Volume 33 Number 10
                 Produced: Mon Aug 14  6:29:33 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Book burning
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros
         [Aviva Fee]
Hachnasat Sefer Torah
         [Barry S. Bank]
Kaddish Recital Strategy
         [Stuart Wise]
Ratners Fans
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Upsherin (3)
         [Freda B Birnbaum, Gershon Dubin, Stuart Wise]
VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman - Good for the (Orthodox) Jews?
         [Yosef Branse]
When is shkiah?
         [Zev Sero]
Who lacks manners? A defense of Rude Meshulachim
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Sun, 06 Aug 2000 12:39:12 -0400
Subject: Re: Book burning

Avi Feldblum wrote:
> Eliezer Diamond <eldiamond@...> wrote:
> >The second is that, as in the case of the burning
> >of Rambam's writings and the subsequent and consequent burning of the
> >Talmud, once the bookburning genie has been let out of the bottle it is
> >very difficult to put it back in. I do not trust anyone, including and
> >especially myself, to have the wisdom to know what must be burned and
> >what may remain.
> Again, this assumes that there's something wrong, a priori, with book
> burning, which could only be suspended in the most extreme
> circumstances; from the POV of Torah and Halacha, I don't know of
> anything to justify such a negative attitude to book burning.

The point here seems to have been not that book burning itself is
"right" or "wrong" on an intrinsic basis, but that as a practical
matter, one cannot be certain that the "slippery slope" can be avoided
in a proper manner.  Even if someone can be certain that bookburning is
"correct" in many (or even most) cases, the quote would still apply on a
practical level

> >I do not trust anyone, including and especially myself, to have the
> >wisdom to know what must be burned and what may remain.

This would be a decision that only the greatest gedolim could make, and
see what Rabbeinu Yonah had to say about his decision to support burning
the Rambam.

Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore" | Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
 Jews are the fish, Torah is our water | Zovchai Adam, agalim yishakun


From: Aviva Fee <aviva613@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 13:12:19 GMT
Subject: Re: Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

> In England, I cannot think of a single kashrus agency, national or 
> otherwise, which will allow the use of non-supervised milk in a manufactured 
> product bearing its supervision, nor will will they allow supervised 
> caterers to use it.

In reference to chalov stam outside of the USA, I think people are
missing something significant.

When I buy milk from a processing plant in the USA, I can rely on
mitzius and Federal USDA laws that the liquid contained inside the
carton is cow milk.

When I buy milk from a processing plant in any other country, and
especially far out places, there is a real chasash that the liquid may
contain milk from non-kosher animals.



From: Barry S. Bank <bsbank@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 11:11:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hachnasat Sefer Torah

Does anyone have or know where I can get a copy of a Tekes Hachnasat
Sefer Torah?

--Barry S. Bank 


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 10:47:27 -0700
Subject: Re: Kaddish Recital Strategy

Having had to say Kaddish for both my parents, A"H, I can empathize with
your plight.  The height of annoyance came from an acquaintance of mine
who complained I said Kaddish too slowly, and I refused to give in to
it.  Others pointed out to me that the sheliach tzibbur who is saying
Kaddish should actually lower his voice as to afford others the
opportunity to have their Kaddish answered, but I also thought the
sheliach tzibbur would set the pace.

But the bottom line is I would always follow what I can perceive to be
the slowest person saying Kaddish, for my natural tendency was to say it
slowly anyway -- and hope that a minyan of people will answer, and I did
perceive that to be the case most of the time.

Public reminders to say Kaddish together seem to have minimal and
temporary effect.  Because my voice is pretty loud, I don't seem to have
a hard time getting my Kaddish answered.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 22:26:15 +0300
Subject: Re: Ratners Fans

In Vol. 33, #02, Jonathan Shaffer <Jshaffer@...> wrote:
>For fans of Ratners, I received the following from Star K's e mail kashrut
>     RATNERS DAIRY RESTAURANT (138 Delancey St., NY) has closed and will
>reopen as a non-kosher restaurant.  RATNERS FROZEN FOODS are produced at a
>separate factory and will remain kosher certified by the Kof-K.

What about the Ratners on 2nd Avenue?



From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 07:23:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Upsherin

In v33#3, Shalom Krischer asks:
> Other than the "obvious" Shabbos Candles, home baked Challah for
> Shabbos lends itself very nicely to the Mitzvah of "Challah".  
> However, I have a different question.  Although girls do not wear
> Tzizit (actually, a Talit Katan), why not?  IE, if a girl wears a
> four-cornered garment, is it obligated in Tzizit?  (Growing up, I
> never thought of asking this). If yes, then why has the minhag of
> wearing a Talit-Katan (so that we have a garment that needs Tzizit)
> not been applied to girls?  If not, why not?  It does not seem to be a
> "time dependent positive commandment"?  And even if it is, why haven't
> some women taken it on anyway (as has been done with many others)?

I'm aware of a handful of adult women who wear tzitzis, but for obvious
reasons they're pretty private about it.  The only description I've read
of giving a very young girl tzitzis to wear is in Haviva Ner-David's
book, _Life on the Fringes_.  She makes an interesting case, but I have
to confess to some misgivings about this.

The adult women I'm aware of who do it have all had well-thought-out
religious reasons for doing so.  The social pressure to not do so is, of
course, enormous.

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

From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 12:16:33 -0400
Subject: Upsherin

<<It does not seem to be a "time dependent positive
	It is,  and women are exempt.

<<And even if it is, why haven't some women taken it on
anyway (as has been done with many others)?>>
	Good question.  I would guess because of the prohibition
of wearing man's clothing.


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 10:51:09 -0700
Subject: Re: Upsherin

I think the answer is that the mitzvah [wearing Tzitzit - Mod.] is in
the category of those that are to performed at a set time (namely,
daytime) and thus women are exempt from such mitzvos.


From: Yosef Branse <JODY@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 8:43:57 GMT
Subject: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman - Good for the (Orthodox) Jews?

I am sure that I am not the only one to find myself feeling ambivalent
about the selection of Senator Joe Lieberman as Al Gore's
vice-presidential candidate. On the one hand, there is a natural feeling
of pride that a Jew, and an Orthodox Jew at that, has attained such a
prominent position in public life. This is a historical accomplishment,
even if Gore and Lieberman are not elected in November.

However, I can't help wondering whether this is really good for the
Jews, and the Orthodox in particular. I suspect this is a topic that
will occupy many Jews in the coming months and maybe years. Here are a
few of my concerns.

First of all, having someone prominently identified as an Orthodox Jew
in such a high office will turn a powerful spotlight on the entire
Orthodox community.  Any unseemly actions within Orthodoxy will reflect
badly on Lieberman, and vice versa. Maybe I have a bit of lingering
galut mentality, but something troubles me about this visibility.

I don't know anything about Senator Lieberman's level of observance. I
understand that he has managed to remain Shomer Shabbat
(Sabbath-observant) while in the Senate. However, the demands of his
position make it unlikely that one can keep up ameticulous level of
observance while attaining and maintaining a high public office - it is
hard enough just for a poor working slob like myself.

How does Lieberman deal with matters such as praying regularly with a
minyan, set times for Torah study, keeping kashrut at public functions
in a non-Jewish or non-Orthodox milieu, the complexities of dealings
with non-Jews, etc.?  Perhaps some of MJ's American members can shed
more light on this.

Isn't it possible that Lieberman will be cast as an archetype of the
observant Jew, with the behavior of other observant Jews measured
against his standards?  What are the implications for people who are
more (or less) strict than he?  E.g., "Vice President Lieberman doesn't
drink Chalav Yisroel, why are you so stubborn?" "I saw the Vice
President shaking hands with a lady Governor - why are you so
hoity-toity when I extend my hand to you?" People faced with such
questions might find themselves in the unpleasant situation of defending
their own level of observance at the cost of impugning Lieberman's, in
the presence of ignorant people who may draw negative conclusions, or
get a confused picture of Orthodoxy.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the Vice President of the United States
is supposed to be someone capable of taking over as President should the
need arise, Heaven forbid - he is "just a heartbeat away" from that
awesome position. If the Democrats are elected this year, it is not such
a remote prospect that Joe Lieberman might be thrust into the
Presidency. There is a bizarre pattern in American history that, since
1840, every President elected in a year ending in zero (every 20 years)
has died in office. This held true from William Henry Harrison through
John Kennedy, with Ronald Reagan the first to buck the jinx, and he
survived an assassination attempt (though James Brady didn't share his
boss's good luck).

Would President Lieberman be as successful as Senator Lieberman and
Vice-President Lieberman in maintaining Orthodox practice? Perhaps as
Vice-President, a largely symbolic post, he would be able to refrain
from, e.g., taking phone calls on Shabbat, but that is a luxury the
President of the USA cannot enjoy. Would he not find himself facing a
multitude of challenges pitting his Jewish faith against the demands of
being the world's most powerful person?

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not being a spoilsport or a
pessimist. I wish Senator Lieberman well, and am proud to see an
(Orthodox) Jew accomplishing what he has. But I feel that my concerns
are genuine and need to be addressed. There are probably other topics
that I did not raise here. I am looking forward to hearing what MJ
readers feel about this.


* Yosef Branse              University of Haifa Library                    *
* Systems Librarian         Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel                *
*            Electronic mail:   <JODY@...>  (VMS Mail)           *
*                               <JODY@...> (University of Haifa *


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 02:35:21 -0400 
Subject: Re: When is shkiah?

Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...> wrote:

>Shkiah (sunset) is defined as the local time when the sun sinks below
>the horizon.  However, a person flying in an airplane will still see the
>sun at this time, since his elevation allows him to see beyond the "zero
>altitude" horizon.  Has shkiah occurred for him at this time, or must he
>wait until the sun sinks below his horizon?

According to the Rav Baal Hatanya vehaShulchan Aruch (in Seder Hachnasat
Shabbat), halachic sunset is measured at the altitude of `the high
mountains of Eretz Yisrael'.  He also says that one should bring in
Shabbos when the sun sets at the level of the treetops in ones own area,
and that around the equinox, in the area where he was writing (Liady,
Russia), this is about 4 minutes before the halachic sunset.  Based on
this, and on the gemara at the bottom of Berachot 2b, R SB Levin (in
Kuntres NeSheK vol 2) deduces that `the high mountains of Eretz Yisrael'
refers to Mt Carmel.

Zev Sero


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 00:26:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Who lacks manners? A defense of Rude Meshulachim

I just finished reading about 50 MJ postings. I was shocked that no
one defended the so called "rude" meshulachim. Don't we paskin by the
Chafetz Chaiim. Here is a story I once heard

The Chafetz Chaiim was in a bar and there was this person drinking and
cursing. He was by himself in one side of the room. The Chafetz Chaiim
asked who he was. "He was one of the Jews that were conscripted in the
Russian Army at 5 and just got out now at 30--he sits and drinks and
curses all day--no one will have anything to do with him".

It is related that the Chafetz Chaiim went over to this individual
and said to him in soft tones "My friends tell me how much of a saint
you are---you were 25 years in the Russian army and your only vice is
that you curse a little..." He continued for a half hour. The person
changed and became a devout and Pious Jew.

I think the moral of the story is clear. It is not for us to judge
people who have been thru hard times. A meshulach who lives the
humiliating life of a beggar should not be held accountable if he is
rude and pushy. On the contrary we who are better off should have
pity on them.

So...if you want say 'No' and close the door---but don't act like they
are the ones who lack manners. Any Meshulach who walks around like a
beggar, gets constantly rejected and is only pushy is certainly a saint.

Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA
Moderator Rashi is Simple
Surfing the Talmudic Sea


End of Volume 33 Issue 10