Volume 32 Number 87
                 Produced: Thu Jul  6  6:09:14 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Burial on Yom Tov
         [Shlomo B Abeles]
Cholent shailah (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Seth Lebowitz]
Donkey bites
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Glass Shabbos candle holders
         [Gershon Dubin]
Kosher L'Mehadrin (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Carl Singer]
Prenup vs Ketuba
         [Aliza Fischman]
Weekday Weddings
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz?
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]


From: Shlomo B Abeles <sba@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 04:00:04 +1000
Subject: Burial on Yom Tov

> From: Mark Steiner
>     The Talmud in Betza (I don't have the reference handy) states that
> on the first day Yom Tov it is permitted to allow Gentiles to perform a
> Jewish burial; on the second day (i.e. in Hutz La'aaretz) even Jews are
> allowed to perform the burial.
> ...
> (b)  the fear that the practice would lead to widespread desecration of Yom
> Tov in the future.  The Talmud itself limits the permission of performing
> ...

Here in Melbourne, our (charedi) Kehilla (who has its own Chevrah
Kadisha and cemetery) conducts burials on the 2nd day Yom Tov.

Some years ago a newly-arrived rabbi made a big fuss about it (...none
of his business really - his Shul wasn't at all involved) and claimed
that Rav M Feinstein zt"l forbid YT funerals.

However upon checking up (we were somewhat surprised to hear that RMF
ruled against the SA), we found that indeed RMF forbid these...where
there was a Chashash of Chillul Yom Tov. Indeed in other parts of his
responsa he actually gives a Chevra Kadisha instructions on how to
conduct YT burials.

I remember responding to that rabbi, that according to RMF's concern
about burials causing Chillul YT (by people travelling to the funeral
etc.), his own Shul should ban Bar Mitzvah's on Shabbos for the same
reason - as many guests arrive by car...

Although he did did not respond publicly, a member of his Shul later
told me that the rabbi admitted that I was right on that point (...but
Shabbos BM's continue - of course).

Shlomo B Abeles


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 18:01:34 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Cholent shailah

> From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
> The question I asked dealt with
> the cholent that remained in the pot, cooking after he stirred the pot.

I understood that Chazon Ish allowed one to stir a fully cooked
cholent. I asked a major posek and was told that one could rely
lechatchila on the Chazon Ish.

Eli Turkel

From: Seth Lebowitz <LEBOWITZS@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 11:23:13 -0400
Subject: Cholent shailah

Chaim Shapiro wrote:

"The only issue was taking cholent from a two piece crock pot, while the
crock pot was still intact and cooking. The individual who took it,
stirred the pot while he was looking for what he wanted to
take. Generally there are several criteria that need to be met in order
for hot food to be taken from on a fire. This individual was careful of
none of them (at least not intentionaly). The question I asked dealt
with the cholent that remained in the pot, cooking after he stirred the

Please explain what halachic rule might have prevented YOU from eating
the chullent (not why it was impermissible for the other person to stir
the food).  Specifically, I am aware that the mishna brura/biur halacha
at the beginning of siman 318 seem to say that (a) the k'nas [rabbinic
penalty] that prevents a 3d person from deriving benefit from another's
violation of the Shabbat cooking laws does not apply when there is a
machloket [rabbinic dispute] as to whether the action in question
constitutes halachic cooking and (b) this k'nas does not apply to 3d
persons when the violation in question is rabbinic in nature and the
violator performed it "bishogeg".

What I am trying to find out is: (1) Have I misinterpreted these laws;
or (2) were the facts in your case such that these laws do not apply; or
(3) are there other poskim who disagree with the mishna brura on this


Seth Lebowitz


This e-mail is sent by a law firm and contains information
that may be privileged and confidential. If you are not the
intended recipient, please delete the e-mail and notify us


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 09:37:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Donkey bites

In v32n85, Shoshana Boublil makes a powerful case for lowering the heat
(under the cholent?!) about some kashrus issues.  As one whose mileage
often varies from Shoshana's, I feel particularly obliged to chime in
here with a hearty yasher koach.  She's absolutely right.  I've observed
(much more on some other lists than on Mail-Jewish, this is probably the
most civilized list around) a fair amount of this attitude of late, and
I'm glad to see someone confronting it and hopefully getting us to
re-think some of our attitudes.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 10:03:53 -0400
Subject: Glass Shabbos candle holders

From: Chaim Manaster <hankman@...>
<< It then occurred to me, that perhaps my labor
saving idea was the cause of the problem. The new candle sits at a very
slight angle and the flame is thus slightly closer to the glass and not
quite centered, perhaps causing the glass to break. As the difference in
distance to the glass is small, I was reluctant to assume I found the
answer. But since I stopped placing the candles on top of the previous
wick holder, the problem has not reoccurred.>>

	I don't know what the cause is, but that is not the cause.  I
have seen (we have been using these for several years) many instances
where the flame comes very close to the glass wall and nothing happens
to the glass.  When we first started using them, and didn't know that
you have to remove the metal piece remaining from the old wick, we broke
quite a few.  Again, I don't know why, but proximity to the glass is not
the reason.  Putting water in before the candle makes it easier to get
the metal disk out.



From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2000 22:35:35 EDT
Subject: Re: Kosher L'Mehadrin

In Mail-Jewish 32:74, Eli Turkel writes: <<< ... in Israeli terms the
(American) OU is NOT a mehadrin hechsher.  They do not take every chumra
and instead rely on their poskim to decide each issue many of which are
controversial. ... >>>

Perhaps I misunderstood, but he seems to imply that a true mehadrin
hechsher would indeed "take every chumra", and would not "rely on their
poskim to decide each issue". This seems like an awfully difficult task.
Do they really go thru the Shulchan Aruch looking for every variant
opinion, following the stricter one in all cases? Quite a challenging
task, though not an impossible one.

No, the impossibility lies in the exclusionary nature of some of these
chumras. One view says that *this* is the chumra, while the other view
says that *that* is the chumra. From what I understand, the thick and
thin shechita knives are a good example of this: Some say thick knives
are the chumra, and some say thin knives are the chumra, and you can't
have it both ways at the same time.

I am forced to conclude that there is not one single hechsher in the
world which "takes every chumra", for that is an impossiblity. Rather,
every single hechsher in the world "relies on their poskim to decide each
issue", placing each question into any of several categories: This chumra
is important and we will follow it; that chumra is advised by only a
small fraction of the authorities and we will not follow it; some say
this is a chumra but we disagree and we will not follow it; and so on,
and so forth.

Let's be sure to remember that the halachas and chumras chosen by a
hechsher are only one side of their reliability. The practical side is no
less important. How often do they check the facilities? How knowledgable
are they of food chemistry? How do they handle mistakes?

The result is that there are varying degrees of mehadrin hechsherim, just
as there are varying degrees of non-mehadrin hechsherim. Some are
stricter on some questions, and others are stricter in other questions.
You can't paint with a broad brush, and say that this hechsher is
mehadrin, and that one is not. Some rabbinates deliberately use the word
"mehadrin" to distinguish between two types of kashrus supervision, but
even then, the mehadrin of one rabbinate could be very different than the
mehadrin of another rabbinate.

We are left with an almost-meaningless term which evokes sentiments
reminiscent of the ubiquitous "Under Strict Orthodox Rabbinical
Supervision". The bottom line, as always, is to learn as much as you can,
from trusted and knowledgable sources, about which hechsherim to trust,
and which to avoid.

Akiva Miller

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 07:54:17 EDT
Subject: Re: Kosher L'Mehadrin

Kashruth supervision is a business.  Businesses need to identify,
distinguish and publicize their product.  Terms like "Mehadrin Kosher"
may be de facto a trademark or servicemark (?) to reflect a specific
hasgacha or group of related hasgachas (and their standards and
practices, etc.)  "Chassidishe Schita" similarly, but more broadly
reflects a certain set of standards adhered to by a certain community
(not to say one who has misnagdish roots, can't opt for same.)

The unfortunate aspect is that unlike other orgaqnizations / labels /
designations (OU, Chof-K, OK, Star-K, Chasidishe, etc.)  "Mehadrin" may
also be looked to as an adjective and, worse yet, from a recent posting,
perhaps one that establishes a two-tiered set of kosher standards (with
all sorts of social implications.)

OU and Star-K, etc., have different standards -- that's fine, I can
choose accordingly.  Although (or because) they are in competition for
the hashgocha dollar, each holds a SINGLE high standard for what they
consider to be Kosher.  Could you imagine the furor if any similar
organization came out with an Hashgocha-lite?  (or Hashgocha-heavy --
same difference.)

With the presumption that Jewish unity is a positive thing -- perhaps a
prerequisite to the coming of Meshiach -- anything or anyone who
unilaterally establishes multiple levels of observance or Yiddishkite is
IMHO isn't facing east.

Carl Singer


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 07:38:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Prenup vs Ketuba

>From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>

>In the 3rd case, children were trying to take their mother's home from
>her, after the husband/father had died.  It looked like they would
>succeed -- until the Ketuba was brought in as a legal document,
>obligating the father's estate to not only to allow her to live her life
>out at her husband's home -- but also for alimony, which has precedence
>over the children's inheritance.  From what I heard -- the children
>dropped all suites very quickly.

Shoshana's other two cases made me quite glad that these women had
ketubot that worked.  My only concern about this one is that of the
children.  Somehow they think that money and a house are more important
than kibud em.  Does anyone else find it particularly disturbing that
the woman had to fight back against her own children, using the ketubah
meant to protect her from a messy divorce from her husband, their dead


From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 13:51:54 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Weekday Weddings

> From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
> 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.

I am not sure I would agree with the above sweeping generalization.
Recently (in the last few years), we have been privileged to attend
several weddings here in Israel where the guests paid attention and
fully participated in the ceremony (singing, answering to the brachot,
etc). My impression is that this is at least partly due to the
availability of good loudspeakers -- at last we can all really hear what
is going on. And quite often the rabbis have held their comments to no
more than five minutes, and they have spoken very well. So it may be
that Yisrael's experience is not typical of all the weddings here.

As to the ketuba: A while ago, we had the very pleasant experience of
being at a wedding where the officiating rabbi SANG the ketuba -- real
chazanut, accompanied by the band. It was very nice, and quite different
from anything I've heard before. One effect was that it really got
everybody's attention. If this custom would catch on, it might bring a
real improvement to the decorum of the ceremony.

  Moshe Goldberg -- <mgold@...>


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 08:48:12 +0300
Subject: Re: Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz?

> From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
> A bit of unsolicited advice (and hard as I try, I don't follow it
> completely) Although I've never said no to someone at my door, this
> viewpoint has strengthened my resolve to be comfortable giving only
> Chai or whatever -- because despite the worthiness of the cause --
> it's an allocation issue -- there are causes closer and worthier to
> me, and I am, in effect robbing Yankel to pay Shimon.
> From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/<Heather@...>
> This raises something that I have wondered about for a while.  The
> halachas of tzedaka as set out in the Shulchan Aruch are quite clear,
> that a collector of tzedaka is not allowed to take from (at least a
> married) woman anything more than a d'var m'uat [a small amount, a
> trifle] (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah siman 248 si'if 5).

I'm quoting both Chana and Carl as they have a lot to do with
something that happened to me.

My husband is connected with a radio show here in Israel called Ayin
Tova, which collects donations in small amounts (Chai is a standard
sized donation) for people in tough situations who need just a few
thousand shekel to solve a very immediate problem (housing, food
expenses, flight costs in medical cases and other situations).

The cases are presented by recommendation, investigated, and then
presented on the air.  The show has been B"H very successful.

One evening two men (like meshulachim, but this is Israel) came to the
door asking if this is where my husband, from the show, lived.
Apparently they had a case that matched the show criteria.  I told them
how to contact the show and what to do and thought that was that.  But
they wouldn't go away.  Apparently, they thought that b/c my husband was
on the show -- I should give them a large sum of money immediately.  I
told them that this wasn't how it worked and expected them to go.

They didn't.  They just stood there.  I tried to tell them that they
were wasting their time, I didn't have more than a small amount to give
them (something like Carl's Chai), and they could get the money they
needed via the radio show -- and they made it clear that they expected
me to give them a much larger sum immediately.

I was extremely embarrased, but I also felt that what they were doing
was wrong.  Well, Baruch Hashem I suddenly remembered the source that
Chana quoted and told them that they had no right to demand that I, as a
married woman, give them such a sum of money -- halachically.

Apparently they weren't at all familiar with this halacha, but at least
it got them to go.

Shoshana L. Boublil


End of Volume 32 Issue 87