Volume 33 Number 16
                 Produced: Wed Aug 16  7:16:05 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Al Naharos Bavel (3)
         [Eli Linas, Aliza Fischman, <JoshHoff@...>]
Baby Intercom on Shabbat?
         [Zemira and Tzvi Woolf]
         [David Fox]
         [Noyekh Miller]
Ratners (2)
         [<FriedmanJ@...>, Rose Landowne]
Size of yarmulka
         [Gershon Dubin]
Using verses and midrash to establish facts.
         [Avi Levi]
VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman (7)
         [Elozor Preil, David Lloyd-Jones, Robert Sherer, Jay Kaplowitz,
Carl Singer, Betzalel Posy, Daniel Stuhlman]
Request: Jewish Travel to the Ukraine
         [Ginsburg, Paul]
Request: Montreal
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Eli Linas <linaseli@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 12:52:21 +0300
Subject: Re: Al Naharos Bavel

Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...> asked about saying Al Naharos Bavel. I
haven't done a formal survey, but from what I've see, not too many
people say it. Nevertheless, the Aruch HaShulchan says it's a good idea
to say it, because one thereby fulfills the imperative to study Torah in
the course of a meal. Also, I remember hearing years ago (forgot from
who) that in reality, the reason we say Shir HaMa'alos on Shabbos, etc.,
is to distinguish the day as one on which we *don't* say Al
Naharos. This actually fits in nicely with what Bill said about the
Shelah HaKodesh's explanation that we don't say Al Naharos on Shabbos
because mourning the Beis HaMikdosh is usser then. According to this,
the ikker is Al Naharos, and there is no intrinsic reason for the
recital of Shir HaMa'alos - and what we do today is somewhat the reverse
of what we should be doing! If this is incorrect, and/or if anyone can
explain this, I'd be very interested in hearing.

Eli Linas

From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 02:27:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Al Naharos Bavel

Bill Bernstein wrote:
>However, I don't recall seeing anyone actually say this during the week
>and wondered if there is a widespread custom to do so. Also (and a
>little more facetiously) I wonder if there is a tune to go with it.

The only time I remember seeing it done regularly was in my summer camp
days.  I went to an all-girls very frum camp in Narrowsburg, NY called
Sternberg.  I'm sure some of you have heard of it.  Each meal we would
sing it before benching.  If I recall correctly, there was only a tune
up to and including the words "Im lo aaleh et Yerushalayim al rosh
simchati."  After that the words were recited without tune.


From: <JoshHoff@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 07:07:51 EDT
Subject: Re: Al Naharos Bavel

I recall singing "Al Naharios Bavel" at every weekday meal in Camp
Moshava Wild Rose ,Wisconsin, to a tune which is on a Pirchei
album.There is also a tune to it performed by Don McLean, but it only
covers the first pasuk.


From: Zemira and Tzvi Woolf <tzywoolf@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 15:27:57 +0300
Subject: Baby Intercom on Shabbat?

 Where can I find sources on microphone use on Shabbos, especially
relative to a baby intercom/monitor where no one (certainly no adults)
intends to speak into the microphone on Shabbos ('lo mitkavein'- but is
it a 'psik reisha'?)?

Could there be something on this in the Mail-Jewish archives, and if so
how can I search them (with a Mac)?

[here is the mail-jewish search URL: http://mail-jewish.org/mjsearch.htm]

Thanks very much,

Tzvi Woolf
Meretz Kollel, Mevasseret Zion


From: David Fox <dfox@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 22:52:31 -0400
Subject: Besamim

What is the proper or traditional spice to put in the Besamim ?



From: Noyekh Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 11:22:53 -0400
Subject: Kafrisin

Kafrisin occurs twice in the Talmud, once as caper blossoms, next in the
form of wine.  In the first case Rashi identifies kafrisin as related to
the capers but in the second case opines that yayin kafrisin is Cyprus

Question: is there a discussion anywhere as to how or why Rashi gives
yayin kafrisin as Cypriot rather than (the more plausible?) wine made
from the fruit of the caper-bush?

Noyekh Miller


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 09:42:31 EDT
Subject: Re: Ratners

There is no Ratner's on Second Ave. There's the Second Ave. Deli, and
that is not kosher enough for most of the members on this list.

From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 14:43:44 EDT
Subject: Re: Ratners

I believe it closed about twenty five years ago.
Rose Landowne

[Same response from Jay Kaplowitz <iii@...>. Mod]


From: Gershon Dubin <gdubin@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 15:16:42 -0400
Subject: Size of yarmulka

<<Why are our flat yarmulkes today permissible, when all the gedolim
of the previous generation (Rav Soloveitchik being the notable
exception) wore yarmulkes with some height (a tefach?).>>

	The high yarmulke was a Lithuanian/Russian singularity.  Not
*all* of the gedolim of the previous generation wore them; some,
depending on their land of origin, wore the type we wear; some wore
turbans for that matter.



From: Avi Levi <av_levi@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 00:50:47 IDT
Subject: Using verses and midrash to establish facts.

In a famous paragraph in Eruvin 14a the Gmara uses the verse in I Kings 7, 
23 about the "sea of Solomon" to prove\establish that the ratio between the 
diameter and circumference of a circle is 3.
I wanted to ask if there are other similar examples in the Talmudic 
literature in which verses (or midrash on verses) are used to "find" or 
establish facts in mathematics or empirical sciences, that could have been 
found using analysis, measurement or experimentation.


From: Elozor Preil <EMPreil@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 01:37:03 EDT
Subject: Re: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

>  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.

GOOD - maybe this is what we need to live (at least) our public lives
the way we should.  "V'chol ma'asecha basefer nichtvin" - all our
actions are recorded by Hashem.  As we all know, that often doesn't stop
us from doing what we shouldn't do.  But now the media will focus upon
us - as R. Yochanan ben Zakai told his sudents, "I wish you were as
afraid of Hashem as you are of your fellow man."  My friends, it is time
to clean up our acts and become the "ohr la'goyim" we are supposed to
be, as we read in last week's parsha, "Ki hi chochmaschem u'vinaschem
l'einei ho'amim."

From: David Lloyd-Jones <david.lloyd-jones@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 07:37:43 -0400
Subject: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

I think it's perfectly simple:

Senator Lieberman is an excellent candidate for Vice-President, would be
an excellent Vice-President, could serve -- let it not happen -- as
President in an emergency, or perhaps be elected President.

It is a measure of the excellence of the United States of America among
civilizations that a Jew can be considered for high office like others
as an equal This marks the USA as one of the high points the human race
has achieved.

What does this mean for Jews?

Well, uh, we could for a start try to be as good as Joe Lieberman. :-)

For Jews, however, I think there is one other thing: not being
absorbed. Joe Liberman is not being exalted to nominee: he is qualified
because of what he is.


From: Robert Sherer <ERSherer@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 09:59:44 EDT
Subject: Re: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

    Like Yosef Branse, I also have some ambivalent feelings about
whether Lieberman as vice president will be good for the Jews. My
reasons, however, are entirely different. Lieberman distinguished
himself as the only senator to publicly criticize Clinton on the floor
of the Senate for l'affaire Lewinsky. When it came to tachlis, however,
Lieberman "choked," to use the sports metaphor, and voted against
conviction in the impeachment trial. He has also advised Clinton against
a pardon, or at least a commutation, for Jonathan Pollard, and, more
recently, has spoken out against moving the US embassy in Israel from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. We really don't need any more Jews in government
to supply the goyim a justification for doing things to Israel. Clinton
had more Jews like that on his payroll than any prior president.

Robert Sherer

From: Jay Kaplowitz <iii@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 12:25:13 -0400
Subject: Re: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

In MJ Vol. 33, No. 10, Yosef Branse says he's ambivalent about the
nomination of Sen. Joseph Lieberman as Vice President of the United

I'm excited about it.  I think it's great for America, great for the
Jewish people and great for the Orthdox community.  As a very
traditional but non-Orthodox friend put it the other day, his nomination
shows that you can be a leader in America AND Shomer Shabbos.

My impression is that Sen. Lieberman has constantly asked Shailos and
worked out Hilchos Shabbos issues with the rabbis of his Orthodox
congregations in New Haven and Washington.  What a Kiddush Hashem to
have the media focusing on these things.  And there has been coverage

The Washington Post ran two articles of note, a news story quoting Rabbi
Albert Feldman of The Westville Synagogue in New Haven and Rabbi Barry
Freundel of Congregation Kesher Israel in Washington, and an op-ed piece
by Nathan Diament, who heads the OU's political action office in

Here are the URLs:

News analysis:  http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52207-2000Aug7.html
Diament:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52562-2000Aug7.html

In addition, Rabbi Shraga Simmons, who is the "managing editor" of the
Aish HaTorah web site, has written an essay on the "Lieberman Legacy"
that cites Sen. Lieberman as an ideal role model for America.  The URL
for the essay:


Will questionable or immoral or even illegal acts by Orthodox Jews rub
off on Sen. Lieberman?  Have they so far?  Did similar acts by Catholics
affect perceptions of President Kennedy?

There is no doubt that Sen. Lieberman is dedicated to Shmiras Shabbos
and to the highest standards of moral leadership.  As a native of New
Haven who has never met the Senator, that's a very special combination.

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 08:55:06 EDT
Subject: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

As a public figure, Senator Lieberman looses some of the anonymity and
privacy that most of us take for granted.  But as an individual Jew, he
doesn't shed any of the rights and respect that we must afford any and
all Jews.

Although one might speculate (as did one member of my congregation) re:
his apparently shaving during the 9 days, to speculate in this manner is
simply improper.  By what right can we speculate as to the (level of)
observance or particular acts of another Jew?

Although our society tends to treat public figures with different rules,
I don't believe halacha does so.  (Other than a nossi.)

Kol Tov

From: Betzalel Posy <kbposy@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 13:38:09 -0400
Subject: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

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?

I can just comment that this is not a situation unique to Senator
Lieberman. Almost any frum person who works in a metropolitan center, in
a professional capacity, both in Israel and abroad, is often put into a
situation by a colleague or supervisor of "So and so is orthodox, and he
does this", or "why will you do this if she doesn't, aren't you
orthodox?"  While the situation may be somewhat more in the national
spotlight now, the answers that we have all given to that question
remains the same, and if anything, I think Senator Lieberman will
emphasize the diversity of the frum community to the world in a very
positive way.

Betzalel Posy

From: Daniel Stuhlman <ssmlhtc@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 13:27:59
Subject: VP Candidate Senator Joe Lieberman

> <snip>  I am looking forward to hearing what MJ
>readers feel about this.

On Shabbat my rabbi said and I agree, this is an opportunity to be an
ambassador of modern orthodox Judaism.  When your non-Jewish or
non-observant friends and neighbors ask you a question, this is an
opportunity to explain Jewish customs and ceremonies in a positive
light.  It is also an opportunity for kiruv for those Jews who are less
knowledgable or observant.

As a librarian it is an opportunity to have more visitors and readers
learning more about Judaism and Jewish source materials.

In Israel observant Jews have learned to observe Shabbat and still take
care of urgent (read piku-ah nefesh) matters.  I am sure that Senator
Liberman has already learned how to get kosher food on the road and how
to observe Shabbat away from home.  I am sure that he will have
non-Jewish aids to help him when needed.  He may even have an easier
time because he is in a high profile position.

(Just an example from my experience-- my co-workers knew I had to leave
early on Friday.  Since they didn't keep track of the time for sundown,
they never knew how close to Shabbat I had to leave.  There were times I
was reminded by them "Isn't it time for you to leave?  Won't it be dark

Daniel Stuhlman
Chicago, IL


From: Ginsburg, Paul <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 11:38:20 -0400
Subject: Request: Jewish Travel to the Ukraine

I am looking to visit my ancestral shtetl of Sudilkov, Ukraine next
summer (2001). Could someone recommend a agency that conducts Jewish
heritage tours in the Ukraine?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Paul Ginsburg
Sudilkov Online Landsmanshaft
Bethesda, MD


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 23:22:28 -0400
Subject: Request: Montreal

Does anyone know of an inexpensive hotel/motel near the Jewish area of



End of Volume 33 Issue 16