Volume 32 Number 93
                 Produced: Sun Jul 16  7:13:38 US/Eastern 2000


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bookburning
         [Josh Backon]
Female Jewish Slave
         [Kenneth G Miller]
Keys on Shabbat
         [Janice Gelb]
Mitzvoh Gedola Lihiyos Bisimcha Tomid
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Parking in another store's lot
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Shiur for Kipa
         [Nosson Tuttle]
"Social Kashrus" (was Kosher L'Mehadrin)
         [Bill Bernstein]
Sorting in hebrew
         [Ada-Rivka Stein]
Tzedakah and Education
         [Carl Singer]
information request: Jewish tours of Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo & Copenhagen
         [Phyllis Novetsky]


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From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Fri,  7 Jul 2000 13:26 +0300
Subject: Re: Bookburning

A Sefer Torah written by a gentile is hidden; that written by a Jewish
*apikorus* [according to the girsa of the Rambam, only that written by
a *min] is to be burnt (see: gemara in Gittin 45b). The Gilyon Meharsha
Yoreh Deah 281 s"k 1 d"h apikorus defines apikorus as "anyone who
doesn't believe in the Torah she b'al Peh (Oral Law). See also the
Rambam Hilchot Tefillin 1:13 and the machaneh Efraim Yoreh Deah on
Hilchot Sefer Torah.

Note that the Tosafot in Shabbat 116a holds that even a Torah FOUND on
the premises of a MIN is to be burnt.

Josh Backon

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From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 23:53:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Female Jewish Slave

In MJ 32:34, Moshe Nugiel and his daughter asked <<< ... why it is that
only girls are sold, and not boys. ... Granted that such a sale only
takes place under the most dire of economic collapse, why should a
family which is blessed by having only boys starve to death, while their
luckier neighbors, who have girls, are able to weather the storm?  On a
more serious note, we certainly accept that men and women have different
kinds of ways in their service of the Almighty, and that these
differences are reflected in the halacha.  How do I explain to my wife
and four daughters (ages 5-11), the nature of the difference between a
man's service and a woman's service which this halacha reveals? >>>

In MJ 32:36, we read responses from Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Alexander
Heppenheimer, and Gershon Dubin. All three of them pointed out that the
expectation or purpose of this sale is that the buyer, or his son, would
eventually marry the girl.

I got similar answers from everyone I asked in shul, but I am still
bothered by the question. It may be true that this slavery is intended
to lead to marriage, but this is *not* a requirement. The master *can*
choose not to marry the girl, in which case she is freed at puberty. So
the first question still stands: Why does a family of many daughters get
this benefit as compared to a family of many sons?

Mr. Nugiel's second question asks about the difference between men and
women in this regard. To this point, someone in shul made an interesting
comment: It is true that sons cannot be sold the way daughters can. But
women cannot be sold the way men can. Once a daughter matures, she
cannot be sold ever again. But once the boys mature, they can indeed
sell themselves. The family of daughters has this advantage only when
they girls are young, and the family of sons gets the advantage once
they become Bar Mitzvah.

I'm still not sure what this means for <<< the nature of the difference
between a man's service and a woman's service which this halacha reveals
>>>. Anyone want to take this ball and run with it?

Akiva Miller

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 09:56:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Keys on Shabbat

Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...> wrote:
> 
> The difference, however, is that when the key is 
> put in the middle of a belt in a proper way, it is 
> actually functioning as a link.  For example, two 
> ...
> You are quite valid in finding this a bit contrived 
> and only "technically" permissable.  However, the 
> rabbinic prohibition of carrying in a carmelis (a 
> semi-publich domain which is not privately owned but 
> does not meet the halakhic criteria for carrying in a
> reshus-ha-rabim [biblically public domain]) is to 
> prevent us from mistakenly carrying in a reshus-ha-rabbim.  
> Thus, the halakha allows us to contrive these 
> "technnically-non-carrying" methods because they do
> not truly run counter to the spirit of the rabbinic 
> decree--i.e., while we contrive these scenarios we are 
> still reminded of the biblical injunction not to carry 
> in a reshus-ha-rabbim.

If the purpose is a reminder, that could simply be served by a
shinui. My objection to making a key into a belt fastener is not
halachic -- as has been pointed out, it is technically permissible. My
objection is to the loophole spirit of the thing. Belts do not come with
keys as fasteners. The only reason one is substituting the key for the
original fastener is in order to carry it.

-- Janice

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 16:35:27 +0300
Subject: Mitzvoh Gedola Lihiyos Bisimcha Tomid

 <Mhayehudi@...> wrote:
> 
> BS"D I have watched with interest as the saying (and concept) 'mitzvoh
> gedola lihiyos bisimcha tomid' (it is a great mitzvoh to be happy
> constantly) has spread and surged in popularity in recent years.

In the song, people often follow by singing "simcha g'dola l'hiyot
b'mitzva tamid". (it is a great joy to always be "in mitzva"). One of
Rav Soloveitchik's students told me (I think in the name of the Rav)
that "simcha g'dola..." was more correct, since there was no actual
mitzva to "be in simcha".

However, this does not seem to follow what the Rav himself wrote in at
least two locations: Halakhic Man (in the English edition, footnote 4,
pgs 139- 143) and Sacred and Profane (printed in Shiurei HaRav, pgs 4 -
8). There he writes: "The equation of a happy and concomitantly profound
life is inadequate".

I have found it very interesting to compare the Rav's view in the above
sources with the opening section to R' Dessler's "Michtav M'Eliyahu",
who writes that the only source of happiness is the Torah.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 14:05:22 EDT
Subject: Parking in another store's lot

Carl wrote,
>> However, that pizza shop relies on people parking in that lot, as
>> there is no other parking nearby.  On occasion, when the lot is towing
>> on a regular basis, the pizza shop posts a warning.  Outside of that, it
>> seems, everyone parks there.
>
> Is the pizza shop being a "good neighbor" -- perhaps it could make an
> arrangement to pay to allow his/her customers to park in that lot.  >>

I would doubt that such permission would ever be granted, as it is
already hard enough to find parking in that lot, even when one is
shopping at the stores for which it is intended.

The only possibility would be for the pizza store to ask for permission
after hours, when most of the stores in the lot are closed, and parking
is comparatively easy to find.  These times, by the way, may be the
busiest time of day/week for the pizza store (Saturday night and supper
time)

Chaim Shapiro

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Nosson Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 13:18:37 -0400 
Subject: Shiur for Kipa

<From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
<Most poskim prohibited the black satin scull cap because it is flat.  R
<Moshe, the Hafetz Haim and other gedolim (see the pictures ) and even
<yeshiva bachurim in the 30's wore the high kippot.  The kippot of mea
<shearim have a pom-pom on the top which keeps it from being flat.  What
<happened ?  How could the Yeshiva people, ignore the issur and adopt
<this ??

How can a head covering be prohibited?  Is it Avodah Zara?  Covering the
head for males at all times is a Minhag, although a very strong one,
pretty much putting one who does not outside of the pale of Orthodoxy.
I believe it was Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT"L who said, however, that there
is "no Shiur for the yarmulke".

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 16:53:39 -0500
Subject: Re: "Social Kashrus" (was Kosher L'Mehadrin)

Carl Singer brings up good points about social issues of kashrus in a
"pluralistic" Jewish society (i.e. many different standards of kashrus).
I was fortunate to live near the same neighborhood that Carl describes
(suburban Philly) and went to two different schuls: at Beth HaMedrosh
everything had to be prepared in the schul kitchen and conform to
certain acceptable hashgochos.  I didn't have a problem with this, as
even the rabbi would not bring food from his house to schul.  At Rayim
Ahuvim, which is a small shtible-type place, we wanted to make a kiddush
for something and asked the president.  His response was to go ahead and
bring what we wanted since everyone who went there was trusted.  But it
is a more homogeneous atmosphere than many places.

As far as eating in other people's homes, my own practice is that I am
reasonably careful where I accept invitations but once I do I don't go
around asking questions. My reasoning is that even if there is something
"not quite right" it is likely to be only a rabbinic prohibition or
matter of minhag.  If I start asking questions and embarass the
host/hostess then that is an issur d'oraysa.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Ada-Rivka Stein <AdaatSBCo@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 01:19:10 EDT
Subject: Sorting in hebrew

I wrote a little function for an access database that will sort a list
typed in Hebrew.

It is based on a table that lists the alphabetic key for each hebrew
letter (sample table follows) - you would create the table using your
specific font, and then apply the function as follows in a query:

SELECT tblnames.name, fconvertToABC(fReverseStringX([tblnames].[name])) AS 
SortName
FROM tblnames
ORDER BY fconvertToABC(fReverseStringX([tblnames].[name]));

Function fReverseString(strInput As String)
  Dim intLoop As Integer, strOldChopped As String
  ' make a copy of the old string for chopping purposes
  strOldChopped = strInput
  ' do this as many times as there are characters in the string
  For intLoop = 1 To Len(strInput)
     ' get the rightmost character in the copied Input string, and add to new 
string
    fReverseString = fReverseString & Right(strOldChopped, 1)
     ' chop the rightmost character we just added
     strOldChopped = Left(strOldChopped, Len(strOldChopped) - 1)

  Next

End Function

Function fReverseStringX(strInput As String)
  Dim intLoop As Integer, intOriginal As Integer
  intOriginal = Len(strInput)
  ' make a copy of the old string for chopping purposes
  ' do this as many times as there are characters in the string
  For intLoop = 1 To intOriginal
     ' get the rightmost character in the copied Input string, and add to new 
string
    fReverseStringX = fReverseStringX & Right(strInput, 1)
     ' chop the rightmost character we just added
     strInput = Left(strInput, intOriginal - intLoop)

  Next

End Function

Function fConvertToABC(strInput As String)
   Dim intLoop, intOriginal As Integer
   intOriginal = Len(strInput)

   For intLoop = 1 To intOriginal
     fConvertToABC = fConvertToABC & DLookup("tblHebrewFont.ID", 
"tblHebrewFont", "tblHebrewFont.ABCChar= '" & Mid(strInput, intLoop, 1) & "'")

   Next
End Function

tblHebrewFont
____________
ID    ABCChar   HebrewEquiv
A     a aleph
B     b bais
C     g gimmel
D     d daled
E     h heh
F     v vov
G     z     zayin
I     H ches
J     T tes
K     y yud
L   k   kof
M   K   ending kof
N   l   lamed
O   m   mem
P   M   ending mem
Q   n   nun
R   N   ending nun
S   S   samech
T   e   ayin
U   p   peh
V   P   ending peh
W   c   tzadi
X   C   ending tzadi
Y   q   kuf
   r   resh
^?   s   shin
   t   tof

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 09:09:17 EDT
Subject: Re: Tzedakah and Education

<< Naturally we were pleased with what he had done. I am well aware that
not all parents would agree with this approach, and would suggest that
the children be taught to say "We can't give unless we check with our
parents." Any comments? >>

I believe the underlying issue is what do our children learn (as opposed
to what we teach, per se) about giving tzeduka.  I think we must
distinguish giving tzedukah by mail, etc., from mishlochim -- for the
most part children don't participate, or overhear, etc, when we (the
parents) discuss mailing in checks, etc.  When they come to shule with
us during the voch [week] they can see the entire kehillah giving (or
snubbing) the tzedukah box -- in many shules, a young child is given the
mitzvah (and learning experience) of taking the tzedukah box around.

But meshlochim -- except those that come after the children's bed time
-- and our responses do make an impression our our children.

When we lived in Philadelphia we had very few at-the-door visits.  Those
who did come, stayed, schmoozed, gave our little ones a brocha, ate at
our tisch [table] (tea & cake), etc.  Frequently, they came with a
member of the community whose child was going to the Yeshiva that they
were collecting for.  They were most welcome and, quite frankly, it felt
good to give tzeddukah.  I believe our children also sensed this as a
positive experience all around.

In contrast, when we moved to Edison, NJ (a stone's through from
Brooklyn, etc.) carloads of meschlochim would descend.  4 to a car, two
or 3 cars a night sometimes.  Issues of fraud (one said she had no
credit at her grocery store and needed food for her children -- so my
wife gave her an overflowing bag of groceries -- much to her apparant
annoyance) of derech eretz (one marched into our house uninvited smoking
a cigar) and the sheer numbers (I think the maximum was 8 in one night.)
soon soured the experience.  Many meschlochim were perceived as a
nuisance (at best) the contributions went down in amount, but more
importantly our children, I'm sure, perceived our distrust and distaste
for many of them.  One can't keep up a smiling facade forever.
Interspersed with these carloads of meschochim, were the same (old)
meschlachim who'd graced our home in Philadelphia -- a breath of fresh
air, so to speak.  Maybe our children learned to distinguish between the
two.

Also a note of caution -- in today's world, I wouldn't let home alone 11
year olds open the door to strangers -- regardless.

Carl Singer

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From: Phyllis Novetsky <pnovetsk@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Jul 2000 18:31:33 -0400
Subject: information request: Jewish tours of Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo & Copenhagen

Jewish tours of Berlin, Hamburg, Oslo & Copenhagen

Could you direct me (or bounce this posting around) to someone who can
give us a (private??) tour of the above cities?  We will be in Berlin on
July 30, Hamburg on July 29, Oslo on July 18 and Copenhagen on July 31.
We are senior citizens and my husband has difficulty walking.  Thank
you.

Morris & Phyllis Novetsky    Southfield, Michigan

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End of Volume 32 Issue 93