Volume 32 Number 22
                 Produced: Mon May  8  6:30:15 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avinu Malkeinu after the Shoah
Bookburning and the Vilna Gaon
         [Sheri & Seth Kadish]
Conversion Questions
         [Anthony S Fiorino]
Different Words in Kedushah
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Grama-operated wheelchair
         [David and Tamar Hojda]
Kosher Gelatin
         [David Charlap]
Kosher gelatin
         [David Cohen]
Lost Tefillin request - Found!
         [Dov Zakheim]
Seder on Motzaei Shabbat
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Seder on Motzei Shabbat
         [Israel Medad]


From: <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 09:47:55 EDT
Subject: Re: Avinu Malkeinu after the Shoah

<< Moezet Gedolei hatorah ordered,
 after the Shoah, that the verses in the Avinu Malkenu prayer referring to
 those burned and slaughtered should br recited out loud. Does anybody have
 any information on this? was it ever published? Are there communities that
 follow this practice?   >>

Rav Dovid Lifshitz  zt'l had the practice, on Yamim Noram, of saying the last 
section of the Avinu Malkeinus out loud, after everyone else had finished, 
even though he wasn't the shliach tzibbur.He would always break down when he 
reachd the one referring to those burned and slaughtered.


From: Sheri & Seth Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 21:27:14 +0300
Subject: Bookburning and the Vilna Gaon

>I just want to state for the record, that the Gaon of Vilna alone did
>not personally burn the Tanya AFAIK. If it was burned, it was by order
>of a bais din / group of Rabbis I believe - and I believe it ocurred
>after his death, if it occurred.  Some books discuss this. An English
>book is 'The Hassidic Movement and the Gaon of Vilna' by Elijah
>J. Schochet (Aronson publishing).  There are some misconceptions / false
>information floating around about the GR"A. One should first verify the
>facts from a neutral and reliable source before saying certain things.

I happen to currently be reading "Yahid be-Doro: Ha-Gaon Mi-Vilna -
Demut ve-Dimui" [The Gaon of Vilna - The Man and His Image] by Immanuel
Etkes (Merkaz Zalman Shazar: Jerusalem, 5758).  The book is a piece of
careful scholarship that examines images of the Gr"a from later periods
against the primary sources from his own lifetime, and from the
testimonies of those who knew him in person.  Etkes' thesis is that
there are, indeed, many misconceptions about the Gr"a.  But not
everything is a misconception!

In chapter three ("The Gr"a and the beginning of the struggle against
Hasidut"), Etkes addresses the exact point in question: How much was the
Gr"a personally involved in the extreme measures that were taken against
the Hasidim, and how much did the community leadership of Vilna do on
its own?  (And did they take measures that he himself might have
disapproved of?)

The conclusion from a reading of *both* mitnaggedic and hasidic sources
from the period is that the entire anti-hasidic campaign that began in
1772 was carried out under the personal initiative and leadership of the
Gr"a himself.  There was indeed a beit din in Vilna that decided (among
other things) to burn hasidic works (which ones??) - but it was the Gr"a
himself who personally decided on the harshest measures taken by that
very beit din, and who even accused Vilna's rabbinic leadership of being
too lenient!  Of particular interest are the testimonies of the Baal
ha-Tanya, who ascribed all actions taken against the hasidim to the
personal direction of the Gr"a.  It shows great honesty for the Baal
ha-Tanya *not* to minimize the Gr"a's involvement, because ascribing the
persecution of the hasidim to misguided communal leaders would be much
easier for hasidim to live with.  Instead, while the Baal ha-Tanya
believed the Gr"a to have been terribly mistaken, he never doubted that
his harsh actions were entirely for the sake of heaven, and he never
tried to minimize those actions.

Hope this helps.
Seth (Avi) Kadish
Phone: 972-4-958-1553


From: Anthony S Fiorino <fiorino_anthony@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 10:29:54 -0400
Subject: Conversion Questions

Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...> wrote:

> Philosophilcally, we already have the view from Beit Hillel that it
> would have been better for humanity to have never been created.  I'm
> just not sure how we can reconcile conversion with this view.

It is permitted to convert a minor child.  The question is, of course,
how is it possible to do so since a minor can't consent.  Chazal
permitted it on the grounds that it is permitted to do so when the
action is for the minor's benefit.  This represents an indisputably
positive view on assuming the burden of the mitzvot - despite any sins
that a converted child may make later in his/her life, making that child
a Jew is viewed as a benefit to the child.

-Eitan Fiorino


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 17:38:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Different Words in Kedushah

Does anyone know of a source for the claim that the Shabbat Kedusha of
Shacharit originally had the words "Ofanim V'chayot mashmi'im kol"
instead of "Adir v'chazak mashmi'im kol"?  I vaguely remember hearing
that this is the case, but have not seen any source for this.  "Ofanim
v'chayot" happens to make much more sense in the context of the rest of


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 15:03:38 +0300 
Subject: Gelatin

While it may be true that the majority of Poskim do not permit gelatin,
I have a copy of the HaPardes journal of about 1946, which carries a
posthumous Teshuva by Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, accepted as one of the
Gedolei Hador of the pre-war years. This Teshuva specifically permits
all gelatin, as the process the bones undergo makes the resulting
gelatin as an entirely different (and, by this logic - pareve) product.

I have heard that some claim that even if the gelatin made of the bones
of non-kosher animals might be permissible, that would not apply if
there was any meat clinging to the bones - and the gelatin made today
uses bones which have not been stripped of all their meat.

I know that Bartons chocolates had a special batch of gelatin made up,
with the bones of kosher animals (maybe even kosherly-slaughtered
animals), and this stock lasted Bartons for decades in its
chcolate-covered marshmallows. When the stock ran out, they stopped
making the marshmallows. That was years ago. Whether they have a new
stock, I don't know.

Finally, I was gratified to see products on the shelves in the past few
years which use fish gelatin. I know that for years fish bones were not
feasible as a source of gelatin, because of the "fishy" smell which the
process couldn't get rid of. That problem has evidently been solved.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: David and Tamar Hojda <hojda@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 13:23:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Grama-operated wheelchair

Several correspondents wrote of their personal experiences and pointed
out the articles that appeared in English volumes of "Crossroads".

I am quite familiar with the articles. While they do a good job of
explaining some of the technical aspects of the device, they do not
fully present the other part of the picture: What type of person in what
type of situation is permitted to avail themselves of it?

As much as I disliked the Yated article's tone and its agenda, I do
believe that they raise a valid issue when criticizing how the device is
marketed, as if it were blanketly permissible l'chatchila in all
situations for anyone who happens to be elderly or handicapped, with no
further qualifications. See the website of "Wheelcare" and their page on
the "Shabbat Scooter".

Perhaps this explains Rav Shlomo Zalman's enthusiasm for the idea of
helping certain individuals as well as his reservations about stamping
his haskama on the chair itself, as related by a correspondent with
personal experience.

The Machon Tzomet claims that they have strict agreements with their
marketers as to how the scooter is to be advertised, but this does not
seem to be apparent from the Wheelcare website.


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 11:11:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Kosher Gelatin

Beth Horowitz wrote:
> Does kosher gelatin come from animals though?

Usually.  Gelatin is always made from bones.  Either from land animals
or (less commonly) from fish.  If the bones come from a kosher animal
(or fish) and the processing is supervised, then the gelatin is kosher,
otherwise it is not.

> I saw kosher marshmallows made w/kosher gelatin, but they are pareve.
> If they did come from an animal source though wouldn't they be
> fleishig?

I would have thought so as well, but that's not what I was taught.

I was taught (back in yeshiva, when I asked the same question) that the
process of turning bones into gelatin is enough to convert it to a
pareve substance.  (Of course, if the bones come from fish, then they're
pareve to begin with.)  Nevertheless, the process is _NOT_ sufficient to
convert bones from a non-kosher animal into kosher gelatin.

Unfortunately, I don't understand the issues involved well enough to
know why this is so.  (Does anyone here know enough about gelatin
processing and the halacha to be able to explain this?)

-- David

From: David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 08:47:10 -0400
Subject: Kosher gelatin

The kosher gelatin that was referred to in the pareve kosher marshmallows
was most probably gelatin produced from agar agar, a vegetable product.
David I. Cohen


From: Dov Zakheim <dzakheim@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 10:26:44 -0400 
Subject: RE: Lost Tefillin request - Found!

Thank you for posting my note. The tefillin were recovered. I thank
everyone who followed up the posting. Ye'yasher kochachem.

Dov Zakheim


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 14:24:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Seder on Motzaei Shabbat

Actually, your question is really what do we do when Erev Pesach falls
on Shabbat.  Sufficed to say, there is much written about this topic
(even an entire sefer).  We are faced with several problems:

 1. We must have Lechem Mishneh at the two shabbat meals that are during
the day.
 2. We are not allowed to eat Matzah on Erev Pesach because we have to eat
the matza "bechipazon" at the seder (you should be able to eat the matza
easily, without forcing yourself, and it should be a new taste) - to that
end there is a prohibition of eating matza that you can use to fulfill the
mitzva, on Erev Pesach.  Some authorities extend this prohibition to all
of Nissan before Pesach, and a few others even further.
 3. We are not allowed to eat Chametz after about 9:30am (the time varies
based on your location).
 4. Some authorities hold that Seudah Shlishit can only be eaten after
davening mincha.

In addition, some authorities hold that you should not eat a full meal
in the Afternoon on Erev Pesach so that you should be easily able to eat
all the requirements at the Seder.

The possible solutions are many:
 1. Daven Shacharit and Musaf very early, Make kiddush and have shabbat
lunch at 8am, bench, and then immediately after have seuda shlishit, all
before 9:30am and still using bread for all meals.
 2. Same as above, except have seudah shlishit at the normal time and don't
make hamotzi, just have fruit and fish and learn some divrei torah.
 3. Daven Shacharit and Musaf at the regular time, use Shmurah Matza that
has been re-cooked in a stew or fried in oil (but is still whole).  This
is considered "Matza metugenet" - you cannot fulfil the mitzvah of matza
at the seder with this type of matza, therefore you can still eat it on
erev pesach.  It still is considered bread for the purposes of "Lechem
Mishneh" (but of course it is not Chametz).   People who observe Gebrokts
probably cannot do this.  For seuda Shlishit follow option 2 above.
 4. Same as #3 but use Egg Matza instead.  I would think that this only
works for Sefardim or other people who are permitted to eat Matza Ashira
(rich matza such as egg matza).

I believe most Ashkenazim follow 1 or 2, Rav Ovadia Yosef considers #3
to be the best option.  Does anyone know of other options for solving
this problem?

You will also have to search for the chametz on Thursday night, do the
burning on Friday morning (even though you can still eat chametz
afterwards).  I don't recall for certain but I think you are supposed to
recite the "bittul chametz" on Shabbat morning.  As far as what plates
to use (plastic vs. pesach) that probably depends on whether you use
real bread for the seuda or matza metugenet/egg matza.  I would almost
certainly say that you can't use your chametz plates because of the
problems of having to wash them on shabbat and then clean them off and
lock them away, all those activities would be considered preparing
something on shabbat for something you need after shabbat.


From: Israel Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 15:26:09 +0200
Subject: Seder on Motzei Shabbat

As for Jeff Fischer <NJGabbai@...> suggestion,

 >Usually, people divide the 2nd meal into 2.  They say kiddush, hamotzi
 >and take a bite of something (cake), then bench, take a walk and come
 >back and wash again for Shalosh Seudot.

I went to my shelf and found a 30 page booklet put out a decade ago by
Rav Mordechai Eliyahu with all the necessary instructions, including
that if one is eating inside the house/apt.  and you have a rug, you
should spread a sheet under the table to collect the crumbs.  The other
major discomfort (besides the vatikin minyan) is that the chametz left
over is to be hidden and burnt after Chag.

Yisrael Medad
Israel's Media Watch - www.imw.org.il
POB 6023 Jerusalem 91060 ISRAEL
Tel.: 972-2-6236425 | Fax: 972-2-6236426


End of Volume 32 Issue 22