Volume 33 Number 15
                 Produced: Wed Aug 16  6:54:25 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Are Ketubahs meaningless today
         [Russell Hendel]
Candle Lighting for Young Girls
         [Aliza Fischman]
Hakheh et Shinav
         [Perets Mett]
Hebrew & Roman Calendars
         [Daniel M Wells]
Kaddish Recital Strategy
         [Aliza Fischman]
Kashering Stoves
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
         [Carl Singer]
What Makes Names Jewish?
         [Aliza Fischman]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 00:24:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Are Ketubahs meaningless today

I was deeply offended by a recent statement in Mail Jewish that since
people encourage waving the Ketuvah in court cases therefore women feel
as if they have no Ketubah (Since it has no legal bearing).

The fallacy in the above argument is equating all divorces with court
cases For each bitter divorce court battle there are probably 3-4
"routine divorces" that are mutually agreed to. Such divorces follow all
rules including paying the Ketubah.

I of course encourage remedying our current court situation---but I
wouldn't go so far as to say that we live in total divorce chaos

Russell Jay Hendel; phd Asa <rhendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 16:54:29 -0400
Subject: Candle Lighting for Young Girls

Harry Weiss wrote:

>Chabad has a custom that when girls turn 3 they begin light Shabbos
>candles.  (Single girls light one candle each.)

I always learned that when anyone, even a single person, lights shabbat
candles, 2 candles should always be lit: one for "shamor" and one for
"zachor", the two main elements of shmirat shabbat.  Does anyone know
why the Chabad minhag differs?

Also, as Aharon noted in his original post, it is not our minhag to have
our daughters light Shabbat candles on their own unless they are away
from home, and are not able to be "koneh" a part in someone else's

As a side point, I have found many of the submissions in response to our
question about this topic very interesting.  We are seriously
considering many of them.  Keep them coming.  Thank you to those who
have made suggestions, and those who still will.

Tizku L'Mitzvot,
Aliza Fischman


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 12:30:21 +0100
Subject: Hakheh et Shinav

Myron B. Chaitovsky wrote:

>Or this one: The gematria of Rasha is 570.The gematria of Shinav (his
>teeth) is 366.  Subtract one from the other (hakheh et shinav--knock out
>his teeth) to get 204, the gematria of Tzadik!

NO NO NO!!!!

I can well understand this misinterpretation, since most of us do not
know the difference between a quf and khof. But Myron has correctly put
the 'hey' in!

hakeih (hey-khof -hey) means to knock or hit haqheih (hey-quf-hey-hey)
in the hagodo means to blunt (See Koheleth - Im keyhoh habarzel...)

We are not enjoined by the baal hahagodo to go around extracting the
teeth of the r'shoim! We are to blunt them, so that their mistaken
arguments do not gain currency.

Perets Mett


From: Daniel M Wells <wells@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 17:21:29 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Hebrew & Roman Calendars

> > Generally the difference between real
> > and calculated molad is very small showing a calendar with an extremely
> > high degree of accuracy compared to the civil calendar which had to be
> > altered back in the late 1500's and presumably again in the year 4000CE
> Mr Wells is attacking a straw man.The Roman calendar that had to be
> altered in the late 1500's was quite inaccurate -- this is true.It is
> also very nearly a tautology: if it had to be altered, then of course it
> was inaccurate.But in being altered, it was made more accurate.  The
> Roman calendar is now more accurate than the Hebrew calendar (in
> measuring the year; the Roman calendar is admittedly less accurate than
> the Hebrew calendar in measuring the month, but that is a trivial
> statement, because the Roman calendar no longer makes any attempt
> whatsoever to measure the month).

There is no dispute that the mean Gregorian year is closer in value to
the tropical year than the mean Jewish year. However BOTH are drifting,
the Gregorian moving slower and losing 3 days in 10,000 years whilst the
Jewish year is moving faster gaining 1 day in 213 years.

The solar year length is important to both Judaism & Christianity since
both Passover & Easter should be before the Vernal Equinox and that is
why the Roman Church changed the calendar format in the late
1500s. However, Passover would presumably be allowed to drift pass the
Vernal Equinox if not by that time the Moshiach has arrived and a
qualified Sanhedrin been established.

What I was driving at is, the comparative closeness of length of the
mean and astronomical Jewish month, and thus ensuring that the festivals
are celebrated at approximately the correct time in the month according
to the lunar aspect.

> comparison would be, e.g., the Chinese calendar, which measures both the
> month and the year, and which does both better than the Hebrew calendar
> does.

Where did you learn this from? I just checked....
********** QUOTE  ************
The main focus on my paper is the study of leap months in the Chinese
calendar. In the early 1990s, Chinese astronomers discovered that there
was an error in the Chinese calendar for 2033. The traditional calendar
claimed that the leap month would follow the 7th month, while in fact it
comes after the 11th month. It is very unusual that the 11th month has a
leap month, in fact it hasn't happened since the calendar reform in 1645
(before 1645, all months had the same probability for having a leap
month). But many Chinese astronomers still claim that there will never be
a leap month after the 12th and 1st month. I have found that there will be
a leap month after the 1st month in 2262 (in fact, it should have happened
in 1651, but they got the calculations wrong!) and there will be a leap
month after the 12th month in 3358. Since the Chinese calendar is an
astronomical calendar, predictions require delicate astronomical
calculations, so my computations for 3358 should probably be taken with a
grain of salt. I also discuss other mathematical issues related to the
Chinese calendar.

It all seems very indecisive much like the Muslim calendar of which
there are two versions - Egypt & Iran.

> I know of no article of faith which requires Mr Wells to believe that we
> are better mathematicians and astronomers than our neighbors.

I never said that, although it is mentioned in the Talmud of
disagreements with non-Jewish astronomers of some of the early concepts
of astronomical phenomena and to which the Talmud has been vindicated.

> On the contrary: my experience 

Please expand as to the extent of your experience.....

> has led me to believe that quite the reverse is true.All the Moslems
> with whom I am acquainted know where to face when they pray.

What has this got to do with calendrical mathematics? Stick a Moslem in
a non local area and will he know which exact direction to pray?
However I'm sure that any frum Jew that has been made aware that he is
blatantly facing the wrong direction (West instead of East) would be
happy to learn the basis of his error.

> But I know very few Jews in Chicago who can be made to understand 
> that they must face Northeast when they recite the Amida.

And are you so sure Jerusalem is perhaps not North North East or perhaps
North South East?

Presumably most Shuls are have been built with the Aron Kodesh in the
correct direction and thus a person praying the Amida inside a shul will
face in approximately the right direction.

It is mentioned that its preferable for Jew in Jerusalem to pray in the
direction of the Temple, a Jew in Israel toward Jerusalem and abroad
toward Israel. But non compliance certainly does not invalidate the
prayer. And it could even be a form of 'separating oneself from the
congregation' by facing in a different direction to that of the

By the way there was an interesting discussion on MailJewish back in
1999 as to whether prayer direction should be according to Great Circle
or as a tunnel.

Checkout http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v28/mj_v28i89.html#CAAD



From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 16:54:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Kaddish Recital Strategy

>From: Yaacov-Dovid Shulman <Yacovdavid@...>
>I have a question regarding the strategy of kaddish recital. ..
>    I first thought that a basic rule of thumb is that the group of
>Kaddish reciters conforms to the slowest amongst them.  I also thought
>that the shaliach tzibbur sets the pace.  

Both of these would make sense to me, the latter being the more logical
and "regulated".

>Volume was an obvious guess too (it helps).  

Unfortunately true.

>    There often seems to be one person in the minyan who has an tone to
>which--generally speaking--other kaddish reciters conform.  (Of course,
>in some shuls, it's a wild free-for-all, with five to ten people
>reciting Kaddish in an unintelligible cacophony.)  And it's to him that
>most people in the shul answer "amen."  Once they've answered amen to
>his last sentence, they do not answer amen to stragglers.

This has always bothered me personally.  Why, because one person chooses
not to rush his Kaddish, should it be ignored?  If, at the very least,
each one of us makes sure to answer the "stragglers" it might catch on
with the people around us, and then around them, and so on.

>    All of this interferes with my ability to concentrate on the meaning
>of the words I am reciting.
>    Does anyone with experience in this matter have any insights?

That is the saddest part of it all.  Someone who is in avelut, or saying
Kaddish for someone close to them, should be given the opportunity to do
so with full concentration.  This has long been a problem in just about
every shul I've been in/ heard of.  I remember being surprised when I
learned in class in my late teens, that it is halachically preferable
for one avel to say Kaddish, as a shaliach for all of the avelim in the
minyan, and have in mind all of the people that they would be saying
Kaddish for.  This allows for everybody in the shul to hear every word
and to respond appropriately.  I have never seen this in practice,
although it seems to make immense sense.  I figure that the reason
nobody does it is that each person wants to say Kaddish for their
relative, which I understand, and no one is willing to let someone be a
shaliach for them, even if it means that the Kaddish for their loved one
would be heard more clearly.

Kol Tuv,


From: Robert Schoenfeld <roberts@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 06:06:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kashering Stoves

I had a temporary job in Ohio this year and had been in a motel with
cooking facilities and also rented an apartment for a short time The
question I had asked a Rabbi but got no real response was how to kasher
the oven of an electric stove that was not self cleaning. Could anyone
point out some help as I may need the information for future jobs

				73 de Bob
+            e-mail:<roberts@...>                   _____              +
+            HomePage:http://www.liii.com/~roberts     \   /              +
+            WA2AQQ                                      |                +
+            Home repeater LIMARC 146.85                                  +


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 17:17:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Mehadrin

<< Could Mehadrin (or other alternate "levels" of Kashruth) work the
same way? For a particular set of circumstances a food product is Kosher
yet those same circumstance make it inappropriate (no longer Kosher) for
someone else? >>

I was at a Seudah Bris recently and spoke to someone at my table re: my
objection to a single kashruth organization providing 2 hasgachas (one
"Mehadrin" and one ordinary, I suppose) I was told that in Israel, it
was to directly distinguish between two different circumstances
(metizios) -- (1) Mehadran meat is soaked and salted w/i the allotted
time (2) "ordinary" was frozen at sometime -- and presumably soaked and
salted to a different schedule -- SO (IF I HAVE THIS STORY CORRECT --
AND IF MY SOURCE SIMILARLY ....)  It's reflecting different standards--
and to some, kosher vs.  non-kosher.

I'd be interested to hear from an Israeli participant re: this

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 16:54:29 -0400
Subject: What Makes Names Jewish?

>From: Asher Friedman <asher36@...>
>I was wondering what makes a name jewish? If a name did not come from
>Tanach what makes it jewish? Even names from Tanach if they are are not
>common can you use them? Can you name your child any group of syllables
>and that's his jewish name? Does it have to be an accepted name used
>among jews to be considered jewish? Well, someone had to break the ice
>and use an unusual name before it became common.

Wow!  I never really thought about that.  My first gut response would be
that obviously if a name appears anywhere in Tanach or Torah SheB'al Peh
that qualifies (although Esav and Hagar are not as common as Moshe or
Rivkah for obvious reasons).  What I have found interesting about this
is that Noa as a girl's name first appears as the name of one of Esav's
wives.  Yet this name has become quite popular again.  It is a beautiful
name, and I know quite a few wonderful girls and women named Noa, but it
seems curious to me.

Another thing that would seem to constitute a Jewish name is its
language.  Traditionally Jewish names have been exclusively Hebrew, with
the (relatively) new addition of Yiddish names.

I suppose that the meaning of the name can also be included.  If you can
use the Yiddish name "Fruma" to mean "A pious girl", can you use the
French name that means the same thing? (If there is one, I have no
idea).  This is an interesting question which I need to ponder some

I do not believe that just grouping syllables together would make a
Jewish name because it does not fit any of the three criteria.  While
these are obviously not the only criteria, they seem to make sense to
me.  There is nothing Jewish about groups of random syllables.  However,
if the "made up" name has a Jewish meaning, that seems different to me.
A close friend of ours had a daughter with an original, "made up" name,
Niselle.  They combined the words "Miracle of Hashem" in Hebrew and came
up with Niselle.  (It is pronounced NieceEl.)  That to me, is beautiful,
meaningful, and very Jewish.



End of Volume 33 Issue 15