Volume 31 Number 46
                 Produced: Wed Feb  9 21:17:36 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazak Chazak Vinitchazek - a different slant
         [Perets Mett]
Children's Encyclopedia Question
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Cholov Yisroel (2)
         [Mordechai, Dov Teichman]
Feeling Invisible
         [Joseph Geretz]
Historical Authenticity of the Artscroll Siddur
         [Carl Singer]
Interesting Story
         [Gershon Dubin]
Jewish Newspapers and Lashon Hara
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Little things - habits and customary derech
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Naval Beershoot Hatorah
         [Robert Block]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Video Cameras on Shabbos
         [Avrohom Biderman]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 15:34:42 +0000
Subject: Re: Chazak Chazak Vinitchazek - a different slant

Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...> raises an excellent point:
>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) ?

I cannot remember when I first became aware of this issue but, as a
regular bal koyre, whenever I find myself in this situation (about four
times a year) I close the seyfer toyre before reciting the words
"Chazak. . . "

BTW, Jonathan is right to parenthesise the expression (Baal Kriah?).
There is no such thing.  The correct Hebrew form, Korei, is found in the
Shulchan Orukh. The same person is properly known in Yiddish as a 'bal

Perets Mett


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 14:15:42 +0200
Subject: Children's Encyclopedia Question

Ellen Krischer writes:

> > ...the excellent secular children's encyclopedias cannot be used by
> > Beis Yaakov schools without close supervision.
> > Jonathan Rabson
> 	I'm quite curious about what topics in a secular children's
> encyclopedia would require that the encyclopedia have "close supervision."

Given that the original question related to girls between the ages of 6
and 11, I can think of more topics that would require "close
supervision" than those that would not. Please explain your question.

[In an encyclopedia aimed at an adult audience, I might fully understand
the original question. I think Ellen's question is that in an
encyclopedia aimed at children, even if secular in orientation, what
there would require close supervision. Mod.]

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: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 18:51:09 EST
Subject: Cholov Yisroel

<< From: Esther Zar <ESTABESTAH@...>

 For all those who requested sourcing re: Reb Moshe's regret/withdrawal
 re: cholov yisroel- i spoke to the rav who i quoted the information
 from. He told me that he must get individual permission from the gedolim
 who he spoke to about the issue who supplied him with that
 information. he did say however that he spoke to several halachic
 mainstream accepted authorities about the subject and that that is where
 his information came from.  i saw in his notebook a copy of a letter
 response from Reb Moshe to Rav Avraham Weinfeld dated rosh chodesh Tamuz
 5717 and i requested permission to photocopy it which he granted.
 so.. if anyone wants me to when it was written.  >>

To spread rumors that a great man like Rav Moshe changed his mind about
a psak (ruling) and didn't publicly withdraw it, is, in my opinion, very
suspicious. If Rav Moshe felt that he had made a mistake, one presumes
he would have stated as much in writing, in a public communication, as
if one wants to withdraw from something originally propounded in
writing, the proper way to withdraw would be in the same manner. To
suggest that he felt he made a mistake, but didn't publicize it, is
blasphemous in my opinion. If he felt that he had erred, why didn't he
write a responsa / letter to that effect?  Are you suggesting that he
felt he had erred, yet was not concerned about the many people following
a faulty ruling and didn't take steps to inform the public? G-d forbid!

The great Rav Moshe z"l left us family members who survive him in this
world - e.g. two great sons following in his footsteps, a renowned
son-in-law, etc.  One would think that they would know if their father
withdrew from a ruling of his. Has his great son, Rav Dovid shlit"a, who
follows in his father's footsteps as a halachic decisor, ever said such
a thing? Another member of his family? Not that I know of. Evidently
they, who spent the most time with him and had the closest contact with
him, are not aware of any such withdrawl.

If those closest to him are not aware of any such an alleged withdrawl,
upon whom is such a report based? Upon people who had a strong bias
against this ruling, who (to be charitable) may have (selectively) heard
what they wanted to hear when they spoke to him?

The bottom line is, if Rav Moshe had changed his mind, the proper way
for him to express it would have been to put it in writing to the
public. Absent such a written communication, any reports to the contrary
are unsubstantiated rumors and should not be given credibility -
especially when they emanate from parties who were never happy with this

The great Rav Moshe z"l recognized that changed circumstances, due to
radical changes in milk production, packaging and marketing and
government regulation in this century which spawned the modern giant
commercial dairies ('cholov hacompanies') created a different 'metzius'
(reality / situation) than had existed in the pre - modern period. The
milk industry had changed radically.  On such basis, he made his
ruling. He never told people not to drink supervised milk. Rather, he
ruled for people who do not live in Jewish ghettos of New York City, to
enable them to enjoy milk products. Having been Rav in (relatively)
small towns in Russia and having come to the USA, he realized that the
modern USA dairy industry is a much different situation than had
previously existed.


From: Dov Teichman <DTnLA@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 21:53:54 EST
Subject: Re: Cholov Yisroel

If it is true that Reb Moshe recanted his decision on Cholov
Yisroel/Stam it would seem he did a very poor job of publicizing
that. Tammuz of 5717 is 1957, and Reb Moshe had over 25 years to make a
clear statement to that effect; more than just hearsay through Rabbonim
who don't want to be identified. The more logical conclusion would seem
to be that the psak that Reb Moshe gave in his tshuvos allowing Cholov
Stam is the more authentic one.

Dov Teichman


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 21:41:39 -0500
Subject: Feeling Invisible

Janice Gelb wrote:
> If you read my entire message again, I think you will
> see that I didn't say the woman absolutely didn't feel
> invisible.  I said she had probably steeled herself to
> feeling invisible if she was still going to an O[rthodox]
> minyan.

Is that how you imagine Orthodox women feel behind the Mechitza
(partition)?  That they 'steel' themselves to feel invisible? Perhaps
they welcome the modesty which their 'invisibility' behind the Mechitza
affords them.

When our forefather Abraham was chatting with his angelic guests and our
foremother Sara was in the tent (Genesis 18:9), did she 'steel' herself
to feeling invisible? Not at all. Sara's invisibility was an extension
of her natural Tznius (modesty). Naturally, possessing a high level of
modesty, Sara would be most comfortable out of sight in the privacy of
the tent.

Similarly, praying behind the Mechitza offers preservation of modesty,
rather than relegation to invisibility.

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 08:34:04 EST
Subject: Re: Historical Authenticity of the Artscroll Siddur

<<  From: Stephen H White <stephen@...>
 The Artscroll Siddur has become increasingly influential in determining
 the Nusach and the Minhagim (customs) of many Kehillot, particularly
 those with no historical background of their own. What is its own
 historical authenticity? Is it a hybrid, or a faithful reproduction of a
 specific line of Tefillah? Does it matter, given the wide range of

Although the Art Scroll is a carefully researched and scholarly siddur,
it had to make several choices at various forks in the road.  It also
corrects several "typos" that have found there way into siddurs.  The
problem to me is that there is no "Nusach Art Scroll" pe se.  In sort of
a "might makes right" it's easier for a congregation to adopt the Art
Scroll nusach than paste pages inside the covers or include a series of
add-ins.  My older sons daven nusach ha Grah -- and even there, the
"authentic" nusach ha Grah siddurs vary on certain points.  When in
doubt I use my Father ztl's siddur as a reference, because -- right or
wrong -- it's more important to me that I follow his nusach than any
other criteria.  But whether or not mesorah is the criteria -- we have a
rich diversity and instead of "celebrating it" we seem to fight over it.

Siddur "politics" are legend.  The DeSola Pool siddur, a beautiful
crafted, easy to read, beautifully translated (Rebbetzin DeSola Pool was
the first child of modern times to speak Hebrew -- as a neighbor or
Eliezer Ben Yehuda) fell out of favor because some took umbrage re: the
translation of "B'nai Elokim" My wife uses it because hers is an
autographed copy -- a gift from Rebbetzin DeSola Poole.  Recently, one
local synagogue here bought a new batch of Art Scrolls (the frummer ones
without the prayer for Medinat Yisroel) then had the chutzpeh to hide
all of the other siddurs (alleging that the older people couldn't read
the print in the older siddurs.)

Carl Singer


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 23:20:14 -0500
Subject: Interesting Story

	I heard an interesting story tonight before Maariv.  It appears
that there was a Rav Miller in America around the turn of the century
who wrote pamphlets advocating certain construction changes which would
have allowed any home bathtub to be a kosher mikva.  His halachic points
were apparently valid, but he was disapproved of by gedolei hador (Rav
Chaim Ozer was mentioned) for practical reasons.

	Has anyone heard of this?



From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 14:43:07 +0200
Subject: Jewish Newspapers and Lashon Hara

> Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...> wrote:
> >How do Orthodox Jewish newspapers excuse their use of Lashon Haroh
> >(gossip) against other Frum individuals who they disagree with solely on
> >political grounds?

I heard in the news last week that a gathering of Charedi newspaper
reporters shlogged al chait (admitted their guilt) with respect to their
characterization of the secular community, and committed itself to
trying to change their writing about the secular community to make that
writing less hostile. I believe I heard the report on Arutz Sheva, but a
quick search of their web site did not turn it up. Maybe someone else
has more details.

I think there most definitely could be an issur (prohibition) of being
mekabel lashon hara (believing lashon hara - lashon hara doesn't really
translate well as slander because truth is a valid defense to a charge
of slander, but not to a charge of lashon hara) if one believes things
that one reads about others in the newspapers.  There are responsa that
deal with the subject; unfortunately I do not have ready access to them.

Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<cmsherer@...> 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: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 08:24:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Little things - habits and customary derech

Carl Singer asks:
> as I am in the dissemination of these "things" -- How could a learned
> Rabbinic student not know the proper respect for a siddur (or maybe
> someone has taught him that it doesn't matter - -maybe I'm "wrong") --
> How can balabatim not have ingrained in them the habit (not only
> "custom" but "habit") to use their right hand when kissing a mezuzah.
> Any thoughts?

As a long-time "BT" ("baal teshuva"; I'm not sure that's the best term,
but that's another discussion), although I was raised with no "Orthodox"
input at all, I note that I had hung around in frum circles for quite
some time before I became aware of the thing about siddurim, when a
friend brought it to my attention.  Question: Why is it okay to put a
tallis bag on the place people sit on and not a siddur?

I've never heard of the right-hand business, but as a left-handed
person, I wonder why it's okay for lefties to reverse the usuall
hand-tefillin arrangement and not the mezuzah-kissing habit. Also, as
you go into the room, it seems easier to reach the mezuzah with your
left hand -- sort of like shirt pockets being on the left side so the
right hand can reach the pen?  (I try to get shirts with TWO pockets, in
order to have a more comfortable reach to the pocket, but I digress....)

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Robert Block <RAZLEENERS@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 03:47:22 EST
Subject: Naval Beershoot Hatorah

<< There is a concept in Halacha as something which is "disgusting under
 the law" (sorry, I don't remember the Hebrew phrase.)  >>
In Hebrew it is called "Naval Beershoot Hatorah."  See Nachmanides , Vayikra, 


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 14:20:14 +0200 
Subject: Rambam

In our company, there are a number of people who use the Rambam as their
Halachic guide, even when his rulings are against accepted Halachah as
codified in Shulchan Aruch. Their reasoning is that as it states "Asei
lecha Rav" ("make - i.e., choose - a Rav for yourself"), they have
chosen the Rambam as their Rav.

I'd be interested in hearing Halachic reactions to this practice.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Avrohom Biderman <abeb@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 23:51:03 -0500
Subject: Video Cameras on Shabbos

Rabbi Adler raised the question of using a video camera on
Shabbos. Walking by a video camera which is on causes changes in
electronic impulse, much as speaking into a microphone does, and is
therefore prohibited. So while placing the camera on a tripod before
Shabbos avoids handling muktzeh, is still assur.


End of Volume 31 Issue 46