Volume 32 Number 81
                 Produced: Tue Jul  4  7:44:13 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Cholent Shailah (3)
         [Carl Singer, Jeremy Nussbaum, Seth Lebowitz]
Kadera blech
         [Aaron Lent]
A "New" concept for the Aliyah discussion
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Question on the count of the Shevatim
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Tzitzit Question
         [Yaacov-Dovid Shulman]
Weekday Weddings
         [Yisrael Medad]
Travel Info: Kosher in Lausanne Switzerland?
         [Jennie & Paul Claman]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 07:14:27 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

For those of you in the US, a happy and relaxing July 4th to you all! For
all, a good Rosh Chodesh to you. As it is a day off work here in the US, I
am trying to catch up on things. Just as an update on queue status, there
are no submissions from June in queue older than June 30th (I am focusing
now on the June backlog) and 4 from June 30th in the send queue. There are
about 34 articles from July in the queue, so total queue size is about
1.5-2 days (max 4 issues per day, 6-14 submissions per issues). I've
emailed a number of people today about submissions that were in the
reply-required queue, and have gotten that queue down to 11 items. If I
start getting May into there, it will likely grow, but for now, I'm
looking to pretty much close out June today.

In addition, I have been working on our web page. New items include:

A new link for the mail-jewish Purim material. That will get improved over
the next few days.

Two new items in the Articles / essays sections, one is an unpublished
Teshuva by Rabbi Y. H. Henkin on Women and Birkat Hagomel, the second is
an essay by one of the list members on Mitzvoh Gedola Lihiyos Bisimcha
Tomid. Please feel free to reply to the list with comments on these
essays. In general, single stand alone submissions of greater than 10-15K
in size will go as web additions, rather than being sent out to the entire

Some time ago (before Purim this past year) there was a mail-jewish melava
malka at Carl Sherer's house, and pictures were taken. I'm putting up a
bunch of them, you will find that under the link with that name. As I get
the names of the people in the picture, I will replace the picture number
with the names.

If there are other items that people either have for the web, or would
like to see posted on the web, please let me know.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 07:03:46 EDT
Subject: Re: Cholent Shailah

From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
<<I had an interesting Shailah this past Shabbas.  I was eating at a
persons house for shabbas lunch, who also had a shabbas guest sleeping
over.  I got the heads up from someone that the house guest has a
tendency to go into the crockpot shabbas morning.  While I have never
seen him do so, I am 99% sure he does not do so K'halacha.  It is
likewise unlikely that the host would know that what his guest was doing
could create a halachik question.>>

Clarification please -- are we concerned that this person "traifed up" the 
cholent by using an improper utensil (milchig?) or adding something;  or that 
this person acted upon the chulent in a manner that violates halacha?  
(perhaps)  Borar - skimming fat off of the top, or discarding dregs (a bay 
leaf?).   Bishul -- adding cold water or uncooked ingredients, etc?

Carl Singer 

[Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...> also asks what the question was,
as well as the following two posts, both whom try to make some
guesses. OK Chaim, I think you need to clarify. Is it an issue relating
to stirring the pot even if it is already in a state of being fully
cooked? Mod.]

From: Jeremy Nussbaum <jeremynuss@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 09:52:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Cholent Shailah

I am confused.  What is the question with eating part of a fully cooked
chulent in the morning rather than the afternoon?  Is it a 2 piece crock
pot that can be taken out of the heating element, or a 1 piece crock
pot?  But surely the guest would not have taken the tub out of the
heating element just to get a serving of chulent, or used the wrong
gender servingware.  Stirring the chulent will be done to serve it
regardless of when it is served.  From the answer, it sounds like the
guest took the tub out, placed it down somewhere, served himself, and
then replaced it in the heating element, but perhaps the poster can
clarify this, along with the more general issue, so that I and perhaps
others can make sure to avoid any potential shabat chulent problem in
the future.

Jeremy Nussbaum

From: Seth Lebowitz <LEBOWITZS@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 13:16:58 -0400
Subject: Cholent Shailah

I just re-read Chaim Shapiro's post and realized he said explicitly that
the chullent was fully cooked.  So what exactly was it that the
houseguest did that could have endangered your freedom to eat the
chullent --was he a willful sabbath violator?  Sorry about the mix-up in
the first e mail.

What about the mishna brura and bi'ur halacha at the beginning of siman
318 regarding the knas [penalty] of not deriving benefit from others'
sabbath violations?  (Perhaps these are not accepted by all or I
remember them incorrectly).

Thanks in advance for any clarification.

Seth Lebowitz


From: Aaron Lent <sld11@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 00:15:47 -0400
Subject: Kadera blech

Can someone versed in Halacha explain to me how the kadera blech could
be used on Sabbath. I was in someone's home who was using it and the
water inside the tray was so hot that when some water spilled on the
tray, it sizzled. I realize that it is supposed to be a klee sheini but
is it kosher for the food to be piping hot when served


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 09:34:31 +0200
Subject: A "New" concept for the Aliyah discussion

Russell Hendel writes:

> I finally decided to add the point of the difference between OBLIGATED
> acts and PIOUS ACTS ("beyond the letter of the law"). It is certainly a
> mistake for those who feel aliyah is NOT OBLIGATED to try and DENY all
> the EXCELLENT arguments offered by those who are ADVOCATING ALIYAH.
> Indeed it makes their case look bad if they disagree with all the
> benefits that DO come from aliyah.

Actually there is such a distinction in halacha, but it is not obligated
v. "pious". The distinction is between a mitzva chiyuvis and a mitzva
kiyumis. The Rambam writes in Hilchos Brachos 11:2 (translation mine):

"There are positive commandments after which a person must try to run
until he fulfills them, such as Tfillin and Succa and Lulav and Shofar,
and these are called Chova (obligatory). Because a person must in any
event fulfill them. And there are mitzvos that are not obligatory [what
I refer to above as "mitzva kiyumis" - C.S.], but are similar to
permissive such as Mezuzah and Maakeh (a fence on one's roof to prevent
people from falling), that a person is not obligated to live in a house
that is obligated in a Mezuzah so that he will make a Mezuzah, rather if
he wants to live all his days in a tent or a boat, he may do so. And he
is not obligated to build a house so that he will have to build a

(My thanks to R. Yitzchok Zirkind for pointing me to the source in 
the Rambam).

Moving to Eretz Yisrael is a mitzva kiyumis. No one will give you lashes
if you don't go. Nevertheless, if the opportunity presents itself, you
do not avoid it; instead you fulfill the mitzva by going to Eretz
Yisrael. The "opportunity presenting itself" may not come without some
degree of monetary sacrifice, just like putting up a Mezuzah is not a
mitzva we fulfill without monetary sacrifice. And see the quote I
brought a couple of days ago from Shu"t Bnei Banim regarding one who
foregoes the opportunity to perform the mitzva of living in Eretz
Yisrael solely because of pecuniary considerations. It applies here as

[Russell then goes on to list several things that he characterizes 
as "pious" rather than "obligatory."]

> (b) to study Torah as often as we are free 

I see no basis at all for characterizing any Torah learning as merely
"pious". The pasuk says, "v'hageesa bo yomam va'layla." One is obligated
to study Torah at all times. The Mishna in Pirkei Avos says
specifically, "al tomar lich'she'eponeh eshneh, shema lo siponeh." (Do
not say I will study Torah when I am free, because you may never be
free). Talmud Torah is one of the things which the Mishna in Peah lists
as "adam ochel peiroseihem ba'olam ha'zeh v'hakeren kayemems lo l'olam
haba." (One enjoys the fruits in this world, and the principal remains
for the world to come). In fact, it is k'neged kulam (has as great a
reward for Talmud Torah as for all other mitzvos combined). How do you
say that one is only obligated to learn Torah when one is free? Or that
to learn Torah is "pious" as opposed to obligatory? I think you are
taking things which have no shiur (fixed amount) and appending to them a
characterization of "piety" as if they are not obligatory. I see no
basis in halacha for doing so.

> (c) to devote as much
> free time we have (when we are not studying) to the synagogue 

I don't know of any source for this. I suppose you could argue that it
is a good thing to be "osek b'tzorchei tzibur," (be involved in the
needs of the public) but that does not necessarily apply specifically or
solely to one's shul.

> (d) to try
> and do outreach to as many people as we have free time for 

Source? We had an argument last week on another list about whether if
one had the potential to be a gadol ha'dor, he should be spending his
time in kiruv work at all.

> (e) to go to
> Israel (according to those legal opinions that we are not obligated if
> the 'earning a living' situation is different).

Going to Israel fulfills a mitzva - it's not just "pious." Time to face 

And as to "those legal opinions that we are not obligated if the
'earning a living' situation is different," - name one. What the Gemara
says is that if one cannot make a living in Eretz Yisrael, one may leave
and go to chutz la'aretz. If R"L that happens, one should treat it as he
would treat having to leave the Succa because of rain during Succos -
one should be upset about it. Not gleefully sit in the comfort of his
suburban home in America and say, "I'm not going on aliya because I
might not make as much money in Israel or live in as much luxury as I do

> My point here is that halachah has gone out of its way to tell us that
> certain acts are NOT OBLIGATORY. That means in particular that if **I**
> want to study all day or give alot to charity that is fine but other
> people should not be pressuring me to do so (because the act is a PIOUS
> one but NOT OBLIGATORY).

Your leap of logic went beyond me. Where does the halacha "go out of its
way" to say this? Why do you think no one can pressure you to study
Torah or give charity? Certainly there is some point at which they are
obligatory! (E.G. The Rambam gives a minimum amount of tzedaka which
even the poorest person must give each year).

> The same goes for ISRAEL. Halachah makes it clear that lack of ADEQUATE
> EARNING OF A LIVING is valid reason not to be OBLIGATED to go. 

No, it does not. Halacha makes it clear that if one cannot make a living
in Israel (at all), one may leave. It does not justify sitting on one's
rear in America and saying, "I cannot make an 'adequate' living in
Israel, and therefore I do not have to try to go. I can simply forsake
the mitzva." Who defines "adequate?" Are you suggesting that if I will
make $1000 a year less in Israel than in America, I don't have to try to
make aliya? That's sure what it sounds like!

> Of course
> there are wonderful benefits in going and of course many people who want
> to make it, have. 

And of course if you don't try, you never will make it....

-- Carl M. Sherer
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son, Baruch Yosef
ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000 23:35:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Question on the count of the Shevatim

>From: Chaim Manaster <hankman@...>
>I had a kashe similar to R. Hendel's grandfather's. I was bothered by
>the fact that all 16 numbers reported, ended in 00 (except Shevet Gad),
>i.e., 12 for the Shevatim, three for the Leviim etc. I assumed either

	Your question becomes even stronger when you realize that the
same phenomenon occurs witht the second census at the end of Bamidbar
(chapter 26) where again all the numbers end in 00 except for Reuven
which ends in 30.  I know of no satisfying traditional answer to this

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Yaacov-Dovid Shulman <Yacovdavid@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 13:24:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Tzitzit Question

One year in Israel I put tzitzit on my vinyl rain poncho and garnered
glances.  Embarrassed, I asked Rabbi Israel Hess of blessed memory about
this and he told me that only a woven garment needs tzitzit, not
otherwise--such as leather or plastic.


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 19:06:53 +0300
Subject: Re: Weekday Weddings

Stuart Wise <swise@...>
>To me, the chuppah is more meaningful, and no matter how many times I
>witness the chuppah I am always moved by it and remember our own.  My
>wife warns me that if I continue to not attend a whole simchah, people
>will return the favor in kind when we make a wedding, G-d willing.

Here in Israel, it seems that the Chuppah is the least important part.
There's always such talking and noise and the way the Ketubah is read
out and the way some Rabbi's take advantage to make long-winded
speeches, it can drive you nuts.

But in any case, the dancing which is the expression of simcha should be,
from the guests point of view, the true *main* part.


From: Jennie & Paul Claman <pclaman@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:20:11 -0400
Subject: Travel Info: Kosher in Lausanne Switzerland?

Are there any readers that can provide me with information about Kosher
Food services in Lausanne Switzerland?  Kosher Hotel?  Place for
Shabbat?  Fax numbers or email addresses of community leaders who can
provide reliable information on Jewish services in Lausanne?

Paul Claman MD
Ottawa Ontario, Canada


End of Volume 32 Issue 81