Volume 32 Number 55
                 Produced: Wed Jun 14  6:47:34 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buying Chometz After Pesach
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Candle caused fires, rachmuneh L'tzlan
         [Carl Singer]
Kosher L'Mehadrin
         [Carl Singer]
Kosher vs. M'hadrin
         [Michael Horowitz]
         [Akiva Atwood]
Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures (3)
         [Chaim Wasserman, Janice Gelb, Eli Turkel]
Question on Odd Statistics in Numbers Census
         [Russell Hendel]
Selling Chomets
         [Mark Steiner]


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 14:00:50 +0200
Subject: Buying Chometz After Pesach

Carl Singer writes:
> There always seem to be issues re: the validity of (Chometz) sale,
> merchandise coming in during Pesach, suppliers, warehouses, etc.
> Any thoughts?

Probably not helpful in a lot of other places, but in Yerushalayim it is
possible to get bread products during the first couple of weeks after
Pesach that carry a special hashgacha that the wheat was ground after
Pesach. That solves an awful lot of problems.

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: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 08:04:49 EDT
Subject: Candle caused fires, rachmuneh L'tzlan

We periodically hear of tragic fires caused by candles (Shabbos, Yom Tov
or Hanukah) associated with mitzvahs.  No amount of afterthought and "if
only's" will help the grieving families.  But I have an idea -- perhaps
someone with a more appropriate engineering background might make it
reality -- It is, to me, inappropriate to exploit this for commercial
gain (i.e., I don't want to get rich with this idea) but would just like
to see it widely used with positive consequences.

Why not a small, dry powder(?) fire extinguisher - perhaps in the shape
of a thin cereal box that could be placed near or under candle holder.
Some type of temperature sensitive trigger would activate the device as
appropriate.  I'd see this as an additional tray below the candles and
whatever decorative tray is being used, or as a device one would place
vertically on the wall behind the candles (clearly not for Chanukah) in
either case with the "business" side facing the candles.

          !  !  !  !  !  !
          - - - - - - - -
                | |
                | |
   [[[[[[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]     (fire extinguisher, underneath, or nearby)
                                     Approximate dimensions  1" high, 8" x 
10" width & length


          !  !  !  !  !  !       [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]  
          - - - - - - - -       [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]
                | |              [[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]         (It's hard 
to draw perspective with 
                | |                                                 a 
keyboard, I'm trying to show the
               ==                                                 device 
behind the lichter, along wall)

No engineering or halachik claims are being made.

If anyone wishes to contact me privately about this, I'd be happy to
lend my ideas.

Carl A. Singer, PhD


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 07:46:51 EDT
Subject: Re: Kosher L'Mehadrin

<A lot of people use the expression kosher limhadrin when they mean
 kosher, but kosher limhadrin means kosher for the more meticulous.>

What is meant by a "more meticulous (Jew)" -- what is a chumra, what is
simply putting down other Jews or setting themselves apart from other
(frum) Jews.  The implication might be that some Jews just want to keep
minimally kosher while others are more meticulous.  If this were debate
101 one could posit that some Jews keep kosher (period) and others feel
obliged to exceed the traditionally accepted norms (for whatever reasons
- a more indepth knowledge of halacha and the food industry, social /
peer pressure, lack of comfort and indecision, fear of HaShem?)

I don't want to put words or attitude into the postings of others or my
interpretations of them -- but many of the implications of keeping "more
kosher" are that someone or something (food, supervising agency, etc.)
is "less kosher" and this does have both halachic and social

Is it more kosher to have separate seating at a wedding?

Is it more kosher to wear a black suit to the pizza parlor on a 95 F day?

Is a shietel more kosher than a tiechel?

Is it more kosher to not say hello to the gentile as you walk down the street?

Is it more kosher to buy  Chasidishe Shita vs. OU or OK or Kof-K or Star K?

Carl Singer


From: Michael Horowitz <michaelh1@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 15:44:42 PDT
Subject: Re: Kosher vs. M'hadrin

One poster mentioned that he thought the dispute over the neccesity of
mehadrin hechshers in Israel, was a dispute between haredi and non
haredi Judaism.

When I was last in Israel I attended two yeshivot.  At the haredi
yeshiva Ohr Somayoch I was told I could eat regular Jerusaelm
kashrut. At the non haredie Yeshiva Hamivtar (Rabbi Riskin and Brovender
roshei yeshiva) I was told only to eat mahedrin.


From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 12:10:31 +0200
Subject: RE: Pasta

> 2) I am interested in the suggestion that pasta is not 100% chomets.
> Pasta is made by cooking flour and water together. Is there really an
> opinion that it is not chomets gomur?

Our LOR mentioned in his pre-pesach shiur that cookies, biscuits and noodles
today probably aren't chametz gamur since they don't sit 18 minutes.



From: Chaim Wasserman <Chaimwass@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 09:03:18 EDT
Subject: Re: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

Rick Turkel writes: May the greatest of our problems revolve around
semachot.  This in reference to picture taking before the chuppah. Don't
minimize these problems, they can escalate into major
conflagrations. This I say having been mesader kuddushin to many
hundreds of chattanim and kallot. (Many = in excessive of 600 over
nearly 40 years.)

In any event, I can share with you the advice of Rav Moshe Feinstein who
personally told me prior to my wedding (Sept. 1959, 41 years ago) that
there really is no good reason to impose the waiting time on those
assembled especially when the next day is a work day. And we took
pictures before the chuppah when we were all nervous but fresh.

chaim wasserman

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 21:36:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

Rick Turkel <rturkel@...> wrote:
> 	and here's the kunst that no one has yet mentioned:
> 	(4) after sheva` berakkhot and the departure of the non-family
> guests, all of the obligatory mixed-gender pictures, i.e., those of the
> happy couple with each other alone and with various nuclear-family
> groups (parents/siblings, aunt/uncle/cousins and the like) were taken.
> 	I didn't give it much thought at the time, but this is the
> perfect solution to the problem - no one is inconvenienced by having to
> wait, thereby reducing the number of people who leave before sheva`
> berakhot.

Mazal tov and I admire the stamina of your daughter and
son-in-law. Speaking for myself, I didn't sleep much the evening before
my wedding, I had an evening wedding for which I fasted all day (eating
a hurried meal in between greeting guests), and then I was doing
freylach dancing for a couple of hours. The last thing I would want at
the very end of all of this would be to have my wedding portrait and
family pictures taken for posterity!!!

-- Janice

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 08:52:32 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

> The entire discussion about the wedding pictures, inconveniences,
> etc. reminds me of a quote from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (I believe it was
> in reference to the costs, etc. associated with modern day weddings):
> "Adam Harishon got married without any pictures being
> taken". Unfortunately, I do not have the quote in front of me, so it
> might not be accurate, but the gist of it is.
> It is about time that the Jewish community refocuses itself on what is
> REALLY important when it comes to weddings.

To me the wedding pictures are one of the most important part of the
wedding. One could just get married in front of a minyan and get the
wedding over with very fast. What is left is the memories. We still look
at the pictures of our wedding and our children especially when
relatives come to visit.

Eli Turkel


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 22:54:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Question on Odd Statistics in Numbers Census

A few years ago I asked, on Mail Jewish, a question of my grandfather
"Why in Numbers Chapter 2 is Gad the only census figure not ending in a
multiple of 100". I received many answers and my father(my grandfathers
son) was very pleased at the results.

I have a similar mathematical question on Nu03:39-50.

The percentage of FirstBorn in the nation is 3.7%.  For there were
22,273 firstborn (Nu03-43) out of 603,350 Israelites (Nu01-46).

But the percentage of FirstBorn in the Levites is lower.  There were 300
Firstborn levites (Rashi on Nu03-39) out of a total of 22,300 Levites
(Rashi on Nu03-39) making a percentage of 1.3% (Vs 3.7%).

Are there any Midrashim, Sources (or simple explanations) as to why the
big difference in 1st born ratios (1.3% vs 3.7%)

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA;
Math, Towson; <RHendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 08:46:08 +0300
Subject: Re: Selling Chomets

> R. Moshe Feinstein, when told of the new concept, among cetain "frum"
> elements, of not selling "chometz gamur" responded in Yiddish: "Oib
> menfarkoift nit chometz gamur, vos farkoifmen ya?"  trans: if one
> doesn't sellactual Chometz then what does one sell The implication was
> obvious that the process made no sense what so ever.

I would like to make a number of comments concerning this statement:

1.  If the poster did not hear this from R. Moshe himself as a "talmid,"
I think it inappropriate to quote the great posek in support of his
thesis.  The only appropriate quotations today are from the Igros Moshe.
I stated this against those "revisionists" who deny that R. Moshe
allowed the drinking of industrial milk in the U. S. and I repeat this
now against those who use R.  Moshe z"l against the new "frum" Jews [for
the record, I believe that there is not a little suspicion of leshon
hara in the use of these "scare quotes" around the word frum, implying
that ALL those who don't sell "actual hametz" are not motivated by yirat
shamayim, and it is not appropriate to associate R.  Moshe's name with
the blanket besmirching of many good Jews].

2.  The concept of not selling chometz gomur did not appear today.  My
wife's grandfather, rav of a kehilla in Moravia whose practices
stretched back to the Middle Ages, and the grandson of the Orukh Laner,
did not himself sell chometz gomur either, though he certainly acted as
the agent to sell chometz gomur for those Jews who needed to do so.  The
rationale is very simple: there is no certainty in halakhic reasoning,
as the Ramban says in his introduction to the Milhamot Hashem--halakha
is not mathematics.  The fictitious sale of hametz to a Gentile who does
not take possession of the hametz, though supported by the weight of
argument, and sanctified by practice, is only supported to great
probability, not certainty.  In such a case, we now ask: can we rely on
arguments which are only highly probable--and halakha itself has answers
to such questions.  That is, we are now in the realm of "decision
theory."  And here concepts like "hefsed merubeh" (i.e. the price one
pays for being stringent) are perfectly in order.  Another consideration
is precisely the probability that the goods one is selling are really
hametz.  Take for example a mixture containing hametz which, however,
has so little hametz in it that there is a dispute among the rishonim
whether one has to get rid of it on Pesach altogether (technically, the
mixture has kazayit hametz but not kazayit bikhdei akhilat pras). Now we
can say that by selling this mixture to a Gentile in the standard way we
have reduced the probability of a violation to such an extent that we
need not rely on "hefsed merubeh" [great financial loss] to rely on the
sale.  I should mention, as another factor creating uncertainty, that it
has happened that the "Gentile" to whom hametz was sold had a Jewish
grandmother (I'm referring to a case in which millions of dollars of
chometz was involved).

3.  All in all, the practice of not selling "actual hametz" strikes me
as a reasonable humra, much more defensible than many other practices
concerning Pesach, and I wish that posters would stick to arguments,
avoiding innuendos like "chumra of the month club."  The sociology of
contemporary Orthodoxy, though a fascinating topic (on which I have
written myself) should be relegated to a different discussion group.


End of Volume 32 Issue 55