Volume 33 Number 12
                 Produced: Tue Aug 15  6:48:18 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Stan Tenen]
Female Jewish Slave
         [Chaim Mateh]
Kellogg's cereals
         [Perets Mett]
Keys on Shabbat
         [Janice Gelb]
L D Schools
         [Susan Shapiro]
Lights on Yom Tov
         [Frank Silbermann]
         [Art Roth]
Non supervised milk in supervised products
         [Jonathan Grodzinski]
Reading of Eichah
         [David Maslow]
Talmud Torah (beyond 1 chapter a day) **IS** OPTIONAL
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 10:57:29 -0400
Subject: Bishul

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
<<I believe that bishul applies only to cooking (food), not heating.  Only
if you put food on or near this heat source are you dealing w/ bishul.>>

	Bishul applies to nonfoods as well.



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 09:11:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Bookburning

At 09:25 AM 8/11/00 +0000, Zev Sero wrote:
>Kal vachomer.  If even a sefer torah must be burned if it was written by
>a min, even though it contains none of the min's own words, then how
>much more so must a book that contains his own words be burned.

Without regard to the merit of the rest of the posting and discussion,
this statement is illogical.

When a book looks like a Sefer Torah, we expect it to be a halachic
Sefer Torah.  So, a Sefer Torah that isn't halachic could easily
mislead, and/or be misused in some way.

But a book written by a min or a heretic (or a mathematician or a
satanist or whatever) doesn't offer the possibility of misrepresentation
(unless extra lengths were taken to be dishonest).  No one mistakes it
for a holy book, or a kosher book, or a book that needs to be
halachically appropriate.  There's no need to treat a book that might be
inappropriate in some way in the same way as a Sefer Torah that might be
inappropriate in some way. They're in entirely different categories, and
they're not likely to be confused.

Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 22:25:14 +0300
Subject: Re: Female Jewish Slave

In vol 33#04, Moshe Nugiel <friars@...> wrote:

<<I thank Chana Luntz for her well thought out and informative reply. If I
understand it correctly, the practical basis for female infanticide is the
following:  "Boys are valuable because they can take over the land and work
it, girls tend to be a financial liability. "
Now my question is, what is the Torah's opinion about that dichotomy?
According to Chana's analysis, given that the Jews lived in an agrarian
society, and given the factual truth of the above dichotomy, the Torah is
interested in not having the girls killed at birth, and so it allows
the fathers to sell the girls instead.>>

Did you understand Chana's remarks to mean that the _reason_ the Torah
permits selling a daughter as a servant for a few years, is as an
alternative to infanticide?  Unless I missed something, what is the
Torah source for this theory?

<< What I would have liked the Torah to say (I know I'm treading on
dangerous ground here) is something like, "Since girls are also created in
the image of God, they need the same protection and nurturing which boys
need, despite the fact that they may be somewhat of a financial burden.">>

Where did the Torah (or Talmud, or anywhere) say that girls are
financial burdens?

<<Sort of like the Torah's protection of widows, orphans, and aliens;>>

Where does the Torah say or imply that the _reason_ to be good to
widows, orphans, etc, is because they are financial burdens?

<< What I have, instead, is the perpetuation of a sexist dichotomy, one
which teaches that since girls are physically weaker, it is OK to sell
them, just as long as you don't kill them.>>

Since this is Chana's theory, I'll let her reply to your question about

<<Does this doctrine really make us a light unto the nations?>>

A _doctrine_?!  A _Jewish_ doctrine?  Couldn't someone first show how it
is a Jewish doctrine, before flying off the handle?

Kol Tuv,


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 15:00:21 +0100
Subject: Kellogg's cereals

Following my recent posting, I was in France last week and discovered
that Kellogg's cereals manufactured in France also have the the MK
kosher logo of the Manchester Beth Din.

So if you are travelling in France there are some kosher products 
which are quite widely available.

Perets Mett


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 08:29:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Keys on Shabbat

Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes <sthoenna@...> wrote:
> Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...> wrote:
> > 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.
> Perhaps this will help: the reason one is substituting the key for the
> original fastener is in order to *not* carry it.

As I've said before, I realize that halachically you're not carrying
it. But for all practical purposes, you are. You are redoing a belt
specifically so you can carry a key with you to unlock your door.

Everyone who has responded seems to have missed my point, so this will
be my last post on this.  I was trying to examine the spirit rather than
the letter of the "no carrying" law, but I guess there is no spirit,
only loopholes.

-- Janice


From: Susan Shapiro <SShap23859@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 11:14:23 EDT
Subject: L D Schools

 << These are kids like all others, and need to be treated as
such. American Torah education must belong to all of our youth, as all
are integral parts of the Frum community.>

 <<Absolutely correct.  They are owed it, and HaShem commands us to
teach it diligently to our children -- not diligently to our children
who don't have learning disabilities.>>

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that Moshiach will come when ALL souls are
ready, not just those with PHYSICAL "perfection" -- there is a perfect
soul inside every body, whether the body or the mind are "hurt".

<<Where this Frum attitude comes from I don't know.  I do believe a
program of inclusion, will at least put us on the track toward solving
this anomaly.

< First, this Frum attitude isn't an anomaly.  It is the norm across the
 spectrum in America, and other countries as well.  It comes from
 ignorance and an uncaring attitude.  Second, if anyone wants to develop
 such a curriculum, let me know. >>

There is a gentleman here in San Diego who is working on a program
throughout all the local Jewish Day SChools, Orthodox, Chabad, Reform
and Conservative, to have a program under the Auspises of the AGency for
Jewish Education, to have an inclusion program, as these precious
children all deserve a Jewish education.

He's looking for funding right now, and why does it surprise me that
he's having a hard time with it. He himself has a child with special

Susan Shapiro
S. Diego, CA


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 07:47:27 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Lights on Yom Tov

In V33#08 Edward Ehrlich wrote:
> According to physics, energy is not "created", except in cases of a
> nuclear reactions, but transformed from one form to another.  Turning on
> an electric light transforms the electric energy of the electrons to
> light and heat energy.  I assume that the halahic problem is regarding
> the creation of light.

I vaguely remember reading years ago of a rabbi who acquired a
reputation as top Halachist by destroying all the technical arguments
that turning on a light was Shabbas-prohibited work.  After proving that
turning on lights was permitted on Shabbas, he concluded that we should
not do so, out of respect for the Chazon Ish who prohibited it.

Can anyone confirm this story?  If true, how much more so on Yom Tov for
those who have a family minhag based on Rv. Epstein's psak.


[I suspect you are refering to R' SZ Aurbach who has a long responsa on
Electricity on Shabbat and Yom Tov. R' Aurbach acquired his reputation
prior to this responsa. From what I remember of his responsa, I think he
distinguishes an electric light bulb from most other forms of electrical
appliances on Shabbat, as that may have a biblical level prohibition,
but does come to the conclusion that most other appliances may not have
any biblical level prohibition and even questions what, if any, rabbinic
prohibition there is. He does conclude that today, for practical
halachic practice, one may not use electrical appliances. I suspect that
others who may have read the responsa more recently will correct me on
any errors. Mod.] 


From: Art Roth <AJROTH@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 9:39:59 -0500
Subject: Nitzavim/Vayeilekh

>From Zev Sero:
> According to the Zohar there are supposed to be 53 sidrot, but if you
> count them in a chumash there are 54, and two resolutions are given to
> this problem:
> a) Nitzavim and Vayelech are one sidra that is occasionally split,
> rather than two that are occasionally joined;
> b) Bereshit is a preface to the whole Torah, and therefore doesn't count
> among the numbered sidrot, just as the prologue to a book doesn't count
> among the numbered chapters.

>From Jack Gross:
> I tuned in late, but may I add that the Siddur of Rav Saadia Gaon
> discusses which parshiyyos are "sometimes split", and which pairs are
> "sometimes combined".  As I recall, he regards the 70 psukim of
> Nizzavim/Vayyelech as a single parsha.

I believe that I've said this before on this list, but it bears
repeating.  It is very clear FROM A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE that Nitzavim
and Vayeilekh are really one parasha that has been split in half, since
they were NEVER read separately until we started reading V"zot Hab"rakha
on a weekday rather than a Shabbat.  At that point, Nitzavim and
Vayeilekh were split apart in order to address the resulting need to
"fill up" an extra Shabbat.  The fact that this is not needed in all
years is admittedly an apparent difficulty with this explanation, but I
would guess (with no knowledge whatsoever to back up that guess) that
even later changes to the "leining calendar" are responsible for the
fact that Nitzavim and Vayeilekh do not ALWAYS need to be split.

Zev's quote from the Zohar is provides good support for the premise that
Nitzavim-Vayeilekh is the ONLY single parasha that has been split in
half, i.e., all other double parshiyot are really two that are sometimes
combined rather than one which is sometimes split apart.

Art Roth


From: Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 03:53:29 EDT
Subject: Non supervised milk in supervised products

Perets Mett recently wrote:

<<  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.  >>

Now, whilst he is correct (as always) when referring to "supervised"
products, the situation is different in respect of "approved" products.

The London Beth Din, a well respected and reliable institution, produces
a Kashrus Guide which lists as kosher a myriad of products (eg Cadburys
milk chocolate, Mars Bar , Crunchie ; Walls Solero ice cream and other
delicious foods ) which it lists as Kosher Dairy.

None of these products have had the benefit of a Jew watching over them,
at any stage of production.

Such products will not however bear the seal or symbol of the LBD.

Jonathan Grodzinski of London


From: David Maslow <maslowd@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 07:58:23 -0400
Subject: Reading of Eichah

In almost every shul I have been in for Tisha B'Av, the reading of
Eichah has been divided among a number of readers, with each chanting
one chapter.  This is different from the pattern for the other Megillot,
which, with the exception of Esther, are also said without a bracha
(blessing).  Is there any explanation or rationale in halacha or minhag
for this difference.

David E. Maslow


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 00:23:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Talmud Torah (beyond 1 chapter a day) **IS** OPTIONAL

I recently introduced the distinction between commandment types in the
hope of clarifying the nature of our obligation to go to Israel.  3
types of commandment obligations are discussed: (1) OBLIGATORY--YOU HAVE
THEM IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES (eg if you eat meat then you must eat
YOU DO (Like learning all day)

Carl Scherer dissents:(Carl brings about 6 sources which I omit)
I see no basis at all for characterizing any Torah learning as merely
"pious"....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.
I am glad Carl says this since it enables us to carry our discussion on
PIOUS vs OBLIGATORY from Israel to other halachic areas where have more
sources. In other words I believe that both learning and Israel are PIOUS
but not obligatory while Carl believes they are both obligatory (or
conditional obligatory). Let us examine Talmud Torah.

It turns out this was discussed about a year ago (by me)on the email
group Torah Forum (at project genesis) Volume 4 Number 68. Here is a
brief synopsis. I cite 5 sources on the obligation to learn Torah

1) TNACH: It says explicitly (Dt 6:7) "...You shall learn them ..when
you wake and when you go to sleep". It further says (Jos 1:8)"..This
book of the Torah shall not depart from your mouth and you shall utter
them day and night".(Carl also cited this last verse from Joshua)

2) TALMUD: (Mnachoth 99) The talmud raises the question whether the
above mentioned requirement of "continual study" MEANS "all the time" or
"once a day and once a night". This is a controversy in the Talmud (and
seems to apply to other matters (like the "continual bread" (Lev 24)).

3) RAMBAM: (Law of Torah 1:8): "Every Jew is obligated in Talmud Torah
whether he is poor or rich...all Jews must set ASIDE TIMES IN THE DAY

4) ARUCH HASHULCHAN (246:7) "As is clear from the CAPPED words the
Rambam decided the Talmudic controversy according to the "once a day and
night" interpretation. (NOTE: The Rambam is read IN LIGHT of the
Talmud..)  (Tanya Chap 34 is also cited as a 5th source)

There is more to discuss here (perhaps a MJ thread). But I think there
is a strong case that Talmud Torah (Beyond one chapter a day) is PIOUS
but NOT OBLIGATORY. Hence I conclude that eg you should not pester
people to learn more than their one chapter a day.

Russell Jay Hendel


End of Volume 33 Issue 12