed? If the goal is clean
hands, then what is wrong with mere talking?

The closest I've found to an answer to this question is that there is a
principle which states "Samuch L'Netilah Bracha", "washing and blessing
are consecutive". This principle is applied to show that the Mayim
Acharonim washing should be followed immediately by the Birkas Hamazon
blessing. However, I have vague memories that this concept really refers
to another case, and was never really intended to apply to Mayim
Acharonim. Can anyone support or refute this? Where does the concept of
"Samuch L'Netila Bracha" originate?

Thanks you

Akiva Miller


From: Yisrael Dubitsky <yidubitsky@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 09:57:02 +0000
Subject: YOm Kippur and Avarayonim

[quick note: For those unfamiliar with it, Yisrael is using (.h) as the
transliteration symbol for the sound often transliterated as (ch). Mod.]

Just to clarify: The "`avaryanim" in the "`al da`at" prayer are indeed
those put in herem [for the sin of transgressing some "gezerat ha-kahal"
[lit. decree of the community - Mod.]-- could someone please explain
what these may include?). But of course throughout the generations, Jews
have understood the term differently.  Daniel Goldschmidt (in Turei
Yehsurun 3:24 [Tishre 5732]) dates its as far back as R. Meir of
Rothenburg [1220-1293], but N. Wieder in a subsequent issue of the
journal pushes it back at least as far as R. Eliezer b. Yoel ha-Levi
[1140-1220]. The hatarah [permission - Mod.] is "al da`at ha-makon ve-al
da`at ha-kahal" [with the permission/knowledge of HaShem and the
community - Mod.] just as the original .herem was so
designated. Apparently, the hatarah is based on Keritot 6b "kol ta`anit
she-ein bo mi-posh`e Yisra'el einah ta`anit" [every public fast must
include some posh'im]. While the kahal is praying for me.hilah, it would
only be right to allow *all* of the kahal to pray for such. Presumably,
however, come Tishre 11, those mu.hramim [people in .herem - Mod.] were
again not permitted to join the kahal.

The Mishnah Berurah (to which Mr. Geretez referred) at OH 90:9 [#28] is
simply based on the Rambam Hil. Tefilah 8:1, which most nosei kelim
[commentators - Mod.]  attribute to the gemara in Keritot. [R. Kafah, at
least viz a viz the Rambam's formula rejects this. ] I think the MB, and
the Rambam, must mean when the "posh`im" do not make the minyan. The
list of "posh`im" not to be metsaref [counted in - Mod.]  to a minyan is
summarized in nice detail by Yitshak Yaakov Fuchs *Tefilah Ke-Hilkhatah*
(Jeruslaem 1989): pp. 148-150.  Keep in mind, though, that these apply
only when we are sure the person falls in these categories.  Most of the
time, I would have to think, not-yet-minyanim are "dan le-kaf zekhut"
and dont ask too many questions. Merely because the person does not wear
a yarmulka or mouth the words during the tefilah is not in and of itself
reason to pasul him from the minyan.

Yisrael Dubitsky


End of Volume 31 Issue 6