Volume 32 Number 07
                 Produced: Fri Apr 14  5:40:23 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cross-Dressing on Purim
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Gluten-free Matzoh (8)
         [Hilary Hurwitz, Daniel P Faigin, Janet Rosenbaum, Jordan
Hirsch, Judith Weil, Lee David Medinets, Rivka Haut,
Location of Shushan
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Other Cities on Purim
         [Gershon Dubin]
Rabbi Blumenkrantz' Book
         [Barak Greenfield, MD]
Shushan Purim (3)
         [Esther Zar, Ari Z. Zivotofsky, Zev Sero]


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 19:14:43 +0200
Subject: Cross-Dressing on Purim

Note: Original Subject: The Origin of Purim Costumes and "Minhag

Aadam S. Ferziger writes:

> The source for the Rema's permissive position regarding "cross-dressing"
> on Purim is a responsa of R. Judah Mintz, see Responsa MaHaR"I Mintz
> u-MahaRa"M Padua (5723-1963), 31a. R. Mintz was, in fact, the rabbi of
> Padua, Italy.  


In the initial section of the
> responsum he states categorically that even without his own additional
> reasoning, the custom is permissible, for: "Great and righteous ones of
> blessed memory, in whose surroundings I was brought up, [who] saw their
> sons and daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law wearing such masks
> as well as switching clothing from men's attire to women's and vice
> versa.  And if, heaven forbid, there had been the slightest
> transgression involved, heaven forbid, that they would be silent and not
> protest - surely they had proofs and authoritative sources that
> demonstrate that this [practice] is absolutely permissible"

See the Mishna Brura in 696:30 who says, "See Yoreh Deah 182, where the
Taz wrote in the name of the Bach that this custom should be voided,
whether on Purim or at weddings."

Interestingly, R. Zvi Cohen, in his sefer on Purim, claims that the
Chazon Ish held all cross-dressing - even of babies - to be forbidden on
Purim based on this Mishna Brura.

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: Hilary Hurwitz <hila@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 07:33:57 +0200
Subject: Gluten-free Matzoh

Yes there is Oat Matza.  It is produced here in Israel , certified
gluten free, by the Kestenbaum family from England. I know it is
available in NY and Chicago.

Contact Ruth Perednik here in Israel (02-9938078) or
<perednik@...> and she can tell you who to call in the US.

From: Daniel P Faigin <faigin@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 07:15:04 -0700
Subject: Re: Gluten-free Matzoh

Barry S Bank <bsbank@...> asked:
> Is there such a thing as gluten-free matzah -- and if so, does anyone
> know where can it be obtained? 

Part of the answer to this depends on why you are asking. First, for
those who are unfamiliar with term "gluten": Gluten is the common name
for the protein fractions that are harmful to persons with Celiac
Disease and some other disorders. Gluten is found in all forms of wheat,
rye, oats, barley, and related hybrids such as triticale and
kamut. (Other names for wheat include durum, semolina and spelt.) Grains
like corn, rice, amaranth, sorghum, etc. also contain a type of gluten.
However, these glutens are not known to cause a reaction in folks
extremely sensitive to gluten. The gluten in oats is a little different
than normal gluten: *some* (but not all) gluten- sensitives can handle
oats, but usually only if it is grown is special wheat- free conditions
(both during growth (i.e., away from wheat in the fields) and during
processing). All major US and Canadian Celiac organizations recommend
their patients omit oats from their diet.

Gluten is especially of concern for people with Celiac Disease (CD),
also known as Celiac Sprue, Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy or Non-Tropical
Sprue.  CD is a chronic digestive disorder found in individuals that are
genetically susceptible (which could be as high as 1 in 80 in the Jewish
population).  For these people, eating food containing gluten affects
absorption of nutrients by damaging the mucosal surface of the small
intestine. When persons with Celiac Disease (CD) consume gluten, the
absorptive villi on the surface of the small intestine are damaged or
destroyed. When this happens, the body is deprived of basic nutrients -
protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and in some cases,
water and bile salts.  If CD is left untreated, the damage can be
life-threatening. More infomration on CD can be found at the home page
of the Celiac Disease Foundation, www.celiac.org.

The simple cure for CD is to stay away from all gluten.

Now, if you are still wondering why I am writing about CD, and how it
relates to the question.

If one has CD, eating *any* matza containing any of the
biblically-prohibited grains (i.e., not kitniyos) could be
life-threatening.  Consult your local rabbi on what to do. If you eat
kitniyos, although not Kosher l'Pesach, but Star-K certified, try
Hol*Grain Brown Rice Crackers (containing *only* brown rice, and made in
a factory that processes only rice). They look and taste remarkably like

If one does not have CD, and whose doctor permits them to handle oats,
there is a source of sh'mura oat matza. According to the current Kashrus
magazine (a wonderful resource for folks who keep Kosher or who have
food sensitivites), Oat Matza produced under the supervision of the
Manchester Beth Din (UK) is available. For online ordering, see
koshersupermarket.com, or call (888) 42-KOSHER, or fax +1 732
942-9001. You can also check their web page at oatmatzos.com or send
email to <kestenbaum@...>

Daniel (who is familiar with CD; his wife has it (and is on the board of

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 (www.cahighways.org)

From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 12:16:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Gluten-free Matzoh

Barry S Bank <bsbank@...> writes:
> Is there such a thing as gluten-free matzah -- and if so, does anyone
> know where can it be obtained? 

It's an impossibility.  The five grains that matza can be made of
(wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and maybe oats) are precisely those grains
which contain gluten.  Some who are allergic to gluten can eat oats,
which have a variant form of gluten compared with the other four, but
it's not clear whether this satisfies the mitzvah.  See your local
Orthodox rabbi.

Speaking of the five grains, there are grains such as kamut (which is,
like spelt, a variant of wheat) and tricatale (wheat-rye hybrid) which
are very closely related to the five grains.  Does anyone hold that one
should say hamotzi/birkat for bread made with these grains?


From: Jordan Hirsch <TROMBAEDU@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 14:03:39 EDT
Subject: Re: Gluten-free Matzoh

Brauners in Boro Park will point you in the right direction for it. Or
you can Email me off list, and I will be happy to set it up for you.

Jordan Hirsch

From: Judith Weil <weildj@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 2000 20:34:39 +0300
Subject: Re: Gluten-free Matzoh

Gluten-free matzos, both machine- and hand-made are available in England
under the supervision, I think, of the Manchester Beis Din. If you are
able to get them from England then write to me directly
(<weildj@...>) and I'll b.n. send more details.

Judith Weil

From: Lee David Medinets <LDMLaw@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 18:08:21 -0400
Subject: RE: Gluten-free Matzoh

Barry S Bank asked about gluten-free matzah.  To the best of my
knowledge, all matzah must be made with precisely those grains that
contain some gluten.  However, some people are able to tolerate certain
grains better than others.  I know that oat matzah and spelt matzah are
eaten for that reason.  Oat matzah (and maybe spelt to, for that matter)
is available from www.onlinefood.com.  Their phone number is
877-4-WWW-FOOD.  I believe they have the widest selection of kosher food
in the world.  They ship anywhere - even the North Pole.  I'm not
kidding.  Their office happens to be in the same building where my
office is located.  Alex Schleider, the chief operating officer, was
just telling me that the hand shmurer oat matzah was a huge item this
year.  They sell other matzah too, but people tend to order hard to find
items from them, and oat matzah is definitely in that category.

Chag Kosher v'Sameach

Dovid Medinets

From: Rivka Haut <Yitznrivka@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 21:06:20 EDT
Subject: Re: Gluten-free Matzoh

 Yes, gluten free matza is available. There is shmura matza made from
oats, which most celiacs such as myself, can eat. It comes from England,
and is available in both hand made and machine made varieties.
 Also, if you can eat spelt, (which has some gluten but many celiacs can
eat it) there is a spelt hand made shmura matza available. It is made in
Williamsburg, brooklyn, and is also available at Brauner's bakery in
Boro park. They will ship it to you. Both the oat and spelt matza are
available at Landau's grocery, in Brooklyn, near Boro Park, on 18th ave.
 I am very sensitive to gluten, and yet have eaten both spelt and oat
matza with no problems.
 Chag sameach, Rivka Haut

From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 13:16:02 -0700
Subject: Re: Gluten-free Matzoh

I believe gluten is a protein that is found only in wheat. It is what
produces the resilient texture of bread dough through the kneading
process. It stands to reason that matza can be made equally well from
any of the other four species of grain that qualify as hametz (if
allowed to ferment). Such matzot would then be adequate for the mitzva
of eating matza at the seder. As for the rest of the week, there is no
requirement to eat matza, just to refrain from hametz.

Several questions arise:

Do we know with certainty the identity of the four species aside from
wheat? (Perhaps the identity of s`ora as barley is certain.)

Are these grains actually free of any proteins that might cause allergic
reactions to someone who is sensitive to gluten?

Does anyone manufacture such wheat-free matzot, e.g., pure barley
matzot, under proper supervision?

Since there are many gluten-sensitive people around, I wouldn't be
surprised if this problem has been solved on the practical level. If
not, I suppose that these people would be exempt from the mitzva of
eating matza.

One caution: There are products available that are called "rye matzot".
I suspect that they are made of a mixture of rye and wheat (as is the
popular "rye bread"). If they are actually made from unadulterated rye,
it would still be necessary to get a halachic opinion about the identity
of rye with "shipun"; and a medical opinion about the presence or
absence of allergens that might have the same effect as gluten.

Yosef Gilboa



From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 13:24:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Location of Shushan

Shushan is now known as Hamadan in Iran.  You will find there the
reputed graves of Mordechai and Esther, next time you happen to be in


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 19:31:44 -0400
Subject: Other Cities on Purim

<<a)  as for Chevron - as Yerushalayim
    b)  as for T'veriya, ditto>>

	IIRC the Gemara says that Tveriah is a safek (doubtful case)
because of uncertainty as to whether the sea (Kineret) is considered a
wall.  They should therefore read on both days.



From: Barak Greenfield, MD <docbjg@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 23:46:55 -0400
Subject: Rabbi Blumenkrantz' Book

Another Pesach rolls around, and another edition of Rabbi Blumenkrantz'
"The Laws of Pesach: A Digest" hits the shelves. This sefer is a
treasure trove of information about yom tov and many things only
remotely related to the chag.

However, there are certain misrepresentations in the book which are
potentially dangerous if relied upon. For example, the statements that
spelt and quinoa are somehow better for health than usual grains are
dubious at best, and the suggestion that spelt matzos are appropriate
for patients with celiac disease may be downright harmful. Likewise,
Rabbi Blumenkrantz' extolling the "virtues" of homeopathic remedies can
be dangerous to unwitting readers who may use them in place of
conventional therapy, although his admission that they actually contain
no active ingredient whatsoever (as proof that they are kosher lePesach)
should be evidence enough that they have no effect on the body.

 From a pure halachic standpoint, Rabbi Blumenkranz presents his view
regarding the permissibility of medicines on Pesach. He states that,
although chometz which is nifsal me'achilas kelev (unfit to be eaten
even by a dog) is not considered chometz, one may not actually eat it on
Pesach (under the principle of achshevei) since by doing so he shows
that he considers it to be fit for consumption. Therefore, we are told
that drugs which have chometz in them may not generally be used, and are
presented with an exhaustive list of which ones contain and do not
contain chometz.  However, this ignores the opinion of Rabbi Moshe
Feinstein (Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim Chelek 2, Siman 92) that achshevei
does not apply to medicines (v'achshevei lo shayach b'dovor shelokeach
l'refuah), because by ingesting them one does not demonstrate that he
considers them to be edible, but rather he is swallowing them simply for
their curative value (e.g. one would eat mud if it cured
him). Therefore, one should not automatically assume that a drug not on
Rabbi Blumenkrantz' list is prohibited, as there is more than ample
authority to rely on for using all bitter-tasting drugs.

On a medically-unrelated note: why is yeast prohibited to be used on
Pesach?  Apparently, according to the book, commercially available yeast
has not a trace of chometz in it, and only chometz and se'or (old dough
used to ferment other dough) are prohibited on Pesach.

A chag kosher v'someach to all.

Barak Greenfield, MD


From: Esther Zar <ESTABESTAH@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 22:33:35 EDT
Subject: Re: Shushan Purim

<< There is always Shushan, I believe that today it is called Susa, in
 Iran.  >>
 The city is called "Hamedan" today.  I just asked my parents to confirm
as they have been at the site a numerous before the
revolution. interestingly enough, before the revolution, there was a
nice size jewish population in hamedan.  there are others that say that
this is not the actual site.

From: Ari Z. Zivotofsky <azz@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 10:53:55 -0400
Subject: Shushan Purim

I would be interested in hearing what city you think is identified as
Shushan.  I also think your halachik statement is wrong. Shushan,
despite not having been walled at the time of Yehoshua still keeps
Shushan Purim, for obvious reasons.


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 15:03:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Shushan Purim

We are not a crooked people, but those who make such claims are indeed
crooked.  It is certainly illogical for Shushan, where the miracle
happened, not to celebrate Shushan Purim, and therefore it should come
as no surprise that the law is clear that Shushan does celebrate it,
despite the fact that it was not walled in Yehoshua's time (Megillah 2b;
Rambam Megilla 1:5).  If the Jews in the city you cite keep Purim on the
14th instead of the 15th, it must be because that city's claim to be
Shushan is flawed.

Zev Sero                Programming is an art form that fights back.


End of Volume 32 Issue 7