Volume 32 Number 25
                 Produced: Sun May 14 22:22:40 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carrying in shoes on Shabbat
         [Mike Gerver]
Curriculum and Syllabii
         [Marilyn Tomsky]
Curriculum and Women
         [Russell Hendel]
         [Andrew Klafter]
Heter to Carry Key In Shoe
         [Russell Hendel]
Jewish jurors
         [Michael Szpilzinger]
Keys in Shoes, Kitzur
         [Michael and Abby Pitkowsky]
         [Reuven Miller]
Mesorah reading
         [Eliezer Appleton]
Name of Avraham Avinu's mother
         [Ron Degany]
Women's Obligation in Minyan
         [Bill Bernstein]
Yiddish name question
         [Daniel Stuhlman]


From: Mike Gerver <MJGerver@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 12:46:43 EDT
Subject: Carrying in shoes on Shabbat

Sherman Marcus asks (v32n19)
> a supposedly reliable heter that a key may be carried on Shabbat by
> placing it in a shoe. . .  Has anyone heard such a heter? Could anyone
> speculate as to its veracity?

I haven't heard of it, but "speculate"-- that's something I'm good at!
As long as you're not expecting me to go to the trouble of bringing
sources. . .

I can think of two related reasons why it might work.  First, I think
that the issur of carrying on Shabbat, at least on a d'oraita [Biblical]
level, only applies when you are carrying something in the way that it
is customary to carry it.  In fact, if I am not mistaken, that applies
to all Shabbat prohibitions, which is why, in an emergency, you can sign
your name with your left hand (if you are righthanded), tear toilet
paper not on the perforations, etc.  Second, the prohibition on carrying
only applies to carrying something more than four amot.  If you carry it
less than four amot, and then put it down, then I think (don't rely on
this) that it is permitted even rabbinically, and I think in an
emergency one can carry something and repeatedly put it down at
intervals of less than four amot.  That's sort of what you would be
doing carrying a key in your shoe, since the key would be indirectly in
contact with the ground every time you put your foot down, and with a
normal walking pace your foot would come down at intervals of about four
amot.  (Of course, you could also say that the key was indirectly in
contact with the ground, through your body, even if you were carrying it
in your hand, so maybe that reasoning isn't valid.)

Mike Gerver


From: Marilyn Tomsky <jtomsky@...>
Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 06:37:32 -0700
Subject: Re: Curriculum and Syllabii

We are taught, that we are not to judge a person, but you are judging
the right of a female to knowledge, so that she might be a better
person.  So that she might not sin in any knowledgeable fashion.
Ignorance leads only to sin and dishonor.

We are taught that each of us is a life.  A life is precious.  Each of
us has the right to reach out to God.  To learn Torah and our history.
To learn of those who lived before us and the lessons of life they left
behind.  This will teach respect.  To learn to think in a better
fashion.  Some of us are more capable than others - some are less.  But
all of us deserve the right to choose.  To have a choice.  That is the

Marilyn Tomsky


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 18:32:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Curriculum and Women

Ester Zar in Mail Jewish Volume 32 Number 16 gives a lengthy halachic
discussion of what women can learn with a great many sources. But this
still does NOT answer my original point---that the real issue is not
WHETHER we can learn or DEVELOPING GOOD ROLE MODELS but rather WHAT we
should be teach.

Ester neglected to mention the explicit heter by the chafetz chayiim
that we teach girls today because they are forced by the government to
attend school anyway and it is therefore better that they learn Jewish
subjects vs totally non jewish subject (Ester mentioned this implicitly
in passing)

But my original question is still NOT answered--why do you teach these
girls for 12 years!?!?!

Here is a simple quiz (which everyone should pass--even those following
the stringencies on Esters list). This quiz can be given to a girl at
any stage of (K thru 12). How many girls can pass it at each grade level
Readers are encouraged to test their female relatives (daughters neices
etc) I reiterate that the Jewish community has a challenging question
before it...  development of a syllabus that meets educational goals
(and prohibitions).

Here is the quiz:
1) The Midrash says that "RUth has no 'dos' or 'don'ts'--why then was
it canonized? Because it teaches caring (Chesed). How many acts of chesed
can you list from Ruth (2) List the number of ways that Ester influenced
Jewish history (eg Most people don't know she fought with the Sanhedrin to
establish purim) (3) List the 7 female prophets (4) Relate the story of 
Yehudith--what Biblical model did she follow....how do we commemorate this
story (5) Name and tell the story of a woman who saved a jewish city (6)
Name and tell the story of a woman who reunited a father and son

Again: the above quiz relates to 'permissable' learning even according
to the more stringent opinions brought by Ester. How many girls can do
well on it? What are we doing about our curriculum to improve it.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; <rhendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is Simpl


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 16:21:03 -0400
Subject: Haskamot

Can anyone refer me to a good article (Hebrew or English) describing the
history/phenomenology of haskamot to books?

Andrew B. Klafter, MD
Chief Resident, Dept. of Psychiatry
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA  19107
(215)955-8420  FAX(215)568-0164


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 21:59:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Heter to Carry Key In Shoe

Sherman Marcus writes in Mail Jewish V32n19
<< I just spoke to a couple who returned from a trip to Australia / New
Zealand where they heard a supposedly reliable heter that a key may be
carried on Shabbat by placing it in a shoe.

Has anyone heard such a heter? Could anyone speculate as to its
veracity? >>

Yes. I believe Rabbi Rackman introduced this permissability for people
who lived in dangerous neighborhoods in the New York Area. The
technicalities of it are that Carrying the Key in a shoe is a "non
normal" way of carrying and therefore only Rabbinically
prohibited. Hence, the argument went, one can violate rabbinic law if
one is in a bad neighborhood.

While the concerns are valid I would say that since permissable ways of
carrying a key (shabbath belts) exist we need not rely on this heter

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Michael Szpilzinger <mikes@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 15:50:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Jewish jurors

This is not so much an anecdote as an observation. 

This past December, as per my civic duty, I served on a Grand Jury,
together with 22 other people for 4 weeks. (In New York they have 2 week
terms and 4 week terms; I was lucky aparrantly). What ultimately
happens, especially based on the social makeup of the people in the
jury, is that a feeling of camaraderie sets in amongst the members, kind
of like a work type environment. After all, it's the same 23 people in
one room from 9-5 for 4 weeks. Let me point out that, being employed by
in a 96% frum environment, I do not really have such experience in day
to day relationships with non-frum or non-jewish co-workers.

I found myself in a somewhat hazy situation. Of course, being the only
frum Jew on the jury, I had to make a Kiddush Hashem, and therefore had
to have a very friendly, respectful relationship with them. On the other
hand, to fully "assimilate" (for lack of a better word) into the group
would not be good for my ruchniyus, as well as possibly give
misimpressions as far as Judaism. As expected, most of the talk was off
color, or devoid of any kedusha (naturally).

The result of all of this was positive (I think). It seemed that my
fellow jurors respected me as being more "moral" then they
themselves. They refrained from giving me the off-color material making
its way around the room, appreciated my viewpoint on many matters, even
though I was the youngest (24) in the pool. I can't say that I didn't
slip here or there, but it seemed like I made a good
impression. additionally, the foreman was a middle-aged Jew who had a
bit of a yeshiva education but finished up in public school and is
pretty much totally irreligious. It seemed from many conversations I had
with him that he had a cynical view of many "ultra-orthodox" Jews,
whether it was a legitimate beef or not. I felt that it was also very
important to make a Kiddush Hashem with him as well and I believe we
forged a good, respectful relationship.

Either way, I think a person in such a situation must recognize the
importance of the impression that he/she makes. First of all, you are in
the position whether you like it or not, and a Chillul Hashem must be
avoided at all costs. More than that though, nothing happens by chance. A
person in such a situation was put there by Hashem, and should make the
most of it, especially as far as being Mekarev or making an impression on
someone not frum.

One thing sticks out in my mind from the exeperience: Being that this is
New York, it was understood with little explanation necessary why I was
leaving early on Fridays. One of my fellow jurors made a comment to me
which was something like "So once you get home, that's it..you can't do
anything, right?". I corrected him in that it wasn't until sundown but
then I realized that I have an opportunity here. I started explaining to
him that Shabbos is not about stoppage and restrictions. It's about
removing the distractions of business and media, and focusing in on things
that matter much more, like family, prayer, and spirituality. I saw that
he came away with a much deeper appreciation of what it's all about and a
healthy respect for our culture. 

Don't let the opportunity pass you by!

Michael Szpilzinger


From: Michael and Abby Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 15:42:15 +0200
Subject: Keys in Shoes, Kitzur

>I just spoke to a couple who returned from a trip to Australia / New
>Zealand where they heard a supposedly reliable heter that a key may be
>carried on Shabbat by placing it in a shoe.

One possible source for this might be the words of R. Yisrael Lipshiptz,
the author of the commentary on the Mishnah Tiferet Yisrael.  In his
Kalkalat Shabbat, which can be found as an "intro" to tractate Shabbat,
Laws of Muktzeh par. 3.  He says that if one if in a non-Jew's home (or
maybe non-Jewish inn) and is fearful that his money might be stolen it
is permitted to carry it in his clothing (mutar letaltelan bebigdo).  He
says that according to the Eliyahu Rabbah since there is no public doman
(reshut harabbim) today one would be permitted to even carry it in their

There has been some discussion about the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh lately and
I would like to recommend an interesting article in the journal Judaism,
vol. 46 no. 4, Fall 1997, "Rabbi Ganzfried's Two Million Kitzurs" by
Jack E. Friedman.  It is an interesting article about one of the most
popular books of the modern period.  One interesting note is that
apparently Rabbi Ganzfried was opposed to anyone writing a commentary on
his book, he said that his intention was to keep it short and readable.



From: Reuven Miller <millerr@...>
Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 07:38:59 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Kniedlach

My wife, (a English teacher) is preparing a lesson on foods and wants to
discuss the "history" of kniedlach.

Anyone know where, how it originated.?

(this is a _serious_ question)



From: Eliezer Appleton <eliezerappleton@...>
Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 12:03:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Mesorah reading

Can anyone help with the reading of the Mesorah (ketana/parve) in this
week's parsha at Vayikra 19:10 on the phrase "Ani Hashem Elokeichem"?

I can read about half of it, but the part after the yud-tes in
parentheses is confusing.

Eliezer Appleton


From: Ron Degany <degany@...>
Date: Sat, 06 May 2000 22:43:23 +0300
Subject: Name of Avraham Avinu's mother

Can someone please tell me the name of Avraham Avinu's mother and the
(preferably textual) source(s) for this information?

Many Thanks,

Ron Degany


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 01:56:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Women's Obligation in Minyan

In a recent MJ Dr. Hendel writes about women and the  minyan:

> Rena in v31n98 writes
> >Women are not obligated ever to daven with a minyan, but this has
> Actually according to the Rambam (a) All people (men/women) are
> Biblically required to pray (Say Shmoneh Esray) when they have needs (b)
> All people (men/women)achieve a higher status of prayer by praying with
> a community (c) It is rabinically required to pray with a community (10
> men) WHEN you have an obligation to pray.

Dr. Hendel's edition of the Rambam must be different from what I
remember.  My recollection is that according to the Rambam, there is an
obligation to pray daily but without time constraints and without any
set nusach (wording).  THEREFORE, women are obligated in this mitzva
along with men.  The rabbonen instituted set times and prayers (shmoney
esrey) and women are not obligated in these.  I believe the Ramban holds
differently here.

>  I would not make a blanket statement that
> women NEVER are required to daven with a minyan.

I cannot think of a single occasion where women would be obligated to do
so, nor do I think there is one.  There may be an obligation of women to
be in a "minyan" of ten to hear megilla, but this is an issue of
pirsumei nisa (publicising the miracle) rather than anything else.


From: Daniel Stuhlman <ssmlhtc@...>
Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 15:33:00
Subject: RE: Yiddish name question

Shimon Lebowitz wrote
>...what the yiddish girl's name Genendel meant.

According to The Complete Dictionary of Hebrew and English Names by
Alfred Kolatch

Gendel (gimmel, 'ayin, nun dalet, hay) is a Russian form of the Yiddish
Hendel (from Hannah) used by Germans.  Since Russian doesn't have an /h/
sound Hendel became Gendel

Daniel Stuhlman
Hebrew Theological College Library
Skokie, IL
847-982-2500; <Mailto:<ssmlhtc@...>


End of Volume 32 Issue 25