Volume 31 Number 24
                 Produced: Sat Jan 29 21:09:15 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Anonymous Poskim
         [Jordan Hirsch]
Appending Hakadosh to Names of certain Rabbis
Atmosphere of Secular Colleges
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Chazak Chazak Vinitchazek - a different slant
         [Jonathan Grodzinski]
Contradictory References to same Posek
         [Carl Singer]
Donations from questionable sources
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Hebrew College Announces Spring Semester Online Courses
         [Nathan Ehrlich]
Mayim Achronim
         [Eric Simon]
OFF TOPIC - Baruch Yosef
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Orthodox college students
         [Josh Hoexter]
Saying 'I like ham but God forbade me'
         [Daniel Cohn]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 06:08:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Mail-Jewish has formally joined as a member of Shamash (we've been
hosted here since before Shamash even had that name, but now I'm using
part of the subscription fees to support Jewish computer networking by
being a paying member) and has obtained our own virtual domain through
them. So our Web page is now available as:


I've added a direct search link to the home page. It uses the WebGlimpse
search engine for the mail-jewish archives that Barry Friedman has been
 An additional new item added is a preprint of an article by Rav Guttel
titled (translation) "Changes in Halakhic Perspectives Throughout the
Ages Regarding the 'Unworthy Student' (Talmid She-eno Hagun)"
 If people have articles that they would like to put up here on our web
page, please feel free to contact me.

I'd also like to take the time and space to thank all those that have been
putting in translations to their submissons, I've received a number of
off-list responses that there are many on the list who appreciate your
taking the time to do that.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Jordan Hirsch <TROMBAEDU@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 02:13:24 EST
Subject: Re: Anonymous Poskim

 <<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.
 Gershon >>

Rather than a tip, in our Shul, a contribution is made to the Rabbi's
discretionary fund. Of course, our Rav is full time, with benefits and a
pension. The fun goes towards various special cases of which only the
Rabbi would be aware.



From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 23:05:04 EST
Subject: Appending Hakadosh to Names of certain Rabbis

There is a custom that some have (it seems like it may be a hassidic
custom in origin, that has spread to some others, but I am not 100%
sure), to append 'haKadosh' after the names of certain great
Rabbis. Some examples that come to mind, are the Shaloh ['haKadosh'],
Ari ['haKadosh'], Ohr HaChaim ['haKadosh'] , Alshich ['hakadosh']. I
think I may have omitted one name - perhaps someone could point out any
I omitted.

I have wondered when did this custom start and who started it? Who chose
specifically and only these Rabbis for this honor? Are these the only
Rabbis that were holy men? Haven't we merited many great holy Rabbis
over the centuries? Why are only these few singled out for this

When discussing this question with some people, one person mentioned to
me that Rav Aharon Kotler z"l did not append haKadosh to Ohr HaChaim.
Presumably, that wasn't his (Litvisher - Lithuanian Jewish ?) custom
and/or he felt that many gedolim could be called kadosh, not only the
above,etc.  Another person thought that the Rabbis had a common
denominator of being from the period of 1500 - 1700 CE - between the
rishonim and achronim [earlier and later authorities][?] & being
Kabbalists who had a connection to the land of Israel [resided there?]
and perhaps that's why they merited the appendage.  However, I still
find it hard to grasp. So I am turning to the learned Mail - Jewish
community for help. Does anyone know the origin of this custom?

Has anyone researched it, written about it,etc.?

I would be quite interested to get information. Thanks in advance - I
await any illuminating responses.



From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 21:41:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject:  Atmosphere of Secular Colleges

Frank Silbermann <fs@...> writes:
> I have in mind the collusion of faculty and administration in
> encouraging radical students to steal conservative student newspapers,
> to shout down conservative speakers, to threaten leaders of conservative
> student groups, and to subject them to kangaroo courts with charges of
> "hate speech."  (What is Orthodoxy, if not conservative?)

For what it's worth, while I have heard this may be true in the smaller
schools (which don't have frum populations, anyhow), it's not true in 
larger and more diverse schools.  

Even at Harvard, I never once saw or heard of anything like this, and
have seen no chilling effect on speech --- the far-right wing newspaper
always published with names even as they expressed opinions well outside
the realm of conventionally-expressed American political discourse.  The
staffs of the normal-right wing and the left-wing newspapers would even
socialize together.

In social conversation, as is true everywhere, it's always important to
remember the dictum that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't
say anything at all, as well as to remember that it is always an option
simply to raise an eyebrow and edge away.

Janet (Harvard '98)


From: Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 01:25:45 EST
Subject: Chazak Chazak Vinitchazek - a different slant

An "oleh laTorah" [someone called up to the reading of the Law] is
required to look aside and/or close the Sefer Torah [Scroll of the Law]
when making the brachah [blessing], lest people think that the brachah
is itself written in the Torah.

Why then, does the Baal Koreh (Baal Kriah?) [ the Reader ] not close the
sefer before saying "Chazak. . . ". All the more so because it is
chanted with the same trop [tune] as the end of a Parshah [section], and
it is printed in the Chumash [Pentateuch] (albeit without vowels) ?

Jonathan Grodzinski (fourth generation Master Baker - London, UK)


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 21:39:54 EST
Subject: Re: Contradictory References to same Posek

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

Getting back to my original question -- are today's published sources,
faithful reproductions of the original or have they possibly been
altered (for whatever reason: error, attempts at clarity, bias) There
are today specific examples of different wording in different editions
of seforim.

Carl Singer


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 09:42:44 -0500
Subject: Donations from questionable sources

	With regard to the discussion that has been taking place here:

	Tuesday night I attended a shiur by R. Moshe Heineman at which
he quoted a Rashi in Yoma (35a, if I remember correctly) about the Bais
HaParvah (a room in the Bais HaMikdosh -- the Temple).  Rashi says that
this room was named after a man named "Parvah" who was a Mechashef (a
sorcerer or witch), which is a forbidden activity.  R. Heineman said
that Parvah donated the money for the room, and it was named in his
honor.  Hence, taking money from a questionable person is okay in
certain cases.

	By the way, R. Heineman used this Rashi to posken (decide) a
halacha l'maaseh (practical legal decision).  A wealthy man wrote an
iron clad will leaving 25 million dollars to a yeshiva with the
condition that the yeshiva remain "orthodox."  Later, the yeshiva
received 2 million dollars from a non-observant man, and named itself
after him.  The man with the $25 million will was offended and tried to
counteract the will on the grounds that naming the school after a
non-observant person meant that the yeshiva was no longer orthodox.  The
case went to a Bais Din (Jewish court), and R.  Heineman was a member.
He observed that in the Bais HaMikdosh (temple) the Bais HaParvah was
named after a non-observant donor, and that the Bais HaMikdosh was
definitely orthodox!  R. Heineman's argument was accepted by the Bais


From: Nathan Ehrlich <nathan@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 21:54:46 -0500
Subject: Hebrew College Announces Spring Semester Online Courses

Dear Avi,

Hebrew College,  would like to share with members of mail-jewish 
information about new online courses that may be of interest to them.

Hebrew College's Campus in Cyberspace is pleased to offer
5 online courses during the Spring 2000 Semester

* Introduction to Rabbinic Thought, Literature and Civilization
* Individual and Communal Responsibility to the Vulnerable: Texts from
     Jewish Law & Lore 
* The Israel Dimension in Jewish Education
* Using the Internet for Jewish Education

Conducted via the Web and e-mail, these courses are an opportunity to
participate in a dynamic learning community with "virtual classmates"
from all over the world.

For more detailed information about cost, course descriptions,
instructors' bios, registration form, and information about Hebrew
College, please visit our Web site, http://hebrewcollege.edu/online. You
may also send e-mail to <online-courses@...>, or phone


From: Eric Simon <erics@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 23:42:40 -0500
Subject: Mayim Achronim

<< Indeed, I would expect that such a major sakanah would have simply
resulted in the outright banning of sodom salt by chazal.>>

Forgive me if I've missed a point earlier in this thread . . . but I had
learned that there was (an additional?) view of sodom salt, and that is
symbolic (just as, in a way, washing before a meal is symbolic).

The sin of Sodom was inhospitality, or, in a way, extreme selfishness.
In this view, the "salt of sodom" is when _we_ act selfish.  And, for
most of us, when we're hungry, and see a plate of food before us, there
is a part of us that becomes just a bit selfish, to get that food into
our stomaches.

It is this slight degree of selfishness, this salt of sodom, that we
wash away with mayim achronim, before engaging in a Torah mitzvah (the
birkas hamazon).

-- Eric


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 22:18:03 +0200
Subject: OFF TOPIC - Baruch Yosef

I want to let you all know that the MRI came out fine. It looks good and
the report on it looks fine. Baruch Hashem.

Thanks again for all of your tfillos.

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son, Baruch Yosef
ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.
Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Josh Hoexter <hoexter@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 23:36:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Orthodox college students

I think the arguments from both sides of this debate have merit and that
there is no one answer which is right for everyone. A college campus may
have resources for those who *want* to stay (or move) within the
boundaries of an observant community but an observant student community
has very little "gravitational force" to keep anyone in. I think that in
general students follow their inclination, so those who leave may have
left anyway, but many of them may have stayed if there were any
resistance at all. Furthermore on a college campus there are so many
complex factors and subtle (and not-so-subtle) influences that a
student's inclinations can change suddenly and, again, the influences
are enormously off-balance. A crucial decision IMHO is living
arrangements - dormatories can be incredibly destructive environments,
and living at home or with other Orthodox students may help maintain a
continual sense of belonging to an Orthodox community.

While being observant because of societal pressures is not ideal, I
think it is obvious that they affect all of us, more or less often, to a
greater or lesser extent. Rabbi Klugerman is absolutely right that some
students can flourish and accomplish amazing things in college but Moshe
Flohr is also correct that the dangers are enormous.

Whether or not a student's commitment to Judaism will be seriously
jeapordized by college and (on the other side of the coin) what benefits
the student will get from college are important factors. However, I
would extend what Rabbi Klugerman said and conclude that this is usually
not a decision that is made at 18, rather it follows from all of the
decisions the family has made until that point. Usually all that is left
are the details, but as I mentioned regarding living arrangements, they
should not be taken lightly.

Josh Hoexter


From: Daniel Cohn <dcohn@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 11:04:05 +0100
Subject: Saying 'I like ham but God forbade me'

I have always had trouble accepting this. For example, a man who is so
in love which his wife that he cannot even think of being with another
woman, is at fault, according to this dictum, and should strive to be
attracted to other women, but, grudgingly, stick to his wife because the
Torah prohibited them to him. When a Jew, in Shabat, goes by a beach and
see all the people there lying in the sun doing just nothing, he should
think to himself, "How I wish I was there, but, oy vey, I must go and
sit in shul and be bored!", instead of "Ashreinu ma tov chelkenu". This
somehow does not seem to me the ideal approach to Torah and Mitzvot! It
looks like actually enjoying the mitzvot we perform and our way of life
in general, should bring a person much closer to HaShem than the other
approach, and there are certainly many sources that support this view.
Can anybody help here? Any ideas?


End of Volume 31 Issue 24