Volume 31 Number 21
                 Produced: Thu Jan 27 20:35:19 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

9 men, 1 woman at a minyan
         [Elan Adler]
Addendum on Prof Tabory's comments on Cantillations
         [Russell Hendel]
Anonymous Poskim
         [Gershon Dubin]
Berkovits book
         [Kalman Neuman]
         [Emanuel Adler]
Contradictory References to same Posek
         [Chaim Mateh]
Dairy Salmon?
         [Cynthia Tenen]
Jew v. Jew
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Playing ball on Shabbos
         [Gitelle Rapoport]
Posek Shopping
         [Sheldon Meth]
Two Food Questions
         [Carl SInger]


From: Elan Adler <eylry@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 16:48:26 PST
Subject: 9 men, 1 woman at a minyan

 This morning, at our minyan, we had a paucity of men due to a raging
blizzard. For several minutes, we had exactly 9 men, and one woman who
is often the only woman in attendance. We also had a yahrzeit. While
some people would look around toward the door and say, "gee, still only
nine people," one or two were kind enough to say," we have a chinese
minyan....one man shy."
 Given that halachah cannot bend to include the woman in the minyan in
these unusual circumstances to count her in order to allow the yahrzeit
to daven for the neshama of his father, how do we address the issue of
this woman's unintended but real feeling of being anonymous? Being
careful about kavod habriyot, how do we respond to her being there but
not being there?

Rabbi Elan Adler
Baltimore, MD


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:07:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Addendum on Prof Tabory's comments on Cantillations

This is to answer Bernard Horowitz (V30n3) who asks why there are 6
cantillations that are not placed on the accented syllable.  All but one
of the cantillations was correctly explained by Prof Gilboa. Allow me
therefore to add the 6th and give a reference.

This is discussed in Mordechai Breuer's book LAWS OF CANTILLATIONS in
various footnotes. As already indicated the basic idea is that placing
these 5 cantillations on the proper syllable would cause confusion. As
Prof Gilboa has stated....

TELISHA KTANA/GEDOLA were originally both circles and hence only their
position distingished them Similarly MAPACH/YETIV and PASTHAH/KADMAH
have the same form and are only distinguishable by their position.  The
ZARKAH has the same form as the TZINORITH in the cantillations on Job,
Mishlay and Psalms. The Tzinorith is basically an embellishment (not a
cantillation) placed on open syllables before the main accent and
therefore the Zarkah is placed at the word end.

The correct explanation for the segol is the following: The notation for
SEGOL is 3 dots--if you placed it in the middle of a word it might
confuse the pronunciation of the word above it particularly if the word
above it has many dots in its punctuation.

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson;<RHendel@...>;
Moderator Rashi Is SImple


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 19:58:34 -0500
Subject: Anonymous Poskim

> From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
<<It is my personal custom to tip the Rav who sells my chometz each year,
as I know is the custom of many other people in my neighborhood. In the
States, my shver always sold my chometz for me (I used to spend Pesach
in a different time zone than where I lived so it was easier that way),
so I don't know what the custom is there.>>

	The same:  a tip is customary.



From: Kalman Neuman <kneuman@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:47:54 +0200
Subject: Berkovits book

The English book called "not in heaven" is an english abridgement and
adaptation of a hebrew book published by Mossad Harav Kook called
ha-halacha- kocha v'tafkidah. If you are able to read hebrew , the
original version which contains extensive discussions of the talmudic
texts he quotes is much better. It also will enable the reader to judge
to what extent Berkovits' arguments are convincing.

[Note: Thanks to a few people who wrote back to say that they had
personal copies of the book, we had one reader in Australia who found a
copy at a bookseller there. The world of email works again! Mod.]


From: Emanuel Adler <EAdler@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 09:16:39 -0500
Subject: Chazak

Rabbi Yosef Adler, of Cong. Rinas Yisrael and Torah Academy of Bergen
County in Teaneck NJ, has said (in the name of Rav Soloveichik zt"l, I
believe) that the first chazak may have originally been an abbreviation
for "chazan v'kohol", an instruction that the reader and congregation
are to say the words "chazak v'nischazeik", and subsequently, through
printers' error, it became "chazak, chazak, venischazeik".


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:40:54 +0200
Subject: Contradictory References to same Posek

In v31#10, Carl Singer <csinger@...> wrote:

<<The Rabbi of one shule ... gave a Shabbos drosh that according to Reb
Moishe Feinstein ztl, ... there should be no flags anywhere inside the
I then asked the Rav of the other shule ... and he informed me that Reb
Moishe Feinstein ztl, paskened that the flag was permitted,>>

If it really bothered you, you should have asked both of them for the
exact chapter/verse (i.e., Tshuva) and studied it.  My gut feeling is
that either one of the Rabbonim erred, or that Rav Moshe's tshuva was
unclear enough so that each Rav was able to interpret it ("In this case,
Rav Moshe would pasken that...") the way he understood it.

After I wrote the above, I searched for the Tshuva and found it (Iggros
Moshe, Orech Chaim 1, tshuva 46).  The question was whether a person is
justified in not davening in a Shul that has a flag.  Rav Moshe said it
is not justified, i.e., it is permitted.  Rav Moshe writes: "it is not
understandable what actual issur (prohibition) there is in putting
flags."  IOW, there isn't any issur.  Rav Moshe contiues, "And
therefore, even though it is sure (vadai) that it is not worthy to put
[a flag] into a Shul which is a holy place, and of course not to put it
[the flag] permanently (bikvi'us), and of course not next to the Aron
Kodesh, but an actual issur it not relevant to say on this, but rather
it is hevel and shtuss, and if it would be possible to to peacefully
remove it from the Shul it would be a good thing, but to make machlokess
(arguments and fighting) because of this, is forbidden."

One thing is clear.  Rav Moshe said that it is not an issur to have a
flag in the Shul.  OTOH, he is clear that it is very preferable not to
have it in the Shul and of course not next to the Aron Kodesh.

I presume that most Shuls would accept what their Rav would correctly
say that that Rav Moshe holds you shouldn't have a flag in the Shul.
OTOH, were the Shul (i.e., its congregants) strongly "nationalistic" to
the point of making machlokess (arguments) over it, then the Rav (in
order not to cause that machlokess) would say that Rav Moshe holds that
it isn't _forbidden_ to have the flag in the Shul, but at least it
shouldn't be next to the Aron Kodesh.  Both Rabbonim would have been

<<I don't want to accuse anyone of only citing sources (or versions of
sources) that agree with their viewpoint, but one might get suspicious when
one reads so many one-sided discussions.>>

It's always important to see the sources and to know the circumstances
surrounding the question.

Kol Tuv,


From: Cynthia Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 08:13:26 -0500
Subject: Dairy Salmon?

I read a newsnote in this week's Science News that has me concerned.
There are companies that "glue" together end pieces of, for example,
salmon, with casein, so that they look like natural salmon steaks -- and
apparently in Europe at least, they can be sold without labeling that
says they're "restructured."  (The newsnote was about a young woman in
the Netherlands with a life-threatening allergic reaction to milk
products, who wound up hospitalized because she ate what looked like
plain salmon on a piece of (non-dairy) bread.)  --Does anyone know the
situation in the U.S.?  If something is sold as a fish fillet, does it
have to be labeled if it's actually pasted together with casein?  --I
ask this because my understanding is that salmon is the only fish that
can be purchased from a regular fish market, since it's always
identifiable.  (When I lived in northern California, the local Chabad
brought up a rabbi from LA who walked through our supermarket with us,
telling us which products without hechshers were okay to eat, and --
assuming we trimmed it when we got home -- fresh salmon was one of them,
even if it was already cut.)  --And obviously, this is not only a
kashrut concern, since many people have allergic reactions to milk

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Yeshaya Halevi <CHIHAL@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 13:43:23 EST
Subject: Jew v. Jew

Shalom, All:
           Regarding Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday, Dovid Serkin
writes << In addition to student presentations and/or readings and
viewing videos relating to civil rights, our programs included student
participation programs on nonviolence.  >>
          I liked what I read until I got to the part about nonviolence.
Certainly it has its place -- but I seriously believe that we Jews must
impart our children with two messages:
         1.  Jew vs. Jew violence led to our overthrow by the Romans.  I
hope most people on/in mail-jewish know about the *sicarii,* the
killer-Zealots during the Roman occupation of Eretz Yeesrael (Israel).
The name sicarii was derived from the Greek for "dagger men."  They used
their daggers against those who did not agree with their political and
theological views -- violence against both Romans and Jews alike: talk
about seen'at keenam (groundless hatred).
         2.  Roughly 2,000 years ago -- I *think*it was after the Bar
Kochva rebellion against Rome failed -- the Sages debated the proper
Jewish survival mechanism.
      The two main schools of thought were the cedar and the reed methods.
      One side argued that we should stand tall and strong as the cedar.
But, it was pointed out, the cedar stands tall only until it is uprooted
by a stronger wind.
      The other side said we should be like the reed, which bends in
even a slight breeze -- but has the flexibility to withstand a hurricane
-- a clear parallel, IMHO, to Ghandi and Dr. King.
      We opted for the reed method for many centuries, with some notable
exceptions such as the Jews who fought as allies of the Muslims in what
is now Spain.
      Hitler, the Inquisition, pogroms and 2 millenia of Christian
"loving" taught us that always being a reed is suicide.
      To paraphrase Dylan Thomas, I do not intend to go gently into
anyone's good night. Nor, I pray, will my children.
    Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)


From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:11:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Playing ball on Shabbos

Jeremy Goldsmith asked about ballplaying on Shabbos.  Rabbi Saul Berman
wrote an article on the subject, concluding that if an eruv is present,
ballplaying is basically permissible for adults as well as children --
not necessarily desirable but not prohibited. It was a response to an
article with the opposite conclusion written by Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen
in L.A.  I believe it was published and distributed by the Orthodox
Roundtable, which I think is defunct (someone correct me if I'm wrong).  I
haven't looked at them for a long time, so won't mention sources or
details, and I am suspending receipt of mailjewish postings for a while,
but if someone wants to see the articles and can't get hold of them let
me know and I'll see what I can do. You could also try contacting either
of the above authors directly.

Gitelle Rapoport 


From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 10:42:46 -0500
Subject: Posek Shopping

In v31 n18, Jonathan Katz writes, "...why, then, should I be blamed for
asking two Rabbis and following the advice of the second?"

My understanding is, notwithstanding the issue of Posek shopping BEFORE
asking a question, Posek shopping AFTER asking a Posek is frowned upon,
if not downright assur lechatchilah.  I was told that if a person wishes
to ask a subsequent Posek after having asked the question of a previous
Posek, he is required to tell the subsequent Posek that he has already
asked the question, of whom he has asked the question, and what they

-Sheldon Meth


From: Carl SInger <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 09:38:23 EST
Subject: Two Food Questions

I've two food-related questions.

1) Recently I've noticed some pizza shops advertising "Bishul Yisroel"
(as opposed to "just" Pas Yisroel.  I know Pas Yisroel can in many cases
involves only (?) the lighting of the oven -- even remotely via
gadgetry.  Does Bishul Yisroel imply that the Pizza is (a) prepared by,
(b) placed in the oven by, (c) monitored and removed by, a Jew (d) all
of the above?  Can anyone enlighten me on the current socio-halachic (I
new word I just coined) implications of this.

2) Recently I've been purchasing Dole salads (a pre-cut combination of
iceburg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage -- per the label.)  The package
has a sticker on it from a distributing company with THREE haschochas
(KAJ, Rabbi Binyomin Gruber and Rabbi Yisroel P Gornish) and says in
English that "No Checking Necessary" and similar in Hebrew -- pardon the
transliteration "no Chashas and Aynim Tzreechem Bodeks" -- I take it
that this indicates a ruling the this particular product does not need
to be checked vs: that this product has been checked.  Can anyone
enlighten me on this.  I hate to pay a premium for a sticker.

Carl (Chuneh Avrum) Singer  (not Carl Sherer :)


End of Volume 31 Issue 21